Across the nation, youth activism has emerged as the essential ingredient for social change. As young people take their seat at the table, they elevate their identity, cultural background, and power to speak up for marginalized communities that have been silenced for too long.
The issues within our nation’s public schools are solvable. However, school board officials, funders, and administrators are missing a key piece of the puzzle: students. Our Turn trains young people on organizing and advocacy to amplify their voices. We’ve launched and won issue and electoral campaigns, galvanizing a collective voice of young people to advance comprehensive solutions for long-term change.
"Centuries and decades later I stand before you urging [you] to address the direct results of generational trauma that the education system has implicated in hundreds and thousands of students of color as our roots and identities have largely been neglected all across the nation."
“My hope for [our] schools is that they will one day be a place where any student; no matter their background or zip code, will be able to go to receive a quality education that will not only prepare them for life after high school, but will make them competitive for whatever path they choose to pursue.”
Young people are today's changemakers
Our Turn members are predominantly students of color and many are first generation college students. Their experiences with an unjust education system, combined with a passion for removing those barriers for the next generation, create a platform for change. Our members are the changemakers our country needs for today and tomorrow.
Each of our members has a unique form of power, and together, they form a collective voice. As our campaign wins increase, and the public follows the lead of young people, it is OUR TURN to create an environment that can generate real, lasting change.
Transforming the Education Conversation
Even though students are the primary stakeholders of the education system, they’ve been left out of the important education conversations and decisions that influence their future. We’re here to change those narratives. Young people who have recently graduated from high school or currently attend low-performing schools are the best change agents for solving the education crisis in America. They’ve directly experienced the opportunity gap, and their audacity and compassion compels them to close that gap for good.
Building Broad Coalitions
The generational problem of educational inequity won’t be solved alone. We partner with a diverse array of organizations and people, from teachers to community leaders to elected officials and administrators. We’re collectively building knowledge and adding more voices to intensify the pressure that Our Turn places on inequities. We know that education is not in a silo and partnerships expand our impact on social justice issues including: immigration reform, mental health, economics, police relations, and more. We’re honored to sit at the intersection of youth-driven movements, both as a leader and supporter of history-making efforts for social justice.
It's our turn to be heard.
It's our turn for our voices to be valued.
It’s our turn to unite, build, and bridge for the next generation.