We create spaces that challenge youth to amplify their voices as creators of societal change.

Check out our work in 2021-2022


by the Numbers


“For me, Youth Speaks changed everything. I first got involved in 2017 as a high school freshman. I saw a teen poetry slam video and knew I wanted to participate. Being involved has been a catalyst for everything I’ve done since--from hands on creative growth and equally valuable, performance opportunities. I realized that I could be compensated for my art and that I could take it somewhere.

Youth Speaks teaches young people to trust themselves and trust the value of their own voices. Right now, so many young people feel rightfully frustrated in the way the world is headed. Youth Speaks give young people a platform, uncensored, to say whatever they feel.”


Youth Speaks, Teen Poetry Slam Champion 2019 Oakland Youth Poet Laureate


The Next Generation Speaks for Itself

  • 2022 Residency Participant
    “I really enjoyed getting to have the time to connect with my peers and myself on writings and just let out all of my thoughts and ideas on paper.”
    2022 Residency Participant
  • 2022 Residency Participant
    How there were no wrong answers so you could just say what you wrote without having to be scared that you got something wrong.
    2022 Residency Participant
  • 2022 Backyard Conference Participant
    I am a lot more connected to others than I think.
    2022 Backyard Conference Participant
  • 2022 Teen Poetry Slam Participant
    I am very nervous every time I perform but the rush and happiness after reading is exhilarating and the Youth Speaks events are always hype so it's an amazing experience to just be there
    2022 Teen Poetry Slam Participant

According to a 2021
UC Berkeley Study Students


Look forward to Youth Speaks arts education programs even when they aren’t excited about other classes at their schools.

Expressed increased confidence in sharing their voice and standing up for what is right.

Reported an increase in plans to participate in civic engagement activities after completing Youth Speaks programming.