By Kassