YPP Network Description

The MacArthur Research Network on Youth and Participatory Politics (YPP) formed out of recognition that youth are critical to the future of democracy and that the digital age is introducing technological changes that are impacting how youth develop into informed, engaged, and effective actors.

Youth Radio
Subscribe to Youth Radio feed
It's Your Media
Updated: 23 min 22 sec ago

We Asked Teens In Philly If President Obama Made The Case For Hillary Clinton

August 1, 2016 - 9:00am

Reporter Olivia Sandom comes to us from WHYY’s education programs. Sandom asked teens what they thought of President Barack Obama’s speech at this week’s Democratic National Convention and if he made the case for a Hillary Clinton Presidency. Here’s what she learned.


Zaynab Sanogo, 15

Zaynab shared “I think that his advocacy for Hillary was well founded. I also think that he spoke to a lot of social issues, but didn’t really give an opinion more than he just said what he thinks people wanted to hear… because he’s a politician and a lawyer he’s good at manipulating facts to support his agenda.”

When asked how she felt about his support of Clinton she was unsure: “I don’t know I guess he has to because she’s the running member of his party, and the other option is Trump.”

She believes his support is less about her as a candidate, and motivated more by the need of a Democrat in office. “He did pick her to be secretary of state so theres at least some genuine advocacy.”

Zaynab concluded by admitting “Honestly, I hate to say it but having one of the more liberal Republican candidates for one term felt like the best bet.”


Santana Outlaw, 16

“I knew he supports Hillary Clinton but I didn’t hear a lot about her in his speech last night. Yeah, he was supporting her and saying she’s good at what she does, but other people have said the same thing. Him saying the same thing was kind of like another push of ‘Hey, please don’t make the wrong choice, just listen to me.’ Since Hillary was officially chosen to represent the Democratic party in this election, I wish he talked about that a little more. Then again, he is indeed ending his final term so I understand why his speech was directed more towards him and his time in office.”

Despite this, Santana was enamored with the president’s more personal points.

“I really like how he mentioned how he kept his motivation. He talked about people that spoke to him and a drawing he received from a girl’s parents after the girl was killed in Newtown shootings. It kind of showed how he had times that made him feel weak and stressed out but had small things that would give him another push.

While Obama’s Wednesday speech was to garner support for the Democratic nominee, it undeniably doubled as a farewell.

“Oh my God, I’m really gonna miss him. He did a recap of the things he accomplished while in office and…just, wow. I remember my grandma coming over to pick me up for school and it was the morning after he won the election. She was waiting for me and crying on the couch and I asked why and she answered with, ‘Because, it’s finally a black leader, the first black president.’ She had to live through so much, I’m glad she got to see this happen before she passed.”

Just like her grandmother had been with Obama, young Santana will be moved if Clinton is elected.

“I think it’s another milestone. One legend after another — first black president then followed-up with the first woman president. That’d be pretty cool, honestly.”


Chaz Wattley, 17

Chaz felt satisfied with the president’s oration: “Obama did what he had to do to protect his party. I think that the speech was a masterful move. He recognized that in this time of intra-party turmoil, the responsibility of party unity really falls of his shoulders. And he delivered with that speech. The goal of the speech was to expend the remainder of his own political capital in order to promote Hillary Clinton. It was also a self-defense speech. He had to defend his record and his actions to the party in order to establish the ethos needed to bring the party together for Hillary.”

Chaz continues, “I have to say that he is definitely attuned to the political realities that dictate what he can and can’t say”, #blacklivesmatter being one of those controversial topics. As for the Bernie supporters who are throwing their support elsewhere, “They are entitled to their vote. I mean, some people are simply too passionate to compromise. I certainly understand where they are coming from.”


Tyler Wilson, 16,

Tyler shared, “I was really excited the president came out because he’s a great figure to unite the party, because some of the Bernie supporters are starting to split it. Also, I’m glad he spoke out against Trump because he’s an idiot and some butt-hurt Bernie supporters are planning to vote for him, and I think it’s important Obama speak up about it.”

