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Youth Speaks
2020 Programming

Register to stay up to date with all online programs for the 2020-2021 school year. Let’s us know what types of programs and projects you’d like to be a part of.


We honor the lives of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Tony McDade, Steven Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Sean Reed, Sean Monterrosa, and the countless others we’ve lost to the hands, knees, and bullets of US Law Enforcement since its inception. There’s no shortage of words to explain what has taken place time and time again; murder. Racism, white supremacy, and anti-Blackness are chief among many ills we must dismantle in order for our communities to not only be safe but to thrive and to live full, wholesome lives.

We honor the lives of Tony McDade, Nina Pop, and are praying for Iyanna Dior’s recovery. We must eradicate the hatred experienced by the Black LGTBQ+ community from law enforcement and from within our own communities.

We stand in love and solidarity with individuals, collectives, and organizations fighting for liberation on the ground, on the web, in personal relationships, and in the legislature. Check below for protest safety tips, ways to support, self-education, community, and individual healing resources, and various other ways you can advance the movement in this moment and beyond.


Writing Prompts Responding to Police Brutality. Recognizing Black Power.

This document was created by Jada Imani and Preeti Vangani of Youth Speaks in response to the state-sponsored violence against our Black community. The purpose of this document is to provide resources for young people to learn and practice several facets of solidarity during this time of protest and resistance. As we distance physically, we uphold connection by inviting youth to use their lives as primary texts and document how we can continue to contribute to this crucial movement.


Between My Body and the Air

“Between My Body and the Air” is a collection of poems by young voices from the Bay Area and Beyond pushing us to think deeply about our COVID-clad world and the structural violence impacting our communities even before the pandemic hit. This book is a special digital publication by Youth Speaks that celebrates the urgent stories and incredible range of young voices around the world.


Unified Mixtape Call for Submissions

ROUND 1 – Due January 3, 2021

Young Bay poets, MCs, singers, writers, submit your work to the Unified Mixtape; an audio project by Youth Speaks that uplifts the voices of the Bay’s young storytellers and captures the soundscapes of this unprecedented time. We need the most urgent and relevant stories of right now that will resonate for years to come. When crisis prevents us from gathering in person, we bring the noise online. So send in your poems, songs, raps, speeches, interviews, short stories, and more that illustrate what life is like for you right now. We can’t wait to dig into y’alls work!



SPOKES is Youth Speaks’ youth advisory board and this year’s cohort will focus on advising the programs team on online event curation and execution, with a secondary focus on growing leadership skills to develop voice, find power, and apply learnings towards connecting with San Francisco community based organizations to advocate for city-wide efforts to promote culture change in favor of SF youth. This year, we will be accepting 10 SFUSD students to participate in the 2020-2021 SPOKES cohort.


Under 21 Open Mics

First Fridays • 6PM PST
This is a chance for anyone 21 years old and younger to share what’s most urgent to them in a safe(r) and brave(r) space.


Online Writing Workshops

Wednesdays 3:30pm-5:30pm PST Starting September 23rd.
There are no wrong answers. The standard is yourself. Come as you are.


Writing Prompts to Bridge Social Distance

As a response to the global pandemic and recent “shelter in place” ordinances, we want to provide resources for young people to reflect, ground themselves, and find moments of inspiration by putting pen to page during this time of rapid change. As we distance physically, we uphold connection by inviting youth to use their lives as primary texts and document what their world looks and sounds like in this moment.


The voices of young people matter



Through the intersection of arts education and youth development practices, civic engagement strategies, and high quality artistic presentation, Youth Speaks creates safe spaces that challenge young people to find, develop, publicly present, and apply their voices as creators of societal change.


Youth Speaks exists to shift the perceptions of youth by combating illiteracy, isolation, alienation, and silence, creating a global movement of brave new voices bringing the noise from the margins to the core.


Youth Speaks: National

brave new voices

Brave New Voices is a network of arts organizations and an international poetry festival for young writers and poets.

emerging arts fellowship

Our Emerging Arts Programs is a two-year Youth Speaks professional development program in the SF Bay Area.

the bigger pciture

The Bigger Picture (a partnership with UCSF’s Center for Vulnerable Populations) inspires young people to change the conversation about Type 2 diabetes.

Support The Next Generation

Youth Speaks

Youth Speaks