What is the Carolina Youth Power Fund?

What is the Carolina Youth Power Fund?

by | Mar 26, 2024 | Movement Building

The Carolina Youth Power Fund (CYPF) is a nonpartisan grant fund that offers $500-$1,000 grants to support organizing projects led by young people in the south between the ages of 13-25. Projects must be led by people who are directly impacted by the issue(s), with a focus on Black, Muslim, immigrant, and/or LGBTQ+ youth. Projects are expected to empower young people with the skills and resources to engage with critical issues in their area, and must be nonpartisan. 

The CYPF was founded in 2020 as a response to the needs of youth activists. One of the urgent needs was funds to support students’ new organizing efforts in the rapidly changing Covid-19 landscape. We created a grant panel made of 7 youth leaders entrusted to manage a process of granting to over 30 grassroots organizations over the course of two years. The initial focus on ages 13-25 was to prioritize a group that is oftentimes sought out for their energy, but rarely resourced for their ideas. 

The CYPF is a project of the Carolina Youth Partnership (CYP), a nonpartisan coalition of five nonprofit organizations focused on civic engagement with North Carolina youth. The member organizations are Common Cause, Democracy NC, NCPIRG, Students Organizing the South (SOS), and Southern Vision Alliance. CYP meets monthly to share information and resources on organizing on college campuses, especially HBCUs. CYP also hosts events and trainings for student leaders and interns to share legislative updates, develop organizing skills, build community, and learn from students about the issues affecting their campuses.

Our vision is to see young people empowered to participate in democracy and organize on their college campuses and local communities on issues that they are passionate about. Young people are the current and future leaders of our country. Connecting them to civic engagement and organizing is critical so they have influence on issues that will affect them in the future thus transforming our collective understanding of liberation and democracy.

CYPF has a community-driven grant-making process led by a student steering committee that guides the strategic areas for the grants decisions. This provides a valuable opportunity for students to learn about how local organizing affects broader legislative, social, and political climates. Since this fund supports youth organizing, youth must be part of the decision-making process, providing insight into the most pressing issues for youth today.

 

How to Apply

Visit us at https://southernvision.org/frontlines-funds/cypf/ to learn more about how to apply! 

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