South Puget Sound, WA — At a time when our community is suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic, economic crisis and deep distress over racial injustice, South Sound Together (SST) leaders want to ensure that our region has youths who are interested and engaged in civic leadership. They are putting funds toward that goal by supporting three regional organizations each with $20,000 grants.
The Institute for Black Justice will host the Freedom Summer Symposium June 28-30, a new event to prototype engaging youths in social justice issues and work. The goal is to attract 150 attendees. Funding will provide a stipend to 30 participants in a design challenge, as well as to artists, musicians and other performers and presenters and the tech team supporting this virtual event. Thanks to funding the Symposium is being offered as a “donation-only” event. Registration is currently open.
Palmer Scholars will launch an online micro-mentoring and networking platform to connect youths with other young leaders interested in civic engagement as well as community members interested in providing professional development support, such as through reviewing resumes and informational interviews. Funding will support an events feature on the platform as well as stipends for youth to lead this work.
Politics of the Possible in Action will offer yearlong fellowships to four to six youth leaders to enhance their advocacy skills and deepen their civic involvement. With a focus on expanding their community’s representation, these youth will craft their own set of experiences to interact with elected officials, participate in legislative processes, and share their experiences and knowledge through interactive peer-to-peer workshops.
Next Leaders Initiative
The South Sound Together initiative started last fall with students from the University of Washington Tacoma, Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma Community College and Bates Technical College, participating in a series of virtual design thinking workshops to discuss how to elevate future leaders and to determine what barriers they face within our community to become civically engaged.
This spring the information was presented to a group of interested youth-serving organizations in a Zoom forum hosted by Tacoma Community College and Bates Technical College. The forum included a youth panel and announcement of an SST-funded Request for Proposals for projects that would engage youths in civic leadership.
South Sound Together
South Sound Together is a group of businesses, universities, community organizations and others who team together to show why this area is a good place for business, and a great place to live. The project is called South Sound Together as a reminder that together we can do so much more than any one of us can do alone. One part of the project involves financial investment from partners to create a fund for projects that make the South Sound a better place. And one of this year’s projects is the Next Leaders Initiative to encourage young people who aspire to civic leadership in the South Sound — even during a pandemic.