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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.

Through the Civic Spring Project, youth fellows from across the city are working with one of two Newark-based organizations: The Abbott Leadership Institute and the Gem

Project. This week, both groups worked on building student capacity to take on their respective projects. The Abbott Leadership Institute student leaders learned about research and interviewing from a social justice perspective from Dr. Okaikor Price of EduSage. They also had their first classes within their academies, which are broken into: political action, digital media, journalism, video production, photography. In each academy, the instructors provided introductory skill building as it relates to the development of their website.

The Gem Project fellows participated in trainings and worked within their work groups to learn how to identify problems and issues in youth organizing work. In their respective cohorts, they focused on the process of developing a community assessment plan and planning committee. Fellows learned about the dangers of assuming community-wide problems without involving the community to be impacted by decisions in the process. They also learned about different processes of collecting data.