Below is a list of organizations doing great work with youth and young women. Please let us know if there are others we should include.
ACT FOR YOUTH – http://www.actforyouth.net/about/
ACTforYouth.net connects research to practice, providing information, publications, and presentations in the areas of youth development and sexual health. The site is managed by ACT for Youth Center of Excellence, a partnership among Cornell University, New York State Center for School Safety, and the University of Rochester Medical Center.
ALL STARS – http://allstars.org/newyork
The All Stars Project, Inc. (ASP) is a non-partisan, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting human development through the use of an innovative performance-based model. The ASP creates outside of school, educational and performing arts activities for thousands of poor and minority young people. It sponsors community and experimental theatre, develops leadership training and pursues volunteer initiatives that build and strengthen communities.
ARTISTIC NOISE – http://www.artisticnoise.org/
Artistic Noise exists to bring the freedom and power of artistic practice to young people who are incarcerated, on probation, or otherwise involved in the justice system. Through visual arts and entrepreneurship programs in Massachusetts and New York, participants give voice to their experiences, build community through collaborative projects, and learn valuable life and job skills. Artistic Noise creates safe spaces where court-involved youth can be seen, heard and supported on their path to adulthood.
CORRECTIONAL ASSOCIATION OF NEW YORK – http://www.correctionalassociation.org/pp/about-women-in-prison-project
Founded in 1844, the Correctional Association of New York (the CA) is an independent non-profit organization that advocates for a more humane and effective criminal justice system and a more just and equitable society.
FRESH YOUTH – http://freshyouth.org/FYI is a non-profit youth development organization in NYC providing young people ages 9-18 with support, encouragement, and skills they need to become productive, confident, and caring young adults.
GEMS – http://www.gems-girls.org/
Girls Educational & Mentoring Services (GEMS) is the only organization in New York State specifically designed to serve girls and young women who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking. GEMS was founded in 1998 by Rachel Lloyd, a young woman who had been sexually exploited as a teenager. GEMS has helped hundreds of young women and girls, ages 12–24, who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking to exit the commercial sex industry and to develop to their full potential. GEMS provides young women with empathetic, consistent support and viable opportunities for positive change.
MNN YOUTH CHANNEL – http://www.youthchannel.org/
MNN Youth Channel is a division of Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN) serving young people below the age of 25. Established in 2000, MNN Youth Channel aims to give youth, of all backgrounds, the opportunity to create community media, foster dialogue, and engage in social change.
PROJECT REACH – http://www.projectreachnyc.org/
Project Reach is a youth and adult-run, multi-racial, multi-gender, grassroots, anti-discrimination, youth organizing center with a clear mission and commitment to challenging the destruction among, of, and between New York City’s disparate youth communities. Implicit in that mission is a vision that recognizes that the empowerment of disenfranchised youth communities is critical and integral to their participation as future leaders in the larger movement for social justice.
SISTAS ON THE RISE – https://sistasontheriseinfo.wordpress.com/
Sistas on the Rise is a space for young women of color ages 13-21. They work with teen mothers and young women to take ownership and power over their lives to create a healthy community. Sistas on the Rise acknowledges that young women of color need a safe space to develop their leadership skills, socio-political analysis, and organize without being marginalized. They realize that many young women who became pregnant drop-out of existing youth programs because they do not receive the support necessary for their continued participation. One of their goals is to build sisterhood among young women who have children and those who do not. Sistas on the Rise is a space where young mothers and women of color raise consciousness, build sisterhood and take action for social change. They provide workshops, activities and trips that develop leadership skills and teach our young women to be critical and active members in the community.
THE BLACK PEARL PROGRAM – http://www.theblackpearlprogram.com/
The Black PEARL-Pretty, Educated, Aware, Refined, Ladies-Program is an initiative created by La Perle Noire LLC which is designed to teach and encourage young women on how to tap into their inner being and accept who they are instead of what they are not. We are devoted to educating young girls on self-confidence and a positive self-esteem.
URBAN WORD NYC – http://www.urbanwordnyc.org/uwnyc/
Founded on the belief that teenagers can and must speak for themselves, Urban Word NYC™ (UW) has been at the forefront of the youth spoken word, poetry and hip-hop movements in New York City since 1999. Urban Word NYC presents literary arts education and youth development programs in the areas of creative writing, journalism, college prep, literature and hip-hop. UW provides FREE, safe and uncensored writing workshops to teens year round, and hosts the Annual NYC Teen Poetry Slam, NY Knicks Poetry Slam, local and national youth slams, festivals, reading series, open mics, and more.
URBAN YOUTH COLLABORATIVE – http://www.urbanyouthcollaborative.org/
Led by students, the Urban Youth Collaborative (UYC) brings together New York City students to fight for real education reform that puts students first. Demanding a high quality education for all students, our young people struggle for social, economic, and racial justice in our schools and communities.
VOICES UNBROKEN – http://www.voicesunbroken.org/
Voices Unbroken is a Bronx-based non-profit organization that is dedicated to providing under-heard members of the community-primarily youth, ages 12-24-with the tools and opportunity for creative self-expression. Through high quality creative writing workshops in juvenile justice facilities, group homes, residential treatment facilities, jails, and various other alternative settings, Voices UnBroken nurtures the inherent need in all people to tell their stories and be heard. It is our belief that this telling of stories and sharing of dreams leads to individual and community growth.
WOMEN’S PRISON ASSOCIATION – http://www.wpaonline.org/
WPA works with women at all stages of criminal justice involvement, promoting alternatives to incarceration and helping women living in the community to avoid arrest or incarceration by making positive changes in their lives. Inside prison and jail, WPA is a source of support to women and a resource to them as they plan for release. After incarceration, women come to WPA for help to build the lives they want for themselves and their families in the community.
Youth First is a national advocacy campaign to end the incarceration of youth by closing youth prisons and investing in community-based alternatives to incarceration and programs for youth. The American public strongly supports policies that favor rehabilitation and treatment over putting our youth behind bars. Many states and localities are seeing success closing their youth prisons and implementing policies that hold youth accountable for their actions while giving them opportunities for meaningful restoration in their lives. The overwhelming evidence shows that there are alternatives to youth prisons that are more fair, more safe, and more economically sound.