Youth at the center of school-based equity and racial justice efforts
Re-Center works to keep youth at the forefront of all partnerships
Re•Center’s signature youth program, Equity Teams for Positive School Change (ETPSC), is a program designed for students, administrators, and teachers to co-create equitable school environments where everyone has what they need to grow and thrive. The program is designed to build capacity within schools so that impacts of racism and inequity can be addressed.
ETPSC was designed as a multi-year course covering basics of leadership, team building, equity, justice, advocacy, and organizing. Due to the current pandemic, however, some program elements have been redesigned. For schools with an existing ETPSC youth cohort (e.g., Sunset Ridge Middles School, East Hartford), Re•Center facilitates online youth learning twice a month during virtual school hours, co-moderated by schoolteachers.
The program combines intergenerational learning with peer-to-peer learning in the areas of racial justice, equity, and consciousness raising conversations. We also offer monthly sessions for adults in the school community to help educators and others understand ETPSC’s goals and co-create the learning co-hort. Adults and students come together for cohort community learning sessions once each semester.
The goals of the Equity Teams program are:
- Increase school communities’ social consciousness around systems of oppression;
- Increase school administrations’ internal capacity to identify inequitable school practices, policies, and procedures through the creation and development of equity teams;
- Support school communities’ abilities to co-create, enact, and evaluate new equitable practices, policies, and procedures that foster a school culture of belonging and racial/cultural affirmation.
Youth leadership development
is a part of RE•Center’s commitment to help youth build the skills necessary to collaborate with and lead groups. We have developed a toolkit to help young people develop and nurture a sustained dedication to social justice and activism. Our youth leadership programs begin with youth organizing groups in middle and high schools using trauma-informed practices that help build coping skills and increase self-esteem. Our goal is to promote the holistic development of young people as community leaders and healthy, resilient adults. Youth cohorts we currently work with include Hartford’s Breakthrough Magnet School - South, in Hartford.
Virtual Programs for Hartford Youth
RE•Center is committed to centering the voices and experiences of young people living through this historic time of crisis and activism. We felt an urgency to address the mental health challenges Hartford youth are experiencing during the pandemic, especially following the horrific murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and too many others to name. In the 2020-2021 academic year we are focusing on sustaining momentum for racial justice work within and outside of schools.