Concerning Obama’s jabs at Trump, Tyler claims, “They’re totally appropriate. Donald Trump has given no legitimate plans and he’s a terrible businessman which is what he’s mostly basing his qualifications on. And his policies are totally asinine and go against the ideals America was founded on (I mean except the racism, it was kind of founded based upon that…). He walks away still a one percenter while his employees — well, ex-employees — are still worrying about making ends meet, kids, college funds, etc.”

Tyler has been a Hillary supporter since the very start of the election.

“Hillary is the only candidate who can continue his legacy… She’s been on his administration, also she’s actually qualified unlike some others. Sure she may have lied a bit but overall she’s actually really great.”

From the president’s speech, Tyler gets that Hillary “despite Benghazi and what not, is actually incredibly qualified and that her knowledge of foreign affairs is unparalleled in this election. Also, that people overseas actually would respect Hillary and think that she, and the American army, under her control, would be ideal for the next 4 years… I mean, he even compared Trump to jihadists. I think it’s too early to tell if the speech was successful because I think it will only be considered successful if all, if not a majority of the Bernie supporters who would rather vote for Trump over Hillary, will realize that Hillary is the obvious choice and join her side.”

To those refusing to vote for her, he believes that “not voting isn’t protesting, it’s submitting. Trump’s only down by a few points which means the tides could easily change, so every single vote counts.”


Iman Acharya, 14

“My whole family and friend group are super into politics and this year I became really interested too. I’ve been following the election since November and so I’ve been watching all the DNC speeches. I was especially interested in Obama’s because I think he’s been an amazing president and is just an amazing guy overall.”

After watching the speech, Iman revealed, “Generally I thought he did a good job. He definitely tried to unite his and Hillary’s supporters by bridging their campaigns together.”

Iman was hesitant about this statement, however, and soon explained her disappointment: “I think that he fell short on endorsing Hillary. He definitely focused a lot more on how great America and Americans are, what he personally accomplished, and how awful Trump was. I understand his point in doing that but I think he could have talked about Hillary’s background and campaign slightly more. I also wish he could have focused more on how his gender may have impacted his winning the election in 2008. I know that would be out of line for him but Iwish he could have said more about it.”

When asked to explain, she elaborated: “I think that a big reason people don’t support Hillary has to do with reasons that have underlying sexist themes, even for people who believe in gender equality. I think that coming from someone people trust as much as Obama, him mentioning this could really open people’s eyes as to why they don’t support her. I honestly think that it has to do with underlying sexism. I’m not calling all Bernie supporters sexist, but the media — oh, God I hate blaming the media for things, but in this case it’s really at fault — makes us see women in a certain type of way. most people don’t like Hillary because she’s either ‘too much like my mom’ or ‘too much of a bitch.’ It’s like there is no possible way to be a strong woman in politics and be everything people are asking you to be. If Hillary was a man, with decades of incredible experience and amazing qualifications, people would vote for her without a doubt. If Bernie was a woman, who had all these wild ideas and wild hair, people would call him crazy.”

The message Iman received the most was that Clinton is qualified.

“I’ve been a Hillary supporter from the beginning, but this gave me an even larger appreciation for how experienced she is. I love when he said she’s more qualified than anyone else who has run for president, including himself and Bill, because it’s so true! She’s so incredibly qualified. It should be a no-brainer that she win this election.”

However, she recognized a deeper significance in the president’s oration. “I think he is trying to support other people who often have issues getting into powerful roles in government. I like to imagine that he is trying to make sure he will not be an outlier, a single black man in an ongoing streak of white men. He is trying to pass down the torch to someone else who deserves this role, but will have trouble getting it because of something as insignificant as her gender.”

When asked if she would miss Obama, she voiced, “definitely, but if there’s anyone I want to see be president next, it’s Hillary.”


