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.