In our 2013 Field Scan, PFF and Funders’ Collaborative on Youth Organizing (FCYO) outlined the many obstacles that hindered the advancement and progress of Connecticut’s youth-led social change field. BLOC was designed in an effort to address and challenge these obstacles in a cohort-based, multi-year learning model that brought a number of different organizations together to build their ability to successfully participate in youth organizing and transform the landscape on a statewide level.
The Co-Design Team introduces themselves to the second Cohort.
Through participation in the BLOC initiative, the long-term goal of BLOC is to nurture an interconnected movement of strong and effective youth organizing groups engaged in campaigns that address root causes of injustice and inequity in their communities. Keep scrolling to see pictures from the Launch event and our recent Retreat!
Yanitza made Zines for each team member to take with them and collect contact information, access PFF social media, and keep track of meeting dates.
Blue Hills Civic Association introduces their “Head, Heart, and Feet” poster, sharing what motivates and guides their organization’s work.
Uplifting A Life youth describe their “Head, Heart, and Feet” poster.
Citywide Youth Coalition reads from their “Head, Heart, and Feet” poster, discussing their role in the New Haven community.
Make the Road CT drew Mickey Mouse as an embodiment of their “Head, Heart, and Feet” poster, because he was “Easier to draw than a stick figure!”
PREST shares about their mission and how it represents the “Head, Heart, and Feet” of their organization.
BLOC folders were prepped and ready with information, schedules, and an agenda for the meeting.
Make the Road CT posted a picture of themselves and Lucas having fun on their Instagram – follow the hashtags #BuildingBLOC for social media developments on the cohort’s journey!
The BLOC Retreat was held at The Watershed Center in Upstate New York.
Groups began arriving Friday afternoon and were welcomed with some BLOC supplies and a beautiful view of the surrounding Valley!
The Co-Design Team welcomes the participants on their first night of the Retreat.
The group starts the Retreat with a “name game” exercise that’s full of surprises!
Teams continued sharing and receiving feedback on their “Head, Heart, and Feet” posters from the first BLOC session. Citywide looks at Blue Hills Civic Association’s poster.
The Make the Road CT team looks at PREST’s “Head, Heart, and Feet” poster with sticky notes ready to leave comments.
PREST youth share back and take notes on some of the comments their poster got.
Blue Hills Civic Association makes notes on Make the Road CT’s poster.
Uplifting A Life shares out the notes left by other teams on their poster.
Uplifting A Life reviewing and making notes on Citywide Youth Coalition’s poster before making notes.
Blue Hills Civic Association shares back the notes that were left on their poster to the larger group.
“Walkout”, the 2006 film on the East LA Walkouts was screened on the first night of the Retreat.
Chiedza welcomes the group on Day 2 and asks for “pluses and deltas” – things they liked from yesterday and thing’s they’d change – to better guide the day’s events. She also explains the “Leadership Pipeline” activity they’ll be starting.
Folks listen intently to the descriptions of the Leadership Pipelines and their use in future BLOC sessions.
The working definition of organizing the team’s agreed on for the days’ sessions. Groups further defined “Youth Organizing” later on as well.
Make the Road CT brainstorming in preparation for their Leadership Pipeline.
Citywide Youth Coalition in the midst of working on their Leadership Pipeline activity.
PREST gets some final instructions before getting started on their Leadership Pipeline.
Blue Hills Civic Association plotting out key points in their Leadership Pipeline.
Uplifting A Life starts drafting out their Leadership Pipeline.
After returning to the Yurt, the group starts the afternoon session off with a fun, and highly competitive energizer.
PFF is one of many groups that’s come to Watershed as a home for learning, healing, an personal growth.
As an end-of-Retreat gift, folks were able to choose from a variety of energy stones, each one representing an intention they’d like to manifest in their work.