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Community Conversations and Shift Press Journalism Fellows

The Institute of Engagement, a youth-created and youth-run civic action organization, is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and building community among youth through its youth-produced publication, Shift Press. The Shift Press Youth Fellowship is a stipend-supported opportunity for Houston high school-aged folks to tell their stories, gain knowledge about topics of their interest, and learn how stories impact all community action. The curriculum covers journalistic fundamentals and specifically asks fellows to reimagine community storytelling.

The most exciting progress made this week was with our Community Conversations. We held our three-hour training session this past Sunday with ten youth facilitators. We are looking forward to continuing our one-on-one discussions in the weeks leading up to their dialogues.

We are looking forward to sharing about our progress in having our first meeting with the Shift Press Journalism Fellows! It was a great opportunity to learn about each of the fellows and their experiences in wanting to participate in building community. We are encouraged by the passion each student has to drive them in the work they are seeking to do, and it was a helpful opportunity to touch base with everyone as well.

We all got together Tuesday evening for a virtual game night. The goal of this meeting was to step away from the work we have been dedicated to the past several weeks and instead take some time to enjoy each other’s company. It was also helpful to just do basic check-in’s with everyone to see what is going on in our lives outside of Shift Press. It was quite relaxing and allowed our bond to re-strengthen and grow this week.