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Hope Graduates Lead the Way on Civic and Community Engagement

Hope Graduates Lead the Way on Civic and Community Engagement

Through a partnership with Ones Up – a local Philadelphia organization and the National Opportunity Youth United Organization whose mission is to improve the lives of young adults for them to in turn empower their communities – Hope’s graduates have been able to become part of the first Philadelphia Community Action Team providing summer jobs to young adults and partake in a three-month long fellowship program that focuses on civic and community engagement.  The community projects will extend through August, and preparation began with Hope alumni participating in three-hour Saturday workshops and trainings.

Overall, their entire instruction centered on Government 101, COVID-19 regulations, political corruption, voting and voter engagement, systemic oppression, and even leadership training on how to manage a community-based project.  At the start, Hope graduates had the opportunity to hear from several Philadelphia and National community leaders, including Isaiah Thomas, Philadelphia City Councilman at large, Kimberly Pham, a national youth activist and a member of Philadelphia’s Project U-Turn, various members of other Community Action Teams in Boston and Seattle, and Cory Greene, co-founder of How Our Lives Link Altogether!, aka H.O.L.L.A! – a nonprofit developed from the organizing work and political strategizing of people who served sentences in New York State Correctional Facilities.  You may be more familiar with Cory as an interviewee sharing his wisdom on the Ava DuVernay Netflix documentary, 13th – a film in which our graduates watched during their training.

Through this, our alumni have decided to focus their summer community efforts on a collection of three principles: social justice campaigns, COVID-19 responses, and voter engagement through a youth lens.  One of their major goals is to distribute COVID-19 packages to their community members across the entire summer, while another is increasing the number of people pledged to vote.  Currently, their main tasks are choosing their roles within the projects, creating social media content, and planning their events.

Congratulations to our graduates for completing their first weeks of training!  We are excited to see the impact they make directly in their communities.

Hope Fellowship Participants: Amina W, Raven B, Anaije W, Kantu H, Mekhi S, Zahir F, Dre’ana W, Briana B, Shyheem P, Zayanna G.

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