Amplifying the Experiences & Needs of Young People

We’re deeply invested in amplifying the experiences and needs of young people in Durham. We find ways to stay connected to and partner with young people to understand what’s most important to them. We adapt and change what we’re working on in response to what we learn, and we partner with young people to amplify their experiences. This has been especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We lend our support to youth-led projects in many ways, including offering space, time and advice; funding; connections to adult decision makers; and other supports. Here are some ways that we’ve done this.

Key Initiatives

screenshot of Sawubona zine cover

Sawubona Zine

We supported the launch of Sawubona Zine, an effort led by the Durham Powerful Arts Collective (DurmPAC). DurmPAC is a group of young people who want to create a space that is inclusive, liberating, and uplifting to the masses of young people who want to speak truth to power through their art. We supported organizers with logistics and planning of the zine, offering incentives to artists, and will print copies of the zine once it’s ready. More about the zine and DurmPAC.

Durham Public Schools

Durham Public Schools Virtual Learning Feedback

In an effort to lift up student and family perspectives about virtual learning, we set up an anonymous voice message line. Durham Public Schools (DPS) students and caregivers were invited to leave a message about their experiences with virtual learning. We transcribed the messages and shared them with DPS administrators and the Board of Education before they made some key decisions about returning to school in-person. We also amplified other ways students and their families could share their feedback with the school board.

Youth Summit on School Safety

Youth Summit on School Safety

We supported youth organizers from the Durham Youth Climate Justice Initiative in hosting a conversation with young people about school safety. We supported the organizers by offering guidance as they planned the event and designed the facilitation guide. We also provided $25 gift cards to participants to reduce barriers and encourage participation.

Seen in Quarantine promo graphic shows illustration of girl on cell phone

Seen in Quarantine Challenge

We asked young people in Durham how they wanted to connect to each other during this time of physical distancing, and we helped make their ideas a reality. In collaboration with our youth finalists, we held two virtual events for young people to connect, learn and have fun with each other. We also supported a separate virtual challenge led by the Hillside Fellows. Learn more about the challenge and winning submissions!