JEA youth participate in regular civic engagement training on topics such as community organizing 101 and the basics of city government. A small group of these youth also take on leadership roles in community organizing campaigns that impact our neighborhood and our city.
Teens take TD Garden battle to City Hall, State House, Milton J. Valencia, the Boston Globe, August 17, 2017
For TD Garden, how much is more than 20 years of fund-raisers worth?, Milton J. Valencia, the Boston Globe, August 9, 2017
TD Garden to pay $1.65m after oversight discovered by teenage sleuths, Steve Annear, the Boston Globe, August 3, 2017
TD Garden owners are getting a bargain — they should pay up, Robert A. Moeser, the Boston Globe, August 1, 2017
Teen sleuths say TD Garden owes $13.8 million in fund-raisers, Milton J. Valencia, the Boston Globe, July 26, 2017
The state and TD Garden cut a deal, and promptly forgot all about it, Adrian Walker, the Boston Globe, July 16, 2017
Teens discover Boston Garden has been ignoring law since 1993, Khadrice Rollins, Sports Illustrated, July 14, 2017
Group of teen pushing for Celtic’s TD Garden to help pay for rec facilities, Kevin Spain, USA Today, July 14, 2017
Teens discover Boston’s TD Garden has been failing on its charity promises, Marissa Payne, the Washington Post, July 14, 2017
TD Garden owners agreed to hold fund-raisers for Boston — but they never have, Milton J. Valencia, the Boston Globe, July 13, 2017.
Hyde Square Task Force is on the money, ArtPlace, ArtPlace America Blog, June 14, 2017
After years on ice, JP hockey rink project deserves funds, Editorial, the Boston Globe, April 12, 2017
Whipping up support for rec center becomes a cause celebre for teen activists, Akilah Johnson, the Boston Globe, April 10, 2017
Through their research, HSTF youth organizers have found that access to the arts is clearly a racial equity issue. Research from EdVestors indicates that only 63% of high school students received any form of arts education in 2018, and only 62% of high school graduates met the MassCore recommended arts graduation guidelines. As participants in HSTF’s Afro-Latin arts training, youth organizers have first-hand experience with the transformative power of the arts. The positive impact that the arts have had upon their lives led organizers to passionately voice their support for increased arts education opportunities in BPS during last year’s budget hearings. In 2019, youth continued this organizing work and formally established the #BosTeenArts campaign.
The diligent work of HSTF’s youth organizers helped to grow the #BosTeenArts coalition to include 17 amazing partners; last year, the #BosTeenArts campaign led by HSTF was the sole voice that advocated for arts education during the BPS budget hearings. HSTF youth organizers gave powerful testimony at one of these hearings, and their remarks can be seen starting at minute 35 here: https://www.youtube.com/
HSTF youth organizers and other coalition members have worked with BPS leaders since then to elevate the arts, and their efforts have paid off. Their voices were heard, as the new draft BPS Strategic Plan for 2020-2025 clearly prioritizes the arts. The new list of commitments and priorities includes “cultural heritage programs” and “rigorous culturally and linguistically affirming curriculum and instruction that includes learning opportunities in the arts…” The plan also mentions that schools should include “core elements that meet the needs of the whole child, including…. arts programming…” Youth and staff continue to monitor and provide insight as this plan moves into implementation.
A call for more support in BPS budget, Yawu Miller, Bay State Banner, March 14, 2018
Does every BPS student deserve a strong arts program? How about a counselor?, Schoolyard News, Schoolyard News, March 26, 2018
Boston’s newest cultural district will celebrate and honor city’s Latin Quarter,
Mayor Martin Walsh/Gazette Staff, Jamaica Plain Gazette, May 25, 2018
Boston’s Latin Quarter Receiving $100K National Endowment for the Arts Grant, David Ertischek, Jamaica Plain News, May 22, 2018
Boston Awarded $100,000 grant by National Endowment For the Arts,
City of Boston, Boston.gov, May 10, 2018
Adults marvel at youth-led gun control movement; Boston teens say it’s about time, Akilah Johnson, Jamaica Plain News, March 20, 2018
Sunshine Week: How public records requests helped teens, but still so much to do, Justin Silverman, Telegram.com, March 11, 2018