Below you’ll find youth-centered resources and links that we hope you find helpful. The resources are arrranged by topic and relevant organizations are included based on topic area. Know of any other resources that could be helpful? Send them our way at email@example.com.
Make the Road CT – Youth Power Committee
A youth-led group that combines art and social justice for community transformation. Young people plan weekly meetings and member events as well as support ongoing campaigns throughout the organization.
Focuses: Youth Organizing, Educational Justice, Community-Building, Immigration Justice.
A community-based organization, Blue Hills’ youth program has been focusing on youth organizing and addressing inequities in schools and the wider Hartford community.
Focuses: Youth Voice, Community Engagement, Organizing.
Grow Hartford is a food justice organization that focuses on “growing the leadership of youth to build a just food system in our community and beyond.” Grow’s 16 Slices of Justice campaign focuses on food and social justice efforts in Hartford’s public schools.
Focuses: Youth Organizing, Food Justice, Education Justice.
A youth-led organization that combines social justice and multimedia content to help young people identify and leverage their authentic truths, share their narratives, and create change.
Focuses: Youth Voice, Multimedia, Entrepreneurship.
Where: New Britain, Hartford.
Citywide Youth Coalition:
A youth justice organiztaion that believes in the value of youth voice and its power to dismantle systems of inequity through an anti-racism lens.
Focuses: Youth Organizing, Educational Justice, Community-Building, Racial Justice.
Students for Educational Justice:
A youth-led organizing group that has been working towards educational justice across the state and collaborating with local organizations to develop school curricula that centers Black and Latinx identities.
Focuses: Youth Organizing, Educational Justice, Community-Building, Racial Justice.
A youth-led organizing group that creates impactful campaigns dedicated to creating better schools and realities for young people through safer and more accountable communities.
Focuses: Youth Organizing, Educational Justice, Abolition Work.
A youth-led performing arts group that centers young people’s identities and challenges inequity and spreads awareness through original, creative works.
Focuses: Performing Arts, Social Justice, Community-Building, Self Expression.
A youth-led and centered coalition of organizations that develops resources, campaigns, and aid for young people across the state.
Focuses: Youth Organizing, Social Justice, Collective Power, Healing Work, Racial Justice.
CT Students for a Dream made it possible for undocumented students to receive state financial aid, making affordable college education an attainable reality. They have college access programs in schools across the state.
Focuses: Youth Organizing, Educational Justice, Immigrant Rights.
Katal is “a community organization and collaborative partner [that utilizes] organizing, advocacy, leadership development, and research to secure transformative and lasting change.” Their work covers all of Connecticut and throughout New York State, and they provide training and opportunities to communities as well.
Focuses: Organizing, Health Justice, Criminal Justice Reform, and Systems Work.
A youth-led organization dedicated to inspiring young women through education, self awareness, and community buidling.
Focuses: Youth Voice, Female Empowerment, Advocacy.
A youth-led organization dedicated to food justice; youth bring their full selves to the program as they cultivate fresh fruits adn vegetables and sell their products at local markets.
Focuses: Youth Voice, Food Justice, Entrepreneurship.
Housing & General Supports
Youth Continuum provides an array of free services for youth – no insurance is necessary. Services include: help getting health insurance, finding health care providers, navigating state systems, help finding schools, and resolving family or relationship issues.
Phone: (203) 777-8445, ext. 2
Go Ask Alice!
Supported by the University of Columbia, Go Ask Alice! is a team-supported effort of health specialisits that have tons of answers to tons of questions like “How do I learn to meditate?” or “I feel like my cuts arnd bruises are healing more slowly…” There are also quizzes, polls, and the opportunity to ask your own question.
Hartford Mutual Aid
A Hartford-based mutual aid group that is rooted in the tenet of “neighbors helping neighbors in Hartford.” There are opportunities to receive and contribute supports, and after joining the Facebook group you are able to connect and proceed from there. Care-takers and the most marginalized communities are prioritized.
Life in My Days
Life in My Days is “a peer and youth-led international non-profit built on a foundation of Peer Support, Disability Justice, Racial Justice, Divestment form capitalism and Patriarchy, Indigenous People’s Justice, and LGBTQ Justice.” Among a number of supports that include mental health, Life in My Days also operates a Mutual Aid program.
School Support Resources
E-Books and Supplies
An online database that allows access to virtual free books. You can browse by subject including art, science fiction, fantasy, and more.
Also an online database, Project Gutenburg also allows offline access for specific titles and you can even download them as well.
