Summer Youth Organizing Academy (SYOA)

Check out full report and footage from SYOA Graduation 2009-click here.


Training youth as long distance runners for
a multi-racial, multi-generational movement


What Is the Summer Youth Organizing Academy?

Modeled after the Strategy Center's National School for Strategic Organizing, the Summer Youth Organizing Academy is designed to train and hone the skills of particularly Black, Latino, and API youth to become organizers.

SYOA participants spend their summer in on-the-ground practice: hitting the streets and getting on buses to organize with Bus Riders Union, the Community Rights campaign and the Clean Air, Clean Lungs, Clean Buses campaign.

This intense practice is matched by hours of theoretical study, reflection, and engagement in Strategy Center seminars.

In this comprehensive training program, SYOA participants learn how to identify and take on some of the most pressing questions of local, national, and international scope. SYOA trains young organizers and leaders in the anti-racist movement against national oppression, environmental degradation, and the escalating attacks on workers, women, LGBTQ, and immigrant communities.


At this point in history, oppressed nationality youth are confronted with a system that is continuing to wage war on our communities. While many have the desire to fight, often they are not exposed to programs where they can be trained as organizers. Either no one tells them that organizing is an option they can choose in life, or, they learn only that the civil rights movement belongs in the past with no application to their lives today.

The Strategy Center is invested in building a multi-racial, multi-generational movement in which building the capacity of youth as long distance runners is necessary.