Summer 2023 Change Makers Institute

Change Makers Institute

Summer 2023

Over six weeks in Summer 2023, we brought together 60+ Change Makers from high schools across NYC’s five boroughs to investigate the intersections of electoral politics, voting, advocacy, and the social issues they care about most.

The Summer Change Makers Institute consisted of 5 three-hour sessions at the High School for Fashion Industries, where youth worked in action groups led by peer facilitators around one of the following issues: Climate Justice, Criminal Justice, Immigration Justice, Mental Health Justice, and Racial Justice.

Their learning was supplemented by a (Satur)Day of Action, during which action groups met with experts and community groups to engage more deeply with their chosen issue areas. The racial justice group took a historical walking tour of Harlem, the climate justice group conducted tree care with NYC Parks, and the immigration justice group spoke with an expert on NYC immigration — just to give a taste of the learning that transpired!

The cohort also spent time working on their “interactive stations” that would debut at the Institute’s culminating Civic Expo. Part teach-in, part civics science fair, and ALL youth voice, the Civic Expo gave youth the chance to share their learnings, their passion, and their solutions to these challenges in their own communities with civic movers and shakers from around the city.

Learn more about the 2023 Summer Change Makers Institute through the agendas, photos, and quotes below.

Summer Sessions: At a Glance

DateJuly 11July 18July 25
ThemePolitics and CultureCredibility and Accountability Advocacy and Identity
Agenda– YVote Welcome 
– Icebreaker:  Speed Friending 
– Community Agreements + Setting Intentions 
– Politics, Culture, and the Current Climate
– Amplifying Change-Making Approaches
– Closing Reflections
– Find the full agenda here
– YVote Welcome 
– Icebreaker: Power Word Association 
– Who’s Who in Local Politics
– Media Literacy
– Action Groups
– Closing Reflections
– Find full agenda here
– Welcome+Action Groups
– Icebreaker: I am…but I am not 
– Jigsaw Power mapping
– Project Development: 
(Action Groups )
– Community Building Activity
– Closing reflections
– Find full agenda here
DateAugust 1August 8August 15
ThemeTools for Mobilizing & OrganizingSkill BuildingYouth Civic Expo
Agenda– YVote Welcome 
– Action Group Work Time
– Recap + Framing
– Six Strategies of Social Change
– Six Strategies – Case Study
– Six Strategies – Scenario
– Closing Reflections
– Find full agenda here
– YVote Welcome 
– Entourage
– Expo Work Time
– Workshopping Civic Expo stations
– Civic Expo Walkthrough
– Closing
– Find full agenda here
– Dinner + Set Up
– Civic Expo
– Debrief
– Individual and Collective Reflection
– Find event program here

Summer 2023 Civic Expo

Quotes from the Cohort

“YVote is an excellent way to become involved in your community, by choosing a specific area of public concern… The YVote community itself is unbelievably welcoming and kind, and a great place to meet new people.” —Alwarith M., 12th grade

“Summer ChangeMakers is an amazing experience that inspires you to become more civically engaged, provides you with exceptional opportunities, and amplifies your voice.” —Arjun A., 12th grade

“It’s an immersive and exciting opportunity not just within civic engagement – looping in different skills/concepts like power and outreach, it is truly special for anyone even if they are not interested in politics.” —Christine L., 11th grade

“The most important things I learned this summer by observing my peers, is to put yourself out there, by public speaking more often. Another thing I learned is to have confidence at all times (even when you don’t), and to face your fears by being brave.” —Gwen P., 12th grade

“This is a very fun opportunity for anyone who knows they want to see a change in our future but maybe don’t know exactly what or how they plan to put for arc change. Change makers is a great start!” —Samari B., 11th grade

“YVote Changemakers is fantastic to get politically activated and communally engaged — a super supportive community that seeks to learn about the theoretical and practical ways of affecting change! At YVote, there’s always some interesting and insightful activity to challenge and build on our ideas about power, stakeholders, identity, advocacy, action, etc.” —Tina Z., 12th grade

(Satur)Day of Action