SFI: Threading Together Youth Leadership from Tijuana to San Diego
Monday, August 19, 2019
It’s been a hectic month for the Youth Peace Leaders of the Kroc IPJ’s Social Fabric Initiative (SFI). Each group — what we call a “Thread” — has been working on a community change project of their choice with the help of interns and a mentor. As things come to a close with the SFI Summit on August 21, here’s a look at what the group has been up to all summer:
June 17 marked the official launch of Season 2 of SFI. The Youth Peace Leaders met in their groups for the first time, and the interns led community-building exercises to break the ice for everyone. Each Thread also met their mentor and established meeting times and ideal locations. Movement BE made a special appearance as well with a presentation about telling your story before someone else does. Overall, the launch was a success and the Youth Peace Leaders have been working hard on their community change projects since then!
The Threads of Season 2 address these diverse topics:
- Restorative Education Reform
- LGBTQ+ Education and Advocacy
- Youth Diversion Through Artistic Expression
- Plastic Pollution
- Indigenous Rights and Environmental Protection
- Juvenile Justice Reform
- Alcohol and Drug Prevention and Mental Health Awareness
- Homelessness and Food Insecurity
- Creating Community Through Art in Tijuana
Each Thread agreed to meet twice per week to discuss the purpose of their project and how they planned to implement it. This takes a great deal of commitment from both the Youth Peace Leaders as well as interns, but it will be worth it in the end when they see their visions come to fruition. Some Threads are creating documentaries, some are hosting public events, some are making websites, and some are encouraging the community to participate in a movement. No matter what the project is, each group has had to maintain strong communication, motivation, and perseverance to implement their projects.
Preparing for the SUMMIT
Once the Youth Peace Leaders finish their projects, it will be time to get ready for SFI’s second annual Summit Event on Wednesday, August 21. The two weeks leading up to the Summit have been designated for buying materials, planning the display, and finalizing logistics. Courtesy of the USS Midway Museum, all of their hard work will be showcased at the event, and Youth Peace Leaders will have the opportunity to display their community change projects to all of their friends and family, as well as to the San Diego community. Ask any intern about these final two weeks, and they will tell you they all look like chickens with their head cut off. The fast-paced and hectic days leading up to the Summit are stressful for everyone, but the payoff will be that much more rewarding once it all comes to life in the end.