After a few months’ break, Detroit REPRESENT! is reaching out for more youth leadership by hosting a two-month fellowship for LGBTQ youth of color from Detroit. We are specifically looking to reach out to younger youth, but anybody under age 24 is welcome. This fellowship will help determine the direction of our next collective cycle, and will help us build our collective’s base!
A number of the youth who have been involved in the project have needed to step back for various reasons; but we don’t want to see this project end before it fully blossoms! In response to the need for more youth leadership in our collective, Detroit REPRESENT! is launching an 8-week session that will equip a team of five LGBTQ youth of color from across Detroit with media-making, group-facilitation, and community organizing skills, while figuring out what our community thinks needs to change in Detroit, and how it should happen. We’re calling this project Make Us Count! and we’re inviting you to get involved!
We’ll meet for 3 hours, each week (based on everyone’s schedules), to conduct a research study in our community. The goal of the study is to build up a larger base for Detroit REPRESENT! youth leadership, while sharing skills, employment opportunities, and a platform for youth who have something to say. Youth involved in the program will be introduced to youth organizers across the city (and possibly beyond), get involved with local organizations working for change, and (of course) hit the streets to find out what kind of changes our peers want to see happen. We’re planning to do this by launching a youth-lead research study.
This won’t be like the kind of research studies you’re used to hearing about. Inspired by youth activists from across the country, we want to launch a Participatory Action Research project — where youth aren’t simply the ones being asked questions, or being analyzed; but in fact, are the ones putting together, collecting, and assessing the information, and then deciding how to use it!
The study will revolve around the experiences of our peers across the city of Detroit, including the struggles they’ve faced, and will seek to gather information about the solutions youth think would best address those problems. we’ll collect information in the form video and audio tracks, which we design and produce on our own. Best of all, the information we gather will steer our collective, as we move forward and work to bring these ideas to life. In other words, we won’t just talk about the changes we want — we’ll actually work to make them happen!
Youth who apply should be 24 or younger, self-identify as LGBTQ people of color, and be interested in working towards real change in Detroit. Meetings will be held in the beautiful Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation space in Southwest Detroit, with transportation and snacks provided.