Civic Engagement Programs
Civic Engagement is infused in all youth development programming at Sociedad Latina, as we train all youth to advocate for themselves and their communities. Youth learn the importance of civic engagement, and receive the tools and space they need to be active citizens while at Sociedad Latina. Community Organizing initiatives engage youth and adults in this work and address issues affecting our community, including education, culture, health inequities, and community development.
More than 60,000 young people in Massachusetts are disconnected from education, adults, employment, and community, with the locus of disconnection in the state's cities, among minority youth. Disconnection results in loss of lifetime earnings for individual youth, imposes economic costs on society, and weakens democracy. These serious, long-term consequences for individuals and communities can be avoided by engaging youth, connecting them to their communities, and empowering them to be lifelong active citizens.
Latino youth are the least civically engaged compared to their peers.
Young Latinos are the least likely of all racial/ethnic groups to view voting as an important activity.
58% of Latino youth feel they cannot solve problems in their communities.
Civic engagement bonds youth to their communities, inviting them to participate in the power structures and decision-making processes that influence their daily lives. At Sociedad Latina we value and respect youth intelligence, passion, and leadership abilities. We work to combat the trend of disempowered, disengaged youth by creating space in our community for young people to effect meaningful change. Community initiatives are led by two groups of youth, hired and trained to implement citywide campaigns: