Watts Youth Speak Truths in Chicago

About this project
Thank you for taking the time to learn more about our project!

We are the Watts Youth Collective (WYC) and the Council of Youth Research (CYR)- a group of amazing Los Angeles middle and high school students and adults who are committed to being the change we want to see in the world. Our group is made up of 14 students who attend 5 Los Angeles high schools and middle schools in the neighborhoods of Watts and South LA. We are guided by amazing teachers, several graduate students from UCLA, and our very own CYR alumni, all of whom volunteer their time (for free!) after school and on weekends to work with us because they believe in us and the work we do. We put in countless hours to create documentary films, PowerPoint presentations, spoken word, and blogs  that highlight what young people, teachers and community members have to say about important educational issues. We have surveyed over one thousand California high school students about conditions in their schools, and interviewed hundreds more. We see inequalities in our schools and are committed to transforming them by speaking knowledge to power.

We believe that we have important information to share with educators, policymakers, parents, and students about the kind of education that all children deserve.  We  have shared our findings with audiences all over the country, from Sacramento to San Diego to Denver to New Orleans to San Francisco, and we have even posted our work online! (See below for links)

Our group has existed for over a decade, and almost all of the students who have participated have graduated and gone on to succeed in college. As we get closer to graduation, we want to document the work that we do to inspire future generations of students to continue working for social justice. Please help us make it to Chicago to showcase our work across the nation and create our documentary!

We have been invited to present our research at the upcoming American Educational Research Association (AERA) in Chicago, Illinois (http://www.aera.net/EventsMeetings/AnnualMeeting/tabid/10208/Default.aspx). This conference is the biggest educational conference in the nation and  brings scholars, educators, and students together to explore how culture, language, heritage, and justice can be used to support student learning across the nation. We will be sharing how we use Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) to conduct and share our research in order to improve our schools and communities. 

We think that this presentation gives us the perfect opportunity to document how we do our research, what it means to us, and how people respond to what we have to say. We plan to take viewers on a journey to show them the history of our program and all the work that it takes for us to prepare for our presentations. We want to show everyone the power that young people have when they raise their voices and demand changes in their education. We also want to show how we support each other as we work towards graduation and going to college. It's going to be great!

We need money! Our teachers and supporters regularly contribute their own money to help us with supplies and travel, but we can't do it alone. We will use the money you contribute to help us with travel costs to and from Chicago. The more money we raise, the more youth can travel to present.  We will also use these funds for food and lodging if possible.

We would be so grateful if you would help us fulfill our dream. Here are some links to the work that we do:

Watts Youth Collective site:

Watts Youth Collective- youtube channel

Young Critical Minds - Our Blog - http://youngcriticalminds.com/

Our Website - http://idea.gseis.ucla.edu/projects/the-council-of-youth-research

Thank you for your support!

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

  • Ommar Chavez 
    • $20 
    • 90 mos
  • Demea Scott 
    • $20 
    • 90 mos
  • Eddie Lopez 
    • $25 
    • 90 mos
  • Joannza Lo 
    • $100 
    • 90 mos
  • Ron Espiritu 
    • $30 
    • 90 mos
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Laurence Tan 
Los Angeles, CA