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SEACA Dragon Unite for May Day

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May Day Collective Poem
Everyone’s life has an important story
No story is lesser than the others
We work and work to live
With our sisters & brothers
But we don’t realize that we need each other
And When workers & students are united
We will never be defeated

Every year SEACA youth spend several weeks preparing for the International Worker’s Day march, through making stenciled posters and learning about global immigrant worker’s struggles and rights. This year we decided to get a bit more creative by constructing an oversized SEACA Peace Dragon with messages including, “We’re going to crush that wage theft” and “Don’t sleep on worker’s rights.” We even spent some time writing collective poetry based off what they learned about the daily struggle of immigrant workers surviving in Los Angeles, which includes that of their parents and family members.

On May 1st, with six youth wearing the dragon, while others chanted “When workers are under attack/ What do we do?/ Stand-up fight back!” we glided through Chinatown from the SEACA office down to City Hall to catch the tail end of the march. As we passed by workers and shoppers along Broadway, they turned their heads to watch where we were headed. Once we got to City Hall we looped down Spring St. toward Placita Olvera to witness community members speaking out and writing messages of solidarity for women and children in immigration detention centers. As the march came to a close we hope that our youth continue share to their messages of solidarity beyond this action.

Tasty! Feast of Resistance

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Tasty! Feast of Resistance

SEACA’s Feast of Resistance is back again. This year, we are bringing in tasty foods, such as banh mi, tamales, budaejjigae, and donuts, for our YLP students. We opened up the space to discuss the importance of being connected to people through food culture because our current society has been breaking us all apart in many different ways.

But hold on! The fun continues as we begin introducing our YLP students to more serious topics for discussion, which include U.S. militarism, European colonization, cultural erasure of different ethnic groups, and, most importantly, the significance of solidarity and organizing teamwork.

To students, these may be difficult topics to discuss, but here at SEACA we encourage students to step outside of their comfort zones and to think outside the box. By incorporating different cultural foods, students were able to understand how community organizing today built off of historical context of the past can help us figure out what path we, as a society, should walk on in the future.

Bingo! Seaca Won New YLP Members

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This year our Youth Organizers (YO) worked creatively to develop new games and activities to welcome the new Youth Leadership Project (YLP) members into the space. After spending a couple weeks preparing for open house, recruiting new members, and doing turnout calls. Our YO’s were finally able to see their hard work pay off at our annual Open House.

YO’s opened up the space by building community through a game of People Bingo where everyone was able to meet new people and learn about each other; some even won prizes! Each year our new members begin building relationship through these fun and creative games that other youth facilitate.

The excitement grew more serious when we transitioned into an activity known as “The Privilege Walk.” As they all stood in a line anticipating the statements that revolved around privileges based on gender, race, ethnicity, class and sexuality to be called out, each took a step forward or backward based on how they identify. This activity allowed them to realize the diversity of privileges and struggles we all come from and how we can use them in community work. Although some youth looked uncomfortable responding to the more sensitive statements, they were willing to open up and be vulnerable in the space. During debrief, new members were able to share out that the activity was interesting and eye-opening. This was just a taster of what SEACA has to offer in YLP. We look forward to continue building with our new youth!

Youth Advocacy Day 2016

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Most high school students look forward to spending their Spring Break with their friends, hanging out at the beach or the movies.

SEACA youth chose to go to City Hall instead. On Wednesday, March 23rd, SEACA youth spent the day meeting with representatives from the Mayor’s Office and Council Districts 1 and 13.

They shared stories of their love for their communities, their family’s struggle to pay for rent, the need for good jobs, their desire to meaningfully participate in the City decisionmaking process for their communities, and recommendations for how to solve these issues.

Youth Advocacy Day was the culmination of an intensive series of trainings where students developed their own vision of economic and environmental justice for their communities and advocacy strategies to ensure that their vision becomes a reality.

Halloween @ SEACA

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Halloween can be a fun opportunity to play dress up and be something other than what you are everyday.

However, it wouldn’t be a SEACA Halloween if we didn’t connect it back to the work that we do at SEACA everyday!

During a super special session, we challenged our youth to develop superhero identities to fight discrimination, transphobia, homophobia, patriarchy, racism, and police brutality.  The workshop was an action packed adventure where our students were able to dive right into battling these complex topics.  After splitting into teams, they enthusiastically raced for all the materials, brainstormed ideas, and quickly developed masks, capes, shields, and props with a purpose to tackle their assigned topic.

Each team creatively constructed costumes with functions that included shielding/reflecting police brutality; decorative capes that displayed diversity and words that battle racism; and rainbow mask and attire that reminds people to accept and love everyone no matter how they identify. We concluded our workshop with a superhero runway display where the students were able to describe specific functions of their costumes and how their superhero tackles the issue they were combating.

Although superheroes may be fictional, our youth were really able to bring their creations to life and become real life social justice fighters.