Olivia’s work is part of Youth Radio’s special coverage of the 2016 political conventions.

Categories: Blog

My Pricey Education

July 31, 2016 - 8:00am

My grandmother likes to say, “all good things come with a cost.” In this case, that cost is my education. It’s around 30 grand a year.

My parents immigrated to the us from India to pursue a better life than their parents, and to give me a better life than them, specifically sending me to an elite private school with a pricey tuition. This was so important that they accepted the yearly five figure payment, even if it wasn’t always easy. I can’t remember the last time we’ve gone on vacation as a family.

I know that not everyone has the opportunities I’ve been given. For many families, public school is the only option. And there are some great ones in the Bay Area. But my prestigious education is important to my parents.

So instead of being bitter about cost, I’m trying to give my them their money’s worth.
There’s no way to precisely measure what an education is worth. But the money spent puts a pressure on me to do well, for myself and my parents. I work hard to meet the price tag of my education.

Categories: Blog

My First Time Going To J-Pop Summit

July 29, 2016 - 7:17pm

By Maya

Last Sunday I went to a festival called J-Pop Summit. J-pop is short for Japanese pop music.

The J-Pop summit is a festival that brings the latest in Japanese music, fashion, art, food and tech to the Bay Area. The event has been held every summer in San Francisco since 2009 and hundreds of fans look forward to attending the three-day festival.

I was only able to attend one day of the festival. Well to start the venue was nice. This year it was held in Fort Mason Center, which is a pier that has warehouse-like buildings. Usually large conventions are super crowded and the venue feels hot and stuffy, but this place was perfect. There was a main stage area with performances of popular Japanese artists like Silent Siren, an all girls singing group and World Order, an all male dance group. I was not able to see these performances but I was able to watch Silent Siren judge a singing contest called J-pop Idol 2016. It was very fun to watch and cheer on some amazing singers.

A section of the venue was dedicated to booths where you could learn more about Japan’s culture, which I really liked. There they had people that explained different things you could do in Japan and how to act when you go. These booths were mainly a way to convince you to visit Japan, which made me want to go a bit more, but it was interesting nonetheless. However on their website they advertised that there were going to be a lot of booths dedicated to anime, which is something I was really excited about, but there was nothing there. The only booth that was even slightly about anime was a booth that sold books about the manga the anime was based on. They were all mangas I have never heard about. That was pretty disappointing. Also things that were sold in booths were pretty expensive and the tickets to get in were also pricey.

Then there was the food. Outside of the center they had stations where they sold different popular Raman. If you didn’t like Raman they had different food trucks that sold Japanese style crepes, different bentos, and boba tea. I had some of the food and it was delicious. So this event is two days long, excluding the concert that happens on day one, and I did not have the time nor money to go both days. At first I was fine with that but it turns out if you don’t go one day, you will miss a lot of big performances and activities. I went on Sunday which was the more uneventful day of the three days, which I was also kinda upset about. Overall I had a somewhat fun time looking at different booths, watching performances, and eating awesome food but I was disappointed with the website’s false advertisement.

I would recommend this festival to someone who loves Japanese culture and J-pop artists. Also if you think about going you should really pay attention to the website to see at what time all the events are at and if it is really worth the money. This festival is almost like a convention like comic con, so plan ahead and save money so you can buy whatever you want.

Categories: Blog

Change Perchance?

July 29, 2016 - 7:14pm

By Tree

Change is a constant force at work in the universe. Cycles are undergone and repeated. Variation is inevitable. The sun setting and the moon rising; a shift from day to night is an alteration to the world, however insignificant it may seem. Life tends to be full of changes. I, roughly a year ago, experienced a grand derailment of my everyday life. Until that moment I had spent my childhood on Maui, a small island which is part of a chain in the central Pacific Ocean. Sandy beaches, rolling forests, and dense jungles were bountiful.   

