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401Give for RICJ Youth Programs

Dear Friends,

Please help RICJ empower Rhode Island's future leaders by supporting our programs to foster meaningful, life-changing growth in our youth. RICJ's is dedicated to our mission of fighting bias, bigotry and racism to build communities of understanding and respect. We run 4 Youth Programs throughout the year that empower RI highschoolers to be leaders of change, dialogue, and social action. This year, we are seeking sponsorships through 401-Give for three main areas: our afterschool program (the Youth Action Council), our summer camp program (Project RESPECT Youth Leadership Institute), and our educational empowerment trip to Washington DC.

Project RESPECT Youth Leadership Institute 2023: Project RESPECT is RICJ's longest running tradition. This week-long residential camp is a life changing experience for youth throughout Rhode Island to learn about their leadership styles, explore their identities, and create community. Project RESPECT is run by RICJ alumni who have been empowered by the growth they did at camp. By supporting this program, you will be helping a youth in Providence overcome the financial barrier to participate in this transformative experience from July 23rd-29th with provided lodging and food.

Youth Action Council: Every week, RICJ's office hosts a group of passionate Providence teenagers who organize to create positive social change in their communities. Throughout the school year, the elected youth leaders collaborate with RICJ's Youth Program staff in order to provide educational opportunities for the entire council. We are asking for support to help us build capacity for this program by keeping our youth well fed during weekly meetings, connecting our youth with meaningful ways to learn throughout Providence, and empowering our youth to follow through with impactful social justice campaigns each year.

Last year, the Youth Action Council created a "Doses of Change" campaign to provide educational, culturally responsive information about the COVID Vaccine in addition to creating a Community Clinic for vaccinations in the RICJ office. This year, the Youth Action Council is creating a soup kitchen as well as a tabling event designed to connect immigrant families to accessible resources in Providence. Please help the Youth Action Council continue these campaigns by sponsoring this program!

Educational Empowerment Trip to Washington DC: This April, RICJ's dedicated youth are bringing their voices to our nation's capital to talk about the work they do and learn about what options are available for them and their futures. In addition to visiting cultural sites and speaking with members of HBCUs, RICJ's youth will learn from legislators and social justice advocates about how to amplify their impact and further develop their community building skills. This trip is central to RICJ's mission of empowering today's youth to be the leaders of tomorrow. Please support this program by helping provide RICJ's youth with transportation out of Rhode Island and lodging in our nation's capital.

To show you the impact that your sponsorships have, we want to share the story of one of our dedicated, inspiring youth leaders: Reina is a sophomore, and she has been a part of RICJ since she was in middle school. Reina has participated in YAC for two years, and she has been a part of YFC, Project RESPECT Leadership Institute, and YWEC. During her time at RICJ, Reina has been able to learn more about herself, how she works in a team, and how she presents herself to others. Reina has seen these lessons do a lot for her in her school work and her self-confidence when speaking with people. Before beginning at RICJ last summer, Reina says she was extremely shy. She says she recognizes how much more comfortable she feels speaking up, starting conversations, and putting herself out there. Reina says RICJ is a big part of her, as she says, “spreading her butterfly wings.” Now, Reina is an important youth leader for the social justice work RICJ does with different community members. Moving forward, Reina hopes that she can keep projecting her voice to create social change.

Every sponsorship makes a difference in the lives and growth of Rhode Island youth - the leaders of our future. We are grateful for whatever you are able to give.

Thank you, Toby Ayers, PhD, Executive Director, Rose Albert, MA Youth Programs Director, Instagram: RI4CJ

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