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Building youth capacity building in Newark

Through a mix of art, research, policy briefs, advocacy training, personal narrative writing, videography, and photography, Newark youth will grapple with the effects of COVID-19 on their communities. They will also study the historical disparities in access to public health, education and employment. Youth participants will learn how to conduct community engaged research to document the world as it is today in the middle of a pandemic and envision an equitable world of the future.

This week the Newark team focused on youth capacity building. Fellows with the Gem Project fellows received training on community engaged research as well as overview on the Institutional Review Board and participated in participatory action exercises to understand a nine-step process. While in working groups on their Newark-based initiatives, they explored how youth in Rio de Janeiro were addressing public health issues from slums to affluent neighborhoods exacerbated by social biases while discussing similarities surrounding treatment due to other oppressive systems. Fellows continued to develop issue briefs and sketch out the art aspect of the project.

The Abbott Leadership Institute youth leaders continued to work in their academies—smaller groups that focus on a specific topic including political action, digital media, journalism, video production, photography. This week each academy had a different focus of learning: the Journalism academy learned to transcribe interviews and the various ways to quote subjects in a news article; the digital media academy learned to create menus and widgets on websites; youth leaders in the photography and video academies continued to practice turning their cell phones into devices for storytelling. Collectively, students learned the skills of resistance poetry writing and received consultation on the development of their website from Junius Williams, the creator of Rise Up Newark.