Youth Fighting 4 Justice Mixtape!

Earlier this year, youth artists from Detroit, Chicago, and Milwaukee were discussing similarities in the hell they catch from the police, courts, and even public school systems. They decided to use their art and voices as a tool for change and collaborated on a free, spoken word and Hip Hop mixtape release entitled “Youth Fighting 4 Justice”. The original songs tell true stories about young adults going through the justice system, being affected by the police state and the need for creative community alternatives. “Youth Fighting 4 Justice” Mixtape, Vol 1 features a compilation of previously unreleased tracks by some of the Midwest’s most impactful youth and family servicing agencies that actively use creative arts to engage youth in social justice and community building including Chicago based organizations Kuumba Lynx, Elephant Rebellion and Free Write Literacy. The project also includes Milwaukee based program TRUE Skool and Detroit based organization Emergence Media. Sheldan Wilbon, a multi-skilled vocalist, dancer, producer and DJ from TRUE Skool further explains the effort. “For me, this Mixtape is about balance. It’s about calling out what is wrong and also building up what is right. Projects like this mixtape bring joy to our communities and performances like the one we will do Saturday night bring everyone a sense of peace and positive energy. More Youth Fighting 4 Justice mixtape installments are already in the works.” Check out the next CJNY Newsletter for more including interviews with the young artists and check out the mixtape here: Youthfighting4justice.org     ...

Check out our 2016 End of Year Newsletter!

2016 has been a busy year for us at CJNY! Check out our End of Year Newsletter to keep up with just some of what we have been working on including: The Julie Through the System App An update on the Combahee Alliance CJNY’s Evidence Based Practices (EBP) Project A frontline report from Youth Justice Milwaukee and more! Download the Newsletter Here...

Otilio “O.T.” Quintero Leaving Barrios Unidos

Last week, Otilio “O.T” Quintero, a founding member of CJNY and long-time youth violence prevention advocate, announced his departure from Santa Cruz Barrios Unidos. O.T. joined Barrios Unidos in 1992 and has since worked on growing Barrios Unidos in its efforts to  improve the lives of youth of color in Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties, through supporting community-based organizations in preventing gang violence. We send much respect to our elder, guide, and friend as he transitions into new opportunities. Below is O.T.’s announcement in full.   To all my Familia and Friends,  When I came to Barrios Unidos in 1992, I was looking for a way to give back to my community at a place that was working to prevent violence against youth by promoting cultura (culture), education, leadership and economic-development. I have a love for serving my community by advocating for equality and change. I knew Barrios Unidos would be the right place and the right job. But I could never have ever imagined all the things we have been able to accomplish and what it has meant to be here.  It has been an honor serving and working with communities, public/private agencies, legislators, international organizations, and our children and adults in prisons and detention centers. I’ve learned so much during my time with Barrios Unidos and have had the opportunity to help create local, state, and national policies that promote social justice for the voices that are often unheard by society.  During my journey at Barrios Unidos I have not only had the opportunity to help build the vision and capacity of the organization, but also the...

National Youth Alliance on Boys and Men of Color releases #BLM Commitments & Call To Action

The National Youth Alliance for Boys and Men of Color has released a statement in the wake of recent murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.  The full statement may be found here, and is included, in full below.   Opening Statement: The National Youth Alliance for Boys and Men of Color was born in response to the My Brother’s Keeper initiative launched in 2014. We bring together five networks of youth organizing groups to amplify the voices of young men of color and support young people organizing to address systemic inequality. However, our organizing roots started many, many years before that born in response to many of our youth of color have so often been the target of state violence, especially those living in low-income communities that have so often been the target of public divestment except when it comes to our policing.    As many of you, we were retraumatized by the horror of watching the recorded murder of Alton Sterling, only to feel this deepen with the live Facebook streaming of Philando Castile’s murder a few hours later. Our hearts are heavy for Quinyetta McMillan and Cameron Sterling, and for Diamond Reynolds and the Castile family.   Many of our members have already released respective statements. However, after taking time to reflect internally and as a collective, our Organizing Council wanted to release this public statement of commitments and calls to action: Acknowledge the Moment: We explicitly and unapologetically name our rage, our pain, our trauma, our fear, and ourstruggle as well as our resilience, our sacredness, our healing, our power, and our love In the spirit of our ancestor, Fannie Lou Hamer : “We are sick and tired of being...

Now Hiring Software Engineer for Development of Justice System 101 Training App

“Julie Through The System” Full Stack Software Engineer We are offering a short term contract, via a bidding process, to a motivated, innovative, and versatile individual, willing to work diligently to help us develop an app based on our Julie Through The System (JTTS) curriculum. The ideal consultant will also have a passion for racial justice and youth justice reform.   The Organization: The W. Haywood Burns Institute (BI) is a national non-profit organization based in Oakland, California. Our mission is to protect and improve the lives of youth and adults of color and the well-being of their communities by ensuring fairness and equity throughout the justice system. BI uses a data-driven and collaborative approach to reducing racial and ethnic disparities by working with justice and community stakeholders to develop community alternatives to justice system involvement. Additionally, through the Community Justice Network for Youth (CJNY), BI supports communities in building capacity to hold child serving systems accountable and reduce the inappropriate use of the youth justice system for youth misbehavior. BI has worked in over 100 sites nationwide. CJNY is a national network of 130 community based organizations working to improve the lives of system involved youth of color. CJNY staff serve these organizations through a variety of programs as well as work to integrate community stakeholders into juvenile justice reform efforts. CJNY includes 7 local “task forces” across the country. These Task Forces are comprised of CJNY member organizations organizing together to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in juvenile justice systems. About the Contract Position: Over 50,000 youths will enter the juvenile justice system this year, the vast majority...

All Roads Lead to Justice at the 2015 U.S. Social Forum

As the Community Justice Network for Youth (CJNY) works to dismantle structural racism, particularly in the youth justice system, we were drawn to the discussions conducted at this year’s U.S. Social Forum (USSF). Communities of color across the nation are continue to grapple with growing economic disparities between the elite and working class, with a unique and disproportionate impact on communities of color. So, our staff hopped into our cars and headed to the USSF in San Jose from June 24– 28th to engage in important strategy conversations around inequity, migration issues, and a vision for the future of the Bay Area. The forums bring together organizers, educators, political supporters, activists, and community members to discuss solutions for barriers to social, economic, and political opportunities in their communities. It also provided a space for participants to build community, tap into new networks, and engage in transformative healing practices with one another. The USSF first began in Atlanta in 2007 and was held again in Detroit in 2010 before choosing San Jose as its location for 2015. San Jose was considered a critical site for the USSF due to the massive development projects that have spurred rapid gentrification in the region since the “dot.com boom.” Some of the 2015 USSF goals were to:  Create space for social movement analysis, popular and political education, convergence, and strategic discussion; Strengthen local capacity to improve social conditions and social struggle; Build stronger relationships, collaboration, and social movements across various fronts for greater political understanding, strategic direction, and a powerful political force; and Deepen our collaboration with global social movements and our practice of international...