Organization and Focus
With so much happening online, it can be a pain to open each page over and over again. Session Buddy allows you to save groups of tabs to make them easier to get back to later.
Things is an app aims to simplify to-do lists and keep them handy. While it is for Apple/iOS users only, there are other options for Android users.
Remember the Milk
Remember the Milk also digitizes to-do lists and keeps them accessible no matter where you are. You can also share lists with other people for easy access and help staying on-task. This app is available to Apple and Google users.
Also available on Apple and Google platforms, Any.do is a mobile application that allows you to organize tasks, lists, and even teams of users to help keep you prodictive.
Homework Help & College Access
The Princeton Review
Aside from college prep resources, the Princeton Review also offers free homework help in over 80 subjects from grades 4 to 12.
Khan Academy is a Youtube channel with free videos on all sorts of topics: biology, engineering, math and humanities. There are additional channels for help on more specific topics like test prep and chemistry.
Get Schooled is a “fre, digital college advisor” that can help with everything for securing financial aid, completing applications, and starting school. You’ll need an email and password to get started.
College Essay Guy
College essays are an important part of the application process, they help admissions staff get to know you, but they can be hard to get started. College Essay Guy offers free essay help and video “courses” for well-written, effective college essays.
ACT Test Prep
Standardized testing is still a required part of the admissions process, and the ACT is one option. The ACT website offers online test prep and practice tests.
Mental Health Resources
Black Girls Smile
This is a list of a number of different mental health resources, organizations, and providers that “serve and stand for Black women and girls”.
A volunteer-led organization, IM Alive is about providing one-to-one support for those going through particularly challenging moments. You can connect online via chat. They also hold events virtually and on college campuses.
My.Life is a mindfulness app that is all about understanding that emotions, thoughts, states of being change a lot and the more you understand how you’re feeling, the better you can address it. The app can recommend specific activities based on your current emotional state. This app is available on Apple and Android devices.
Black Girl in Om
Black Girl in Om is dedicated to providing “free meditation for Black girls and women everywhere”. There website offers various other ways to connect and engage with their platform as well.
Turning Point CT
Turning Point CT is a helpful resource especially if you’d like to take the first step in your mental wellbeing journey but don’t know where to start. This site has helpful information, stories, frequently asked questions, and concrete resources to help you get much-needed answers. To contact them immedately, call or text using the information below:
Text: “CTL” 741741
Phone: (800) 273-8255
National Runaway Safeline
Available 24/7, this safeline has a number of options to get in contact: calling, live chat, email, or connecting to others in a forum. Their goal is to provide confidential support from a trained team member without judgement or pressure.
Phone: (800) 786-2929
Anchor Health Initiative
Anchor Health is a medical practice committed to supporing the LGBTQIAA+ community by providing a range of services that are not dependent on what you can pay.
Phone: (203) 674 – 1102
The Trevor Project
The Trevor Project is a fairly robust resource that has detailed supports for LGBTQIAA+ young people and their allies. The Trevor Support Center provides a range of information on topics ranging from sexual orientation, coming out, and navigating environments like school. You can call, text, or chat online.
Phone: (866) 488 – 7386
Text: “START” to 678-678
The New Haven Pride Center
The New Haven Pride Center provides LGBTQIAA+ youth-centered programming and resources – there are also scholarships available for participating young people, and ongoing programming has been moved ot a virtual platform due to COVID19.
Q+ is a youth-led and centered space that seeks to provide LGBTQIAA+ young people with an affirming environment that supports their full selves. Programming is still evolving, but Q+ currently offers peer discussions, game nights, and trainings for participants.
Black & Brown Queer Camp, Citywide Youth Coalition
Citywide Youth Coalition annually offers Black & Brown Queer Camp each summer for queer youth of color between from ages 13 to 24. There is a short, virtual form that must be completed to apply for the opportunity.
Planned Parenthood is more than a pregnancy-prevention resource – their “For Teens” resource page has information on relationshpis, gender identity, sexual orientation, and reproductive health. There’s also an app named “Roo” that can privately answer questions.
Phone: (800) 230 – 7526
Love Is Respect
This website has a number of resources on super common questions around navigating relationships, personal safety, and dating 101. One of the site’s co-sponsors you might have heard of before, “Bumble” and the other is the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
Text: “LoveIs” to 22522
Brightly is all about reading, and their articles are filled with Young Adult book recommendations like nonfiction memoirs or sci-fi thrillers. This particular article talks about some popular books on physical and mental wellness, and you can even sign up for emails with your own book recommendations.
