People for the American Way Foundation
Developing Leaders with a Vision for Positive Social Change
Young people provide a vital infusion of ideas, energy and passion. Supporting their commitment to continued activism and leadership is critical. To meet this challenge, People for the American Way Foundation launched a strategic, long-term leadership development initiative in 2004 - Young People For (YP4) - to invest in the next generation of leaders and build a long-term national network for young emerging activists.
YP4 focuses on identifying young people who are campus and community leaders today, engaging them in social justice work, and empowering them with knowledge, strategies and skills they can use to promote positive change in their communities. The YP4 Fellows network represents our nation's diversity, including leaders from historically black colleges and universities, Hispanic-serving institutions, tribal colleges, community colleges, state universities, liberal arts schools and Ivy League universities.
The year-long core fellowship program begins every January with an annual National Summit in Washington, D.C., where Fellows learn from each other and from established leaders about critical issues, analyzing power dynamics, developing key strategies and building strategic alliances to effect positive social change. Fellows apply their knowledge, skills and vision to their campus or community by implementing self-designed "blueprints for social justice" to address critical issues or needs. The "blueprints" provide a framework for planning and executing meaningful social justice work.
YP4 provides organizational and financial support to help Fellows meet the goals and objectives of their innovative projects through paid internships in the public, social and ideas sectors. The organization equips Fellows in other ways, including personalized and group coaching, mentorships, leadership training and networking opportunities - tools and resources that will help sustain a lifelong role as leaders in the movement.
In addition, YP4 provides young leaders with ongoing educational opportunities online, assembling innovative strategies to address critical issues and youth activism. Established leaders also give back to the organization in unique ways through YP4's Intergenerational Network, where they can share their knowledge and experiences with emerging leaders.