Black Youth Project is deeply embedded in the Chicago community. Each summer and throughout the academic year, we host extra-curricular programming with Black and Brown youth in the Chicagoland area to encourage student activism, self-sufficiency, and using data to solve problems facing communities of color.

Here is a brief description of our current programs:

Student Voice and Activism Fellowship

Each summer since 2013, we have partnered with Chicago Public Schools’ Student Voice and Activism Committees to bring 15 to 25 Black and Brown youth to the University of Chicago campus for a six-week intensive program. The summer includes social activism training on issues like racism, sexism, oppression, classism, and inequality. It also entails research methods training where students learn basic statistics and data collection including interviews, surveys, and content analysis. The final component of the summer is multimedia focused. Students learn how to used social media like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Tumblr, and G+ to disseminate surveys, draw attention to the issues they are investigating, and publicize their findings.

BYP Fellows

Jenn M. Jackson – Instructor(left), Veronica Anderson – Instructor (middle), and Tiffany Batiste – Instructor (right) with 6 Black Youth Project Summer Fellows (Summer 2016)

During summer 2016, students from the University of Chicago Lab School and UChicago Charter School in Woodlawn met throughout the week for five weeks. There, they learned the basics writing for the web, journalism ethics, synthesizing data to tell stories, and investigating issues facing their communities. These students went on to work in a hands-on writing environment over the academic year in the BYP Saturday intensive writing room.

Student projects included investigating the connections between FBI crime statistics and police arrests in Chicago neighborhoods, understanding the role of race in standardized testing outcomes, and the narratives coming out of the Women’s March in January 2017.