For fifteen years I prospered there. I made many friends and some enemies, I learned the layout of the land and of the creatures inhabiting it. All of this familiarity was one day wrenched away from me. This occurrence was due to the agenda of others, I had no choice but to leave. My countless kin and comrades were left behind. That life altering day came when I emplaned to begin a journey to a new land, the bustling city of San Francisco. Upon my arrival I was met by the faces of strangers. The unknown surrounded me and the only recognizable feature was that of the face of my mother. There were many concrete buildings, standing tall and strong in this new land, casting dark, ominous shadows across the grounds below.

I longed for my native home and the places and people that I knew so well. I refuted my current position and choose to bury myself in more pleasant written and digital worlds, ignoring the situation at hand. I had grown comfortable with the small world that I had created for myself. It encompassed only a small portion of life and ignored all that could be. This was because all that was new was also unknown to me and thus frightening. At last, and with the aid of others, I ventured out into the unfamiliar. I engaged in opportunities that the mere ideas of which I found deterring due to my meekness and unwillingness to attempt new things.


Despite how different this contemporary home was, overtime I began to change. Adapting to this new environment presented itself as an essential component if I was to continue on. Life changes often, presenting new challenges and situations. Through this unavoidable process things can be both lost and gained.

Categories: Blog

Youth Radio Visits BAMPFA!

May 12, 2016 - 5:37pm
In late April, Youth Radio’s Digital Workforce Pathway students visited the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. Academic Liason Lynne Kimura provided an detailed and historical tour of their current exhibit “Architecture of Life”. Features included models of natural building structures following the Fukishima nuclear disaster, darkroom spiderweb art, and the first known photographs taken of snowflakes. Students were specially interested in interpreting the work of French Impressionist, Gustave Caillebotte.

Youth Radio thanks BAMPFA for providing our students with a full scholarship admission and an unforgettable learning experience!

Click to view slideshow.
Categories: Blog

Celebrating Youth Radio at NPR Headquarters

October 16, 2015 - 2:30pm


Youth Radio supporters in Washington, DC gathered at NPR headquarters to celebrate two decades of collaboration between both organizations. As NPR’s official youth desk, Youth Radio continues to deliver youth-led journalism to NPR and its member stations, amplifying youth voices across the U.S.

YR Board Member and President/CEO of Latin American Youth Center Lori Kaplan kicked off the celebration with remarks on the history of the Youth Radio-NPR collaboration, and how a strong partnership over the past 20 years has changed the lives of so many.



Lori was followed by Kenya Young, Executive Producer of Weekend All things Considered, who spoke passionately about the great journalism that the two organizations have done together.


Chris Turpin, NPR’s Vice President of News Programming and Operations, sent a video message speaking directly to the impact that YR has had on the quality of NPR’s content overall.

Youth Radio Founder and Chief Content Officer Ellin O’Leary also gave remarks on the power of such a partnership, thanking NPR collaborators for their dedication to YR’s youth voices.

Youth Radio East Coast Alums Soraya Shockley and Sayre Quevedo also joined the celebration to share some of their previous work and experience while at Youth Radio.




YR Board Member and Senior Vice President for Smithsonian Enterprises Mark Bauman Mark spoke about the need for financial support for the future of youth media, and presented Youth Radio YR with a personal check on stage.

Senior Producer for NPR’s All Things Considered Graham Smith wrapped up the program with an inspired insider’s take on the unique space that YR fills in the NPR content landscape, imploring the audience to think creatively around how to support this kind of endeavor.

The evening was filled with over 70 guests and supporters of youth-driven media. Youth Radio is so honored to have such advocates of youth voice in Washington, DC!



Categories: Blog

NewCo Oakland at Youth Radio

October 15, 2015 - 11:29am
Click to view slideshow.

Youth Radio was proud to be a part of NewCo Oakland 2015! With a mission to “identify, celebrate, and connect the engines of positive change in our society,” NewCo brought together some of Oakland’s biggest innovators in tech and media to share their work with community and industry leaders.