Social Justice Learning Resources
"Is it really about race?", Ijeoma Oluo
An excerpt from a larger work, Oluo discusses the necessity of centering race as an independent conversation in the fight for social justice, and not merely an “add on” issue.
"Speaking Up Against Racism Around the Coronavirus", Learning for Justice
Many of you noted in your submissions how fear and panic around COVID19 has manifested as anti-Asian racism and inspired numerous acts of violence. While this resource is intended for educators, it provides helpful insights on how to have this conversation in classroom settings and address issues of xenophobia and prejudice head-on.
"Unpacking the backpack of white privilege", Peggy Mcintosh
This piece breaks down the concept of white privilege into practical terms, and even includes a list of common examples in which whiteness affords individuals privileges and benefits over people of color, benefits which were not earned, but rather socially-given based on the color of their skin.
"White people are still raised to be racially illiterate", Robin diangelo
The author of “White Fragility: Why It’s so Hard for White People to Talk About Racism”, Robin DiAngelo again challenges white silence around race in America, and how this silence comes from an inherent inability to even perceive the damage caused by the very system they benefit from, which is learned and deliberately perpetuated.
"Why We Never Talk About Black-on-Black Crime", The Root
“Black-on-Black crime” is a common phrase that is often used to discredit the very real violence that Black people face on a daily basis, but particularly during conversation on overpolicing, excessive force, and racial profiling. Michael Hariot debunks this claim through data, common sense, and the acknowledgement that while violent crime is complex, the knee-jerk response of “You all kill each other too!!” is as reductionist as it is irrelevant.
Gender & Reproductive Justice
"Understanding Patriarchy", bell hooks
bell hooks (lower case is intentional) is a renowed intersectional feminist, social justice activist, and professor whose work on gender and race has inspired many contemporary perspectives. In this essay, hooks breaks down how patriarchy and how the restrictions it demands harm everyone involved.
"Queering Gender", Brown Taboo Project
This podcast tackles the understanding of gender, how we perform the social roles we’ve been given, as well as what it means to “queer gender” and our own conceptions of identity and sexuality. The featured guest is Sonalee Rashatwar (she/they), a licensed social worker and sex therapist, with a particular reference to SASMHA (South Asian Sexual **and Mental** Health Alliance), “a collective of youth organizers who seek to creat a safe space for youth ages 13 – 30 of the South Asian diaspora.”
"The X in Latinx is a Wound, Not a Trend", Alan Pelaez Lopez
Lopez writes a powerful piece on the importance of “Latinx” as an assertion of the validity of Transgender and Gender-Nonconforming members of the Latinx community, while also acknowledging that the very existence of the term is a reminder of the pain and loss that comes from violent oppression.
"Violence Against Women - It's a Men's Issue", Jackson Katz
In this video, self-identified “anti-sexist activist and expert on violence, media, and masculinities”, Jackson Katz, talks about how critical pillars of contemporary masculinity like sports, media, and the armed forces all serve to reinforce the encouragement of domestic violence.
"Why Heteronormativity is a Bad Thing", Teen Vogue
In this piece, Kristen Cochrane tackles heteronormativity (“of, relating to, or based on teh attitude that heterosexuality is the only normal and natural expression of sexuality”) and how assumptions of someone’s gender and/or sexuality or that being “straight” is the “right” choice are harmful and based on learned prejudice.
"The Illustrated LGBTQ+ History of Korea", Queereans
The culminating result of a six-month project, @JKimdraws has created a comic-like anthology which combines beautiful illustrations and powerful historical narratives to bring to life the rich and complex story of Queer and Trans Koreans.
"How to Use Gender-Neutral Words", Teen Vogue
Adryan Corcione explains how gendered words and phrases actually erase and marginalize Nonbinary, Gender-Nonconforming, and Two-Spirit people, and that using gender-neutral terms is one small thing that we can do to challenge the repressive realities that otherwise plague our society.
"Laverne Cox Explains the Intersection of Transphobia, Racism, and Misogyny (And What to Do About It)
While Laverne Cox initially became famous for her role on “Orange is the New Black”, she is also an advocate for LGBTQIAA+ rights and in this piece she tackles the reality that Trans Women of Color are very vulnerable as a result of their numerous marginalized identities, however there are concrete ways to combat this reality.
