Earlier this year, young people working with AFSC around the world met in Nairobi, Kenya for the second gathering of Youth in Action. The gathering was a space for participants to continue building a network of young leaders dedicated to personal growth and changing systems of oppression.
For four days, they took part in an interactive art-based training that explored racism, colonialism, imperialism, and youth organizing. They also participated in community-building activities, such as sharing stories about who they are, the communities they live in, and the social change work happening with support from AFSC in their region. They also took time to meet and tour with local co-facilitators to learn firsthand about the history of Kenya and the impact of racism and colonialism.
Individual participants in the gathering are now working in their respective countries to change the negative narrative about youth of color and create more spaces for youth voices. They are also collaborating on a campaign to end hate speech and are coordinating an international day of action, schedule for November 2018.
Read more testimonies from youth participants:
Mercy Sosa, Guatemala
"Along with several students from different schools of high schools, we have organized to deepen the analysis on how our identity, our culture and the coexistence with the different indigenous peoples in Guatemala, has been influenced by colonialism, racism and imperialism and how they have created violent actions full of hate speech towards cultural diversity in our country, and that is why we are organizing ourselves to promote a different message through a visual campaign, which counteracts that hate message we heard day after day." Read more
Carine Umutoniwase, Kenya
"During the training I got to understand the importance of ‘Ubuntu’ in our daily interactions and I used this to make our program become more centered on building Ubuntu communities whereby we work with community stakeholders to live out the principle of Ubuntu in the various activities conducted.' Read more
Ningsi Bungas, Indonesia
"Through this training, I became more confident and courageous in the work of young people against hate speech and discrimination because of religion, ethnicity and groups in Kupang-Indonesia. People with different ideologies and generated conflict will always exist and continue to exist anytime and anywhere, so it needs young people to continue to exist and who dare to reject it and even have the spirit to build peace and harmony." Read more