Our staff and youth participants welcomed a group of guests across tech, nonprofit, and business industries to see what Youth Radio is all about. Attendees joined YR Project Associates Shyra and Elizabeth on a tour of Youth Radio headquarters. including its ground-level media production classroom, and second floor newsroom and state of the art recording studio.

Next door at YR’s 1719 Broadway Arts Venue, NewCo guests engaged in a presentation and discussion hosted by Youth Radio Interactive Program Manager Asha Richardson and YR Fellow Storm White. Here, our guests got an inside look at the latest youth produced media, from radio, video, and online web interactives. Three lucky volunteers also got to test out YR’s latest youth-designed mobile app, Bucket Hustle!

Thanks to NewCo staff and guests for joining us and learning about what YR participants are creating!

Categories: Blog

YR Interactive Presents New Mobile App: Bucket Hustle!

September 15, 2015 - 4:44pm

Youth Radio Interactive (YRI) has just launched a brand new mobile app, Bucket Hustle, which raises awareness on a major environmental concern: the California Drought.

From the design, to the content and code, Bucket Hustle was created by a team of young people at YRI, a program where young people partner with designers and developers to create apps and interactive news content.

With this fun, educational game, users test their knowledge while catching raindrops and answering questions about the west coast crisis. They rack up as many points as possible in a frenzied 45 seconds, and get the questions right to bring the parched environment back to life!

After covering the California Drought for National Public Radio (NPR) and National Geographic, Youth Radio decided to educate the public on this issue by using technology. “The best part of making this app was that we were given a real-life, relevant issue to build from. It gave us an actual incentive to create the app, which I think made developing it more fun,” says YR Interactive Fellow, Storm White.

Android users can now download Bucket Hustle from the Google Play Store.

To see more apps created by YR Interactive, visit the YRI portfolio.


Categories: Blog

Youth Radio Visits Pandora!

August 28, 2015 - 12:52pm

Youth Radio’s Digital Workforce Pathway students attended an exclusive career presentation at Pandora Radio just a few blocks away in Downtown Oakland.

Hip Hop Curator J Boog and Director of Device Engineering Carl Edwards led  a thoughtful discussion on professional development as they shared their own unique career trajectories. 

Tech Recruiter Andre Gordenstein then presented on the soft skills necessary to the apply for jobs in and beyond the tech industry. Students left the station with multiple professional contacts and an open invitation to return to Pandora as future interns. 

Thanks to Pandora staff for sharing their experiences and advice with our students! For more information on our Digital Workforce Pathway, visit the Pathway’s program page.
Categories: Blog

Showcasing Youth Voices at Beast Crawl 2015

July 13, 2015 - 12:13pm
Click to view slideshow.

Youth Radio hosted a series of readings during the 4th annual Beast Crawl! As part of this East Bay Literary Festival, YR held a showcase of written works from its many talented youth artists and journalists.

The event focused on the theme, “Growing Up: Creative Reflections and Commentaries,” where Youth Radio’s writers and performers shared their experiences through performance, poetry, and reading aloud their written works.


Categories: Blog

Front Row Center at Warriors Press Conference With Draymond Green!

July 9, 2015 - 10:05am

Power Forward for the Golden State Warriors, Draymond Green, signed an $85 million dollar contract for the next five years. This is a huge pay-raise from the 3.6 million dollars he made in the first 3 years of his career. The deal makes Green one of the highest paid Warriors players. However, he says he does not play for the money and that he would even play for free. Green also said that the feeling of winning the NBA championship was much greater than that of signing a multi-million dollar contract.

During the press conference, Green took the time to thank his mom for playing a huge role in his success. He said his mom taught him to work as hard as he does and that her expression, “men that don’t work, don’t eat,” has helped him get to where he is today.

Watch Draymond Green talk about what it means to stay with the Warriors.


Categories: Blog

Now Live: The Official Youth Radio App

June 4, 2015 - 10:56am

The Youth Radio App, designed and developed by teens, is now live! The app invites listeners to “join” stories produced by Youth Radio’s award-winning newsroom, by adding photos and responding to polls.

