The Eastside Youth Coalition Takes the Scene
Last updated: February 23, 2022, at 2:41 p.m. PT
Originally published: February 23, 2022, at 2:41 p.m. PT
Authored by: Tibaria Alnouri, Program Supervisor
If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. - African Proverb
We have a new Youth and Government group taking the scene in Washington State that you should all be on the lookout for. These youth may be your next mayors, treasurers, CEOs, state secretaries, governors, and definitely possibly our next presidents.
Historically, there have been very few opportunities that house programming dedicated to the Black and Brown youth of the city of Bellevue. While broad opportunities abound for middle and high school students - thanks to the city’s wealth and resources - low-income, marginalized youth of color have only ever been seen and supported thanks to the dedicated efforts of community organizers who have lifted them up, and the youth themselves who have demanded to be heard.
While this group is technically brand new, under the name of Eastside Youth Coalition, it has taken on many forms and housed programming for Black and Brown youth on the east side of Lake Washington. Starting back in 2011 as a Summer reading and Fun Camp for Black Male Scholars 2011-2012 (pictured to the right) the program evolved out of the Bellevue Family YMCA and came to host Youth and Government as a central part of youth leadership and programming. The strength and resilience of this group comes from its incredible powerhouse, advocate, and founder, Michelle Williams-Clark, along with the ongoing involvement of families including the Scego family, the Jallow family, and the Chisebuka family.
With the support of their fiscal sponsor, Rainier Athletes, the Bellevue Youth and Government delegation has transformed into a new group called the Eastside Youth Coalition with hopes to become a 501c3 in the near future.
The Eastside Youth Coalition Youth and Government Program’s focus is to honor Black, Latinx, Youth of Color, Youth of Purpose, high school students as present and future leaders. This program engages students in the legislative process through a decolonized lens about issues relevant to their communities.
While the names and programming of this group have evolved over the years, the overarching mission has remained the same: Eastside Youth Coalition is committed to providing Black, Latinx, Youth of Color (YOC) racially and culturally relevant programs in a safe community where their lives are valued.
If you’re interested in learning more about the group contact Tafadzwa (Taffy) Maypie – Director, Program Development. Advisor, Eastside Youth Coalition Youth & Government Program at firstname.lastname@example.org.