Change The State is Yellowhammer Youth's leadership training program for young people in Alabama with an emphasis on political and cultural action. We train exclusively middle/high school students to organize, strategize, and work together to create the change they want to see in Alabama. This state doesn't just needs a political change, it needs a cultural change. We have to alter the fabric of Alabama and make it a place where young people feel empowered. With this program, Yellowhammer Youth wants to change the state of Alabama and then the world.
This is completely free, only for youth, and not associated with any political party. Also, you do not have to have any previous experience in activism or politics.
What you will learn:
- How to create not only a political change, but a cultural change in Alabama
- Key strategies to impact the fabric of our state as a young person
- How to work together with other students
- How to help underrepresented communities
- What it is like to organize for what you are passionate about
- How to be an awesome youth activist
This program is currently running in the following cities, but we plan to expand soon:
What is Yellowhammer Youth?
- Yellowhammer Youth is a student run digital space for young people in Alabama to express their voices through opinion writing.
What is Change The State?
- Change The State is a leadership training program for young people with an emphasis on political and cultural action. Basically, we train exclusively middle/high school students to organize, strategize, and work together to create the change they want to see in Alabama.
What makes this program different than (insert other political training program here?)
- Well, first, it's 100% free. Second, we do not consider this just a political training program. While we will touch a lot on political engagement, we don't just want to change the state of politics in Alabama. We want to change the culture and fabric of this state. This program is focused on building leaders, activists, speakers, community servants, and rule-breakers in Alabama. Third, it is ONLY for middle/high school students. We don't believe your age prevents you from changing the game. All the teachers are in high school or college. Lastly, we are non-partisan.
Do I need anything for this program?
- You need to be in middle or high school currently living in the city of the training or a close distance to it in Alabama. You also need to have a passion for either politics, social justice, young people, your community, or changing the world. You will need a way to get to trainings where they take place. This is further touched on later in the FAQ. If you have a laptop, that is great! If not, we can totally make it work.
Where do trainings take place?
- This depends on your teacher. Typically they will take place in libraries, coffee shops, parks, or community centers.
What are the goals of this program?
- The main goal of this program is to empower young people to create the change they want to see in Alabama. By the end of the program, you will be put on a path working toward solving an issue you care about and given all the resources to have a seat at the table in important discussions. Young people in Alabama have been left on the back burner for too long and it's time for us to break that status quo. To keep it simple: we want you to change the state and we will make sure that happens.
What if I can't commute to trainings?
- If you can't commute to wherever trainings are, we can make it work. You can get a ride with a classmate, from a teacher, or work with your teacher to schedule trainings in a distance that is walkable.
How long is this program?
- The program will be 4-6 weeks long in total. Scheduling will depend on your teacher's schedule as well as your own, but trainings will typically be held every weekend or every other weekend. Again, it totally depends. You will all decide that as a group.
When will you expand/Can you come to (insert city here?)
- This is the best question! We are testing out these 4 cities as a pilot program, but will soon expand to many other places on top of these 4. If you want this program in your city, the easiest way to make that happen is to shoot us an email.