Developed in collaboration with partners at MIT App Inventor, the idea for the Youth Radio App came from teens at Youth Radio Interactive (YRI), a program where young people learn every aspect of mobile design and development.

For its launch, the app focuses on health and the environment, with stories on early puberty, the California drought, and the effects of prescription drug abuse on teens and their communities. By featuring these stories, Youth Radio aims to generate conversation, garner public opinion, and advance its reporting related to these important topics.

Youth Radio teens will then use the user-submitted data to create infographics and other tools that highlight opinion and conversation on these topics, which in the future will include juvenile justice, politics, and education.

“The YR App is a perfect example of Youth Radio Interactive’s model, where young people combine storytelling, design and code to create mobile projects that highlight today’s important issues,” says YR Interactive Manager Asha Richardson. “This app is exciting because it was created by youth to highlight their perspectives, and invites people across the country to tell their stories as well.”

Android users can download the Youth Radio app in the Google Play Store, and interact with news stories and topics. We want to hear your story–download the app today!

Categories: Blog

YR Featured in New James Irvine Foundation Report

June 2, 2015 - 12:05pm

A new report released by the James Irvine Foundation features Youth Radio along with three other community-based organizations in California that work to solve youth unemployment and low post-secondary completion rates.

Former Youth Radio participant De’Markus’s story was featured in the report:

“With a focus on making music, De’Markus entered Youth Radio while in high school. After completing initial training, he stopped coming for a period of time, during which he became a father at age 17 and spent time in incarceration. At age 20, De’Markus reengaged with Youth Radio: “Youth Radio did a lot for me and I always wanted to come back,” he says. Youth Radio’s Digital Media and Technology Pathways Program for older youth gave him that opportunity.

Much more mature, he found “motivation to do better,” he says. After successfully completing the training, he entered an internship with Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) in the Office of External Affairs.

“I knew I had to stay motivated for my daughter and myself, and represent Youth Radio.” De’Markus not only successfully completed his internship, but was promoted to chief intern and then hired full-time at BART. He now supervises the next round of interns from Youth Radio’s Digital Media and Technology Program and guides them toward success.”

Read the full report, Opening the Door: How Community Organizations Address the Youth Unemployment Crisis, HERE. Thank you to the James Irvine Foundation for its support, and congrats to our organizational partners also featured in the report: Youth UpRising, First Place for Youth, and Taller San Jose.

Categories: Blog

In Memoriam: Wesley Burton

April 30, 2015 - 11:02am

Wesley Burton with his wife Lucrecia and their three children Santiago, Enrique, and Samaya.

On the 18th of April, 2015 Wesley Burton was killed by a hit-and-run driver in Oakland. He left behind a vibrant young family: his wife Lucrecia and their three children Santiago, Enrique, and Samaya. He is also survived by his mother, Lydia Sweatt; step-father, John Sweatt; brother, Stanley Burton Jr., sisters, Jenera Burton, and Chrysta Marie Burton; and grandmother, Charity Lois Burton.

His radio family at KPFA in Berkeley, where he was a board operator for the station and host of After Hours Radio and Side Show Radio, also mourn his passing. Wesley’s ties to the Bay Area radio scene run deep, and he was a key part of the Youth Radio family as well.

Wesley was both a student and one of our early peer teachers back in the 90′s. Wesley made such a big impact on the shape of Youth Radio’s little family back that then it is actually hard to remember when he actually started here. The Youth Radio so many of us recognize started with the class Wesley was a part of, and he stuck around—helping to train a generation of students who have gone on to be a vital part of Bay Area broadcasting.

His absence is felt, but his legacy remains.

A Go Fund Me account has been established for his wife and children, and we urge you to consider contributing. Wesley was the breadwinner in the family.

A private memorial service for family and friends is being held on Thurs. April 30th at 11AM at St. Patrick Church in Oakland.

