On Tuesday, June 23 at 3 pm & again at 8 pm – YRC members and supporters joined the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church USA (GA 224) online. Over 3,000 people have tuned in to:
- Hear the voices and stories of Baltimore area youth who have compelling ideas about creating a more just and opportune environment for young people.
- Join with community and faith leaders who stand alongside these young people and the organizations that empower them, to amplify their voices, making their hopes our opportunity for action.
Youth and young adults in Baltimore – like young people across our country – are born with talent, ideas, and dreams for the future.
Too often these gifts go unrecognized and undeveloped. In Baltimore, for example, there have been decades of conversation about Squeegee Boys who work on corners washing windshields for a dollar or two. There has been plenty said about “youth problems” and not nearly enough said about a systemic failure to engage, encourage, and empower our young people. Not enough has been said about how racism and classism compound the problem. When we close our recreation centers, criminalize outdoor play, and pathologize entrepreneurial young people, we deny the gifts of our youth.
Who is Youth Rising Coalition?
We are the Youth Rising Coalition; an ambitious group of likeminded 14 to 24-year-old entrepreneurs and youth with a firm belief in job creation in Baltimore. In the city, employment is scarce. Youth do not wish to work in fruitless jobs earning below a living wage. Our solution is youth entrepreneurship and enterprise, allowing us to create opportunities for ourselves and our families, and be a model for other youth in the city. We are creative and full of hustle: all we need is the support of the community to improve our own lives and the lives of those like us. So, we are calling upon youth and adults, business owners, community leaders, and youth organizations, and people wanting to put their faith into action, to support and join our movement. The Presbytery of Baltimore is a proud partner and sponsor of the Youth Rising Coalition.
What are the Youth Rising Coalition Priorities?
- Youth Empowering Youth Network – a space for youth to learn from each other, provide guidance from their own experience, problem solve, inspire each other, and identify common causes to work for systemic changes. A way for youth to share their voices – to be seen and heard.
- Marketing & Access to Markets – youth want help moving from start-up and informal markets to reach new customers and develop their name and brand recognition. They want access to new market spaces (brick & mortar and on-line).
- Financial Support – start-up capital (grants & loans) for youth to get started and to grow their business to meet a larger customer demand. They also want to strengthen their financial management
and have greater access to banking and financing to move from an informal to formal economy.
- Mentors & Consultants – a desire to be matched with adults who can help youth entrepreneurs reach their business goals. Particularly adults with direct expertise and who understand their context.
How can you be involved?
We call on people in Baltimore and across the nation to act in solidarity with the young people of Baltimore and those who are fighting locally to dismantle the systems that do not allow all to be free and have access to lives that lead to wholeness.
Other ways you can be involved:
Invite your church as an organization AND individual members to sign our pledge of support for young entrepreneurs in Baltimore City.
Share this information with your youth between 14-24 years of age, encouraging them to become members of the coalition by completing this form. It doesn’t matter where they live—we welcome them to be a part of the coalition as members.
Buy Youth Rising merchandise and original works by YRC members at their new on-line store starting June 19 – June 27, 2020.