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capacity-building & expanding our network

Chris Suggs, Kinston Teens, Inc

This week, Kinston Teens and NC Field led efforts towards the fulfillment of our project goals. One major goal for our initiative is to build a stronger coalition, and work towards increasing the communication and capacity amongst youth organizers and youth-led organizations in our community. Some of the work we did this week includes:

· Created a spreadsheet of youth-led organizations/groups (nonprofits, school clubs/organizations, church ministries, etc.) working in Lenoir County

· Created a group chat for local youth organizers to connect & communicate with plans to create a Facebook Group next week

· Organized a virtual event to discuss disaster prepared & recovery, civic engagement and the COVID-19 pandemic to be held next week

· Have youth from our organizations and others participate in a public speaking training

· Work with Tufts University CIRCLE team on a civic knowledge/skills survey

Members of our group felt quite emotional about events this week that transpired, including the killing of Jacob Blake by police officers; subsequent violence by police forces and white-supremacist militia groups against protestors in Kenosha and across the country; and the death of actor Chadwick Boseman. Throughout the week and definitely during our weekend events, these were major topics of discussion. We felt it was critically important to create a space to vent and decompress, as well as to see how these events may inform our work.