There will be a public memorial held at KPFA Radio (1929 MLK Jr. Way, Berkeley) on Saturday May 2nd from noon to 6PM for members of the community. Folks are being asked to bring food to share, and if they’d like, to wear professional Oakland sports team apparel.

This page will serve as our—far too small—tribute to Wesley.
Members of the Youth Radio community who have anything to share—photos, stories, you name it—are encouraged to contact Noah Nelson (noah at youth radio dot org) and he will add them to the collection here.

Wesley with his family.

Wesley (in the back) with some of the ladies of Youth Radio back in the day.

Wesley (far left) in his Peer Teacher days at Youth Radio’s original offices. The pizza in the hands of the students means it must be a Friday night.

Wesley (back, center) with his Side Show Radio crew at KPFA.


Categories: Blog

Students Learn from the Best in Tech

April 30, 2015 - 10:15am

Youth Radio participants recently had the opportunity to learn from some of the best in tech. Seven young tech professionals from Apple came to Youth Radio to share their experiences, wisdom, and advice for our teens.

These Apple professionals represented a wide range of jobs throughout Apple, from software engineers to hardware specialists, and marketing and recruitment professionals.

Our teens spoke to our Apple experts about what it is like to work for one of the biggest tech companies, and the variety of job opportunities available for young people wanting to work in tech.

Youth Radio participants were able to get an insider’s look at what it means to work in tech, and discuss with Apple professionals what it’s like to be a professional of color in this industry. They also had a chance engage in a Q&A with these tech experts, and gain important career tips and advice.

Categories: Blog

YR Students Tour SoCal Colleges

April 29, 2015 - 6:41pm

Youth Radio interns recently hit the road to Southern California for YR’s 5th Annual Southern California College Tour. Our students visited a variety of CSU, UC and Private Universities in the region. Youth Radio’s academic advising services plan regional college tours throughout California each quarter. Here’s a photo recap of this month’s tour.

Click to view slideshow.
Categories: Blog

Youth Radio Hosts Youth & Police: Building Community Trust

March 31, 2015 - 1:02pm

On Thursday, March 26, Youth Radio brought together young people, community leaders and representatives from police departments throughout the East Bay for a candid discussion about building trust and safety in our communities.

The forum kicked off with a panel discussion co-moderated by Youth Radio Senior Producer Brett Myers and Deputy Director Jabari Gray. Panelists included YR participants Joi Smith and Soraya Shockley, Performing Arts Producer from RYSE Youth Center Donte Clark, Youth Alive Participant Alonso Santiago, Oakland Police Department Lieutenant Leronne Armstrong, and Richmond Police Department Chief Chris Magnus.

The panel discussion got to the heart of some big issues such as racial profiling, increasing police officer accountability, and what it would take to change the culture of youth & police interaction.

Youth participants asked tough questions for Chief Magnus and Lieutenant Armstrong, including, “for day-to-day actions, are officers trained in leniency and restraint?” and “do you ever follow procedures that you don’t agree with?”

Audience members addressed what they think safety and trust would look like in Oakland. One audience member shared that this conversation is “a good step, but it’s a long walk” to building community trust.

The evening concluded with some key takeaways from our youth participants. YR Panelist Soraya emphasized that when police officers “put on that uniform…they are a part of my community, OUR community,” while Joi reiterated,“I want you to know that we are hurt, we are mad,” and RYSE Youth Center Participant Donte expressed that officers “are not above the law, you are people, we are people.”

Youth Radio thanks all of its participants, attendees, and community supporters who contributed to this important dialogue. For more information on future events and forums, contact events@youthradio.org.


Categories: Blog

Youth Radio Wins 2015 Gracie Award

March 4, 2015 - 3:32pm

Youth Radio Wins 2015 Gracie Award
Organization Recognized for News Feature on Campus Sexual Assault

On Wednesday, March 4, Youth Radio was awarded a 2015 Gracie Award from the Alliance for Women In Media Foundation (AWMF) for a story that explores an under-reported aspect of campus sexual assault: the conversation between parents and their children. “As Kids Head To Campus, Parents Broach The Subject Of Sexual Assault” takes a look at how parents are–and are not–talking with their children about assault and consent.

