Location: http://facebook.com/thegemproject  (LIVE) on Thursday, August 13, 2020 | 12 PM-2 PM

About our fellows’ initiative:

Across 6-8 weeks dependent on age, 45 high school and college age youth will address issues of inequity exacerbated by COVID-19, as it relates to the Black community  within various sectors and challenges brought on by structural and systemic racism.  In combination with peer-based learning and on the job organizing experience, youth will engage in a comprehensive youth organizing fellowship for 14-19 hours/week Monday-Friday, including weekly youth organizing coalition meetings for high school and college youth. College fellows will engage in two hours of weekly training on facilitation that prepares them to manage a cohort of 5-9 high school youth to carry out organizing and project-based work for the upcoming week, across 6 weeks.

A week prior to program launch, College Fellows go through a week long orientation and training to support a positive youth development environment for themselves and the high school fellows under their assignment. Upon conclusion of their summer job as youth organizers, fellows would have written an issue brief, digital rally, and launched a virtual museum featuring art of two different realities. The first reality is the impact of COVID-19 on society marred with structural and systemic racism and a second reality, an alternate one free of oppressive systems using an afrofuturistic framework.




Working as a youth organizer through an afrofuturist framework, youth organizers will examine the inequities across health, education, or the criminal justice system within the Black community. Imagining alternate realities where  structural racism and/or colonialism does not exist, Gem Project Fellows and youth organizers:

  1. Will be guided by an arts educator to produce a body of work that will be featured in a virtual museum, which depicts an alternate reality that absolves oppression and structural racism carried out in the health, education, or criminal justice sectors.
  2. Orchestrate a digital  rally preceding the launch of the virtual museum, which outlines a set of demands within the identified sector in partnership with other youth organizing groups– including media with invitations to decision makers.
  3. Participate in our advocacy/implementation stage for a revised Gem Project Fellow policy brief titled Speak Up, Speak Out, detailing over 500+ insights of high school age youth.