Changing the Framework: Disability Justice
In this piece, Mia Mingus challenges us to expand our understanding of Disability Justice beyond convenient architectural changes or “logistics” (accessibility) and to an interconnected understanding of the shared needs of all marginalized communities in the mutual pursuit of “wholeness”.
"Disability solidarity: Completing the 'Vision for Black Lives'", The Harriet Tubman Collective
The Harriet Tubman Collective is “a Collective of Black Deaf & Disabled organizers, community builders, activists, dreamers” who wrote an open letter to the Movement for Black Lives’ leadership challenging the omission of people with disabilities from the movement’s platform. Even social movements still have things to learn, and don’t always get it all right!
"Disability/Access Organizing", Showing Up for Racial Justice
Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) is a white solidarity organization dedicated to using their privilege to challenge systems of oppression and be accountable in the fight for social justice – this guide both explains what Disability Justice is as well as provides helpful resources for organizing work that seeks to dismantle ableist structures.
Forced Intimacy: An Ableist Norm, Mia Mingus
In this piece Mia Mingus shares the term she developed to describe the ways in which disabled people are required to share intimate parts of themselves to ableist gatekeepers of resources in order to gain access, support, or very-much deserved basic necessities.
Immigration and Refugee Rights, Racial Equity Tools
Racial Equity Tools has compiled a guide that contains research, community resources, immigration history, policy, and much much more which collectively provide a complex understanding of the American immigration system from a local and global perspective as well as ways to challenge the decades of harm and violence it has sanctioned.
"When Fear of the Coronavirus Turns into Racism and Xenophobia", Code Switch
Created by NPR, “Code Switch” is a podcast led by two hosts of color that talks about race and the role it plays in pop culture. In this episode, the hosts discuss how the socially-constructed stories told about the pandemic have contributed to anti-Asian racism which has existed in America for decades.
"None of Us Deserve Citizenship", Michelle Alexander
While Michelle Alexander is often referenced with respct to her book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, in this essay Alexander challenges the inherent hypocrisy of denying others’ the “right” of American citizenship when the power to do so was only achieved through genocide, enslavement, and the silencing oppressed groups, a reality that blatantly violates the very principles the United States claims to be founded on.
"Southeast Asian Americans and Deportation Policy", Southeast Asia Resource Action Center
This piece traces this history of anti-Asian immgration policies over time and the devastating impact that repressive policies and enforcement tactics like deportation and detainment have had.
Classism, Colonization & Gentrification
"An Indigenous Peoples' History of The United States", Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
This is a PDF of an entire book in which author Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz shifts the focus of America’s narrative history of to an Indigenous perspective, centering it in cultural and experiential truths that are vastly different than those learned in most U.S. schools. Doing this de-centers whiteness and gives Indigenous communites the fully-deserved agency and power to speak for and about themselves.
"How Race Settled the Suburbs", Adam Ruins Everything
In this video, we learn about how histories of racist historical practices and deliberate disinvestment in communities of color led to profound residential segregation that persists today. Nikole Hannah-Jones has a cameo, in which she explains the impact this disinvestment has had on the funding to and quality of schools when comparing white communities and communities of color, and how the segregation of classrooms mirrors the segregation of neighborhooods.
"The Forces Driving Gentrification in Oakland", Kathleen Richards
An East Bay Native, Kathleen Richards shares how deliberate community disinvestment, financial exploitation, and racist housing practices have worked together to massively displace the communities of color that have lived in Oakland for generations, and replaced them with wealthy, white residents who benefit from the new resources and the clout of living in Oakland, without having to actually live in Oakland.
"Housing Segregation and Redlining in America: A Short History" Code Switch, NPR
In this video, the history of white homeownership is explored as more than the innocent pursuit of “The American Dream”, and instead connected to an historical legacy of privilege and discrimination that is still very much alive today.
"Schools That Work for Us", Hearing Youth Voices
Hearing Youth Voices is a local, youth-organizing group located in New London that developed the comprehensive framework “Schools that Work For Us” to address the ways in which young people felt the educational systems around them denied them access to, and security in, basic necessities. The framework is divided into six themes: The Struggle, Resources, Mental Health, Freedom to Be & To Move, Full Safety, Teaching & Learning, Relationships and Collective Power.
"During the Pandemic, Teachers' Mental Health is Suffering in Ways They've Never Experienced", The 19th
Many of you described the stress and pain of trying to navigate excessive workloads alongside personal responsibilites, and you’re not alone: teachers are under tremendous pressure from school boards, parents, even themselves to meet unrealistic standards all while balancing their own personal lives and navigating the pitfalls of virtual learning.