Aired August 19, 2014 on All Things Considered as part of National Public Radio’s special series looking into campus sexual assault, the story, reported by Youth Radio’s Sayre Quevedo, features interviews with young people and their family members about how they address sexual assault and related topics, ranging from trust and intimacy with partners to reporting instances of abuse.

This story was honored for the category of Public/Non-Commercial Outstanding Soft News Feature for the Gracie Awards, which “recognize exemplary programming created for women, by women and about women in all facets of media and entertainment.”

Youth Radio is proud to be included in the list of highly esteemed 2015 awardees. “This is a huge honor for Youth Radio,” Youth Radio Managing Editor Rebecca Martin said. “It was really important to our newsroom to be part of the national conversation on campus sexual assault and provide a unique youth perspective. This story is a great example of that commitment.”

Categories: Blog

YR Interactive Leads Winning Teams at My Brother’s Keeper Hackathon

February 26, 2015 - 10:17am

YR Interactive’s Storm White and Lo Benichou
Photo Credit: Johnathon Henninger

This past weekend, Youth Radio teamed up with young people across the Bay Area, and professionals across tech and design industries, for the My Brother’s Keeper Hackathon at Qeyno Labs.

Young people kicked off the Hackathon by pitching ideas for apps or websites that would address community needs. Teams then got to work, further developing the framework and design for these ideas.

After a weekend of hard work, Hackathon teams presented their app and websites designs.

Youth Radio youth and staff led the first and second place winning teams to victory. First place went to an idea pitched by YR Interactive Project Associate Storm White and Jabril Sohan from Contra Costa College. Their team, with support from YR Interactive New Developer Lo Benichou, created the plans for “My Study Buddy,” and app that would provide Peralta College students with resources to plan study groups and build community based on their classes and majors.

Prototype for “My Study Buddy”
Designed by YRI’s Storm and Lo

Storm was even featured in USA Today for the idea. The story talked about her aspirations to combine graphic design with computer science to “figure out how computers work and how I can artistically manipulate technology.”

The second placed winning team, which included YR Interactive Manager Asha Richardson, brought 8th grader Haji Conda’s “Fund Me PC” to life. This website aims to bridge the digital divide by allowing students to create crowdfunding campaigns for needed computers, which people could donate via the website or text message.

Other app ideas included a game to make history fun; “happy for life,” an app where young people could notify their friends when they are feeling down and send affirmations to support each other; and an app to make youth feel more safe in their communities.

Youth Radio Interactive was proud to be a part of this wonderful experience collaborating with young people and professionals across different career and education paths.

Categories: Blog

Youth Radio at Safer Internet Day 2015

February 11, 2015 - 5:41pm

(Left to Right) Youth Radio Interactive Manager Asha Richardson, YRI Intern Storm White, and YR Reporter Rafael Johns

On Tuesday, February 10, Youth Radio was invited to Facebook headquarters to celebrate Safer Internet Day with ConnectSafely.org.

This international day of education around internet safety brought state leaders, youth, and tech activists and experts together to discuss issues of online security and privacy.

YR Reporter Rafael Johns spoke on the panel “Using Technology to Affect Social Change,” in a discussion about how diverse communities use online outlets to creatively engage around pressing personal and political issues. Additional panels addressed topics including cyber bullying, trolling and social cruelty, and a conversation with leaders from Google, Twitter, and Instagram.

Special guests included California Attorney General Kamala Harris, who gave the keynote speech, and Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg who also gave remarks.

Safer Internet Day was created in 2004 as a project of the European Commission, and is now hosted annually every second Tuesday of February. Eleven years later, Safer Internet Day is celebrate in over 100 countries.

Categories: Blog