The Summer Youth Leadership Development Institute (SYLD) is in effect for 7 weeks from July through August every year. D.U.B recruits 7 to 15 youth, ages 14- 24 through the Summer Youth Employment Program of NYC.
For 7 weeks, D.U.B members coordinate and facilitate youth leadership development and community organizing trainings, as well as thematic workshops with the SYLD participants. The goal of this summer project is to introduce youth, particularly young women residing in the Washington Heights/Inwood community, to community organizing and activism around issues of gender violence, police brutality, gentrification, and immigration amongst other issues.
As a result of our 7-week summer program, the youth have engaged not only in developing skills in organizing, social media, creative writing, and photography, but also in the development of a final summer project (i.e. a community event they have organized, a newsletter with their work, a short film, etc.). The youth determine what their end- of -the program project will be during their second week in the program. For the last 3 years, youth have decided to hold community events.
During the summer of 2010, D.U.B trained 7 young women to utilize social media for community organizing. The young women participated in creating D.U.B’s organizational profile, as well organizing and mobilizing youth to marches in support of immigrant rights. The group’s final project was organizing D.U.B’s annual cultural event- the ¡Sî Se Puede! Immigrant Rights Cultural Festival held on September.
Three of the main components of SYLD are:
A. Identity: to explore our personal experiences as young women, immigrants, students, workers, and much more in connection to the realities of our communities.
B. Education: to engage youth in analyzing socio-economic and political power dynamics, as well as introducing them to Hers/histories of Social Movements seeking social justice- nationally and internationally.
C. Tools for Organizing: to expose youth to different groups, organizations and/or individuals doing organizing work using art, social media, and other techniques. Youth are also to organize events or a final project to complete their participation in the SYLD.