Indy Youth Empowerment Challenge

The Indy Youth Empowerment Challenge is inspired by a group of students at Warren Central High School. After losing two loved ones to gun violence in May of 2017, these students decided to stand against youth violence and started a growing social movement called We LIVE Indy.  As demonstrated by We LIVE Indy and other inspiring youth initiatives throughout Indianapolis, empowered youth can have an incredible impact on their community and future. Yet, all too often youth are not even involved in the conversation.

Youth are an important component of community development, and crave recognition as equal contributors in shaping a just society (Helgeson & Schneider, 2015). When youth become engaged in community activities they develop effective leadership skills and a sense of purpose (Brennan, Barnett and McGrath, 2009). Empowering youth within a community also reduces traditional problem behaviors (Helgeson & Schneider, 2015).

Using a people-centered approach, the Indy Youth Empowerment Challenge brings together existing conversations and a diverse set of voices through a four-month innovation process:

  • INQUIRE (February): Understanding the barriers and catalysts to youth empowerment
  • IDEATE (March): Brainstorming ideas
  • INVESTIGATE (April): Turning ideas into solutions
  • IMPACT (May): Preparing for implementation

Sign up now to attend a community workshop! While the youth voice will be amplified throughout the challenge, a diversity of ages and perspectives representing youth, education, community, business, faith, and government are encouraged to participate. You can also follow along online or host your own workshop. Please contact us if you are interested!

The Indy Youth Empowerment Challenge has multiple goals. First, through purposeful conversations, we strive to collectively discuss youth empowerment in Indianapolis. Second, a diverse set of voices must not only participate in the conversations, but also be heard. Third, as open and inclusive dialogue can lead to deeper, and ultimately, stronger relationships, an increased sense of community might result. Fourth, solutions that involve and/or are driven by youth will come out of the process.

Want to get involved? Become a Challenge Champion! You can also subscribe to our newsletter and/or email stephanie@communityINNOVATE.org.

Find out more about our Challenge Champions!

The INQUIRE phase is now open!

In the first INQUIRE phase of the challenge, our goal is to gain a shared understanding of the barriers and catalysts to empowering youth. We want to share stories and experiences, and collectively listen. There are three ways that you can get involved.

1. Sign up now to participate in either of our two “Kick off and Discussion” open community workshops for the INQUIRE phase at the Kheprw Institute or Warren library branch. A diversity of ages and voices representing youth, education, community, business, faith and government are encouraged to attend. Key output will be submitted below.

2. Join others across the city by hosting your own youth workshop! This is an ideal option for teachers, youth leaders, universities, church groups, and others that work with youth and care about this topic. Use the INQUIRE toolkit to facilitate the workshop, and add your output below. College students are available to help out if desired. Interested? Let us know!

3. Go through the INQUIRE toolkit on your own, and add your own voice below!

The IDEATE phase will open in March!

In the INQUIRE phase of communityINNOVATE’s Indy Youth Empowerment Challenge, we dug into the barriers and catalysts to youth empowerment in Indianapolis. Now, in the IDEATE phase, we will narrow our focus based on what was collectively heard and start to brainstorm lots of ideas.

Sign up now for either of our two open community workshops for the IDEATE phase at the Kheprw Institute or Warren library branch. Interested in hosting your own workshop during the IDEATE phase? Let us know!

The INVESTIGATE phase will open in April!

In the IDEATE phase of communityINNOVATE’s Indy Youth Empowerment Challenge, lots of ideas will be brainstormed. Now, in the INVESTIGATE phase, you will identify which idea(s) you are most excited about and turn them into more fleshed out solutions. This will be a hands-on “make-a-thon” style workshop. Get ready!

Sign up now for either of our two open community workshops in the INVESTIGATE phase at the Kheprw Institute or Warren library branch. Interested in hosting your own workshop during the INVESTIGATE phase? Let us know!

The IMPACT phase will open in May!

Almost done! The goal of the IMPACT phase is to further prepare youth oriented solutions for implementation. In partnership with Studio B Creative Exchange, we will host our very own city-wide Creative Exchange for Youth Empowerment! This final event will bring together all the voices from the challenge to celebrate and support the youth oriented solutions. It will serve as an opportunity to network and match resources with ideas.

We will also be providing $10,000 in Do Something grants! These micro-grants of $500 each are designed to help spur youth oriented solutions.

Look for more details soon!

 

Thanks to our challenge sponsors:


Contributions So Far

SUBMIT AN INSIGHT

  • I feel empowered when...

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  • Digging Deeper

    Getting at the root of the issue…

  • Existing Research

    Studies, articles, stories…

  • Other Insights

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