Youth Voices Youth Power Project

Storytelling for Advocacy
Young People Share Real Stories of Life in DC

DC Action and American University collaborated to bring the AU Humanities Truck to nine community-based organizations in 2023 to give young people ages 13 to 24 the opportunity to share their experiences and opinions on life in the District of Columbia and their ideas about how to improve it. The project’s goals are to amplify youth voices, to collaborate with young people who want to use their personal stories to advocate for change, and to bring the voices of young people in the District to the attention of city leaders and other decision makers, so their voices can make a genuine impact on the policies that affect them every day.

Community partners in the Youth Voices–Youth Power Project include Black Swan AcademyCommunity Enrichment ProjectHealthy Babies ProjectLatin American Youth CenterMikva ChallengeProject CreateSitar Arts CenterSMYAL, and Young Women’s Project. Each young person who participated received a $20 stipend for sharing their story.

The Humanities Truck is equipped with audio and video recording equipment so youth storytellers can choose how they want to record their stories. Participants may interview each other or speak on their own. Young people on the Youth Voices–Youth Power Advisory Board developed interview questions and story prompts.

American University professor Dan Kerr transformed a food truck into a vehicle that runs on food for thought. American University has partnered with many community organizations over the past several years to bring the Humanities Truck to neighborhoods across the District so people can teach and learn from each other, share their stories, and participate in community building. Using the Humanities Truck to give young people the opportunity to share their stories is part of DC Action’s goal to engage young people in advocating for their own needs and dreams.

Audio and video recordings will be posted on curated playlists on our YouTube channel as well as included on the AU Humanities Truck Community Archives website. Recordings will also be featured in compilation videos and shared on social media, via TwitterInstagramFacebook, and LinkedIn.

For more information, contact Betsy Rosenblatt Rosso at brosso@dckids.org or Jane Palmer at jane.palmer@american.edu

Videos

We are dedicated to empowering young individuals by amplifying their voices. The Youth Voices Youth Power Project leverages the Humanities Truck as a tool to gather and magnify the narratives of young individuals. The collection of videos in this project presents their personal experiences and delves into topics related to identity, coping with trauma, public health concerns, educational experiences, interactions with adults, among others. You can view these inspiring stories below, or check them out on the DC Action YouTube channel.

Click any topic below to get started.

Ableism

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Ableism Play list

Attention DC Leaders

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Attention DC Leaders

Community

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Ableism Play list

DC Life

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DC Life

Economic Security

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Economic Security

Education

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Education

Environment

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Family

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Health

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Ableism Play list

Housing and Homelessness

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Jobs

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LGBTQIA+

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Education

Mental Health

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Attention DC Leaders

Migration

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Out-of-School Time

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Out-of-school-time Activities and Organizations

Pandemic

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Public Safety

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Public Safety

Racial Justice and Racism

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Racial Justice and Racism

Youth Voice

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Youth Voice