Race, Justice, Outreach at the Heart of this New Orleans Camp

Frances Kai-Hwa Wang, NBC News, June 9, 2015

Forty youth, aged 12 to 24, will be learning about community organizing, political campaign building, and data collection this summer in a five-week social justice organizing institute with VAYLA New Orleans. Originally founded as the Vietnamese American Young Leaders of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, VAYLA New Orleans has evolved into a multiracial, multilingual, and multigenerational progressive social justice organization empowering local youth of color and their families, and featuring leadership from Asian American, African American, Latino American, and LGBT communities.

“VAYLA New Orleans is known as a racial and social justice organization. We believe in youth leadership and youth power with a family component,” Executive Director Minh Nguyen told NBC News, “because we believe young people can’t succeed and thrive unless their caregiver is supported.”

The summer institute focuses on racial, educational, environmental, and food justice, as well as identity development, health, creative arts, and group bonding. The institute prepares youth to tackle organizing issues with power analysis, power mapping, data collection, data analysis, building a base, mobilizing target audience, and outreach.

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