About Project Reach
Project Reach creates opportunities for youth - and adults who work with them - to incubate new approaches and strategies and to build institutions that address discrimination and injustice and place social control in their own hands. Organizing readiness, youth organizing, and community empowerment are the products of these opportunities.
Project Reach is a youth and adult collaboration: a multiracial, multi-gender, grassroots, anti-discrimination, youth organizing center with a clear mission and commitment to challenging the destruction among, of, and between New York City's disparate youth communities. Implicit in that mission is a vision that recognizes that the empowerment of disenfranchised youth communities is critical and integral to their participation as future leaders in the larger movement for social justice.
WHAT & HOW
Project Reach addresses issues that schools and community organizations avoid or are ill-equipped to handle, including intergroup tensions(racism, sexism, homophobia, immigrant discrimination, ability bias, etc.) and the absence of prevention education strategies. Major services provided to develop intervention skills and cultural competency include:
- Workshops and trainings
- Teacher and staff development
- Technical assistance
- Train-the-trainer series for young people and adults.
Project Reach provides crisis counseling and advocacy for young people others would not, including marginalized youth communities such as:
- Youth of color
- Young women
- Immigrant/undocumented youth
- Lesbian, gay, bisexual, Two Spirit, transgender, questioning, and intersex youth
- Youth with mental and physical differences
- HIV+ youth and young people living with AIDS
- Youth in foster care and homeless youth
- Court-involved or incarcerated youth
Project Reach brings together young people who would otherwise never meet. Our participants and staff have included individuals of many different racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds, including:
- Native/Indigenous (Hidatsa-Mandan, Crow-Montana, Shinnecock-Long Island, Ojibwa-Wisconsin)
- Arab/Middle Eastern (Yemeni, Moroccan, Palestinian, Algerian)
- South and Central American (Guyanese, Venezuelan, Peruvian, Mexican, Colombian, Ecuadorian, Guatemalan)
- South Asian (Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Indian)
- East/Southeast Asian (Fukienese, Toisanese, Vietnamese, Cambodian)
- Black, Caribbean, or of African Descent
- Latina/o (Dominican, Puerto Rican)
- White (Israeli, Ukrainian, Russian)
- Rural and island youth (Catskill Mountains, Block Island)
- Multiracial youth
Two major collaborations we’ve established to do this are the Social Justice Boot Camp and the OUTRIGHT Consortium.
Project Reach is a community center which provides a public, planning, and organizing space for individuals (such as artists, volunteers, students, etc.) and social action/community groups who would otherwise have nowhere to meet (due to lack of funds). Project Reach offers a 4,000 square foot center that is home to more than 20 different youth organizations and community groups, including emergency relief workers (post-9/11); cultural artists and educators, civil and human rights groups (immigrants living with AIDS, LGBT people, street vendors, tenants, etc.).