What: A four-month youth-empowerment fellowship delivered by MAS Youth Detroit. Target:Youth who are ready to become active members of positive change in their community Where:Throughout the course of the program, we place a strong emphasis on the city of Detroit to ensure that fellows are perceptive of the conditions of the city and the problems its people face. GOAL: TO REACTIVATE ACTIVISM · RECOGNIZE the positive potential of youth of agents of social change in their communities; · REFINE their skills in order to increase the efficacy of their community work; · RETAIN youth by instilling within them a self-sustaining drive for social justice. How: Mentorship of fellows will occur though self-reflective questions and practicing essential skills like empathy or awareness. · Fellows will meet with adult partners and youth program mentors on a weekly basis. · WEEK ONE: each unit is focused on learning new ideas and concepts about social justice icons and/or significant events in history such as Omar Ibn Khattab, Ayuba Suleiman Diallo, de facto segregation in the United States, Malcolm Shabaaz etc. through a variety of mediums including movies, field trips, and writings. · Individually and as a group, fellows reflect on these icons and historical events through discussion and writing exercises, and deconstruct the impact that these icons/events had in their contexts and in the world. · WEEK TWO: Fellows focus on taking the principles and concepts learned from these icons/events and applying them in their immediate environments including their homes, schools, and personal relationships. At the same time fellows discuss and reflect on how they applied the social justice principles and examples they learned in their lives and communities over the past week. · Every month, the fellows are taken on a one-day exposure activity in which fellows will visit environments that are stigmatized in one way or another in our society to learn about them beyond the stereotypes that the fellows may have adopted. This includes visits to foster homes, prisons and Native American reservations.
Desired Outcomes: Reflection Portfolio:Each fellow will be tracking their development in a journal that includes writing, art, photography etc. This is to ensure that they understand and can be a witness to their personal transformations at the end of the program. Action Plans:Especially in the second half of the program, fellows will focus in on a particular need in their communities and tackle that need. They may choose to do this by launching an initiative or joining an already existing initiative but they will have the support and resources of their cohort fellows, adult partners, and youth mentors in creating, tracking and implementing their plans. Furthermore, they will have a budget of $500 to put towards their action plans. Certificate of Completion and Reference Letter:The youth who will be recruited for these programs are youth who are currently not engaged in any organized work or activities. After this program, the fellows will recognize the necessity of working in the community. Should they choose to move forward in movement-building, they will have evidence of their effort and contributions during this program.