"Why the Academic Achievement Gap is a Racist Idea", Ibram X. Kendi
Ibram X. Kendi expands on a point a number of you made in your submissions as well: the inequity of the standardized testing process and of usign it as a blanket measure of intelligence, but Kendi takes it one step further. The concept of “The Achievement Gap” is inherently racist and rooted in 19th century theories around Black intellectual inferiority. This idea carries into the questioning of “Why can’t Black kids achieve?” rather than asking “What racist systems are preventing Black students from achieving?”
"A Letter to White Teachers of My Black Children", Afrika Afeni Mills
An open letter, Afrika Afeni Mills makes it clear what she needs from white educators who teach children of color like her Black children. Reflecting both on her own personal growth and the realities of white, mainstream educational culture, she challenges them to educate themselves, to be vocal on issues of racial injustice, and see parents like her as “partners” in this work.
Transformative Justice, Healing & Accountability
Transform Harm, Mariame Kemba
Transform Harm is a platform of shared resources that serve as “an introduction to transformative justice” and seek to provide alternative ways of resolving conflict, alternatives to violence, and community safety. Designed by Lu Design Studio, the platform is engaging, and divided into six distinct categories: transformative justice, community accountability, restorative justice, abolition, healing justice and carceral feminisms.
"Dreaming Accountability", Mia Mingus
In this blog post, Mia Mingus encourages us to reconsider “accountability” – instead of a shame-inspired method of holding someone responsible, she invites us to envision accountability as an inspirational opportunity for practicing how to become your best self.
"The Future of Healing: Shifting from Trauma Informed Care to Healing Centered Engagement", Shawn Ginwright
In this piece, Shawn Ginwright argues the importance of changing our perspectives of personal growth and support from a “trauma informed” framework to a concept of “healing-centered engagement”. In his words the differency between these two strategies is in the questions at the heart of them: “A healing centered approach to addressing trauma requires a different question that moves beyond ‘what happened to you’ to ‘what’s wright with you'”.
"Resources for Coping with and Addressing Racial Trauma and Oppression", The Community Technical Assistance Center of NY
We are definitely living through a moment that can have a profound impact on one’s mental health and sense of self. This is a list of resources to help address some of the effects of racial trauma and the lingering harm of oppression.
The Hartford Public Library offers a range of supportive services to young people who are immigrants, migrants, and refugees enrolled in high school. The “After School Academy for English Learners” offers a citizenship capstone course, leadership development, and matching with college mentors/academic tutors.
Meeting weekday afternoons from 3:30pm – 5:30pm, IRIS After School offers homework support, creative projects, and games for refugee and immigrant youth. An intentional community, IRIS After School also showcases participant work and has continued to meet virtually during COVID.
Informational & educational
Affordable Colleges Online
American Association of People with Disabilites
AAPD is a national, cross-disability organization that engages in advocacy and policy work to achieve “equal opportunity, economic power, independent living, and political participation for people with disabilities.” Members are also family, friends, and community supporters dedicated to social change.
University & College Disability Services Contacts
The University of Connecticut’s “Collaborative on Postsecondary Education & Disability” has created a comprehensive list of the contact person for disability services at every college and university in the state. If you are in school or thinking of applying, these can be helpful points of contact.
The Kennedy Center, Inc.
The Kennedy Center uses particular focus areas (Autism-Specific Programs, Travel Training, Day Support Options, Employment & Behavioral Supports) to help young people develop critical skills in social settings.
Phone: (203) 332 – 4335 ext. 2536 (Autism Project)
Center for Disability Rights
A peer-to-peer organization, CDR provides services and advocates for people with disabilities through programming and services including summer camp. Key areas are: physical, emotional, communicative, and cognitive supports.
Phone: (203) 934 – 7077
Yoga Movement Therapy
The focus of YMT is to make both yoga and dance accessible for evereyone with particular focuses on stress management and self-regulation techniques through yoga and creative movement.
Phone: (860) 841 – 6831
Capital Workforce Partners
Capital Workforce Partners has resources dedicated to helping young people with disabilities access employment opportunities through their extensive network. They also offer other professional training opportunities to help in job search process.
Phone: (860) 899 – 3446
Sponsored by the CT Department on Aging and Disability Services, Level Up helps students with disabilities prepare to enter the workforce through partnerships with family and school communities.
Phone: (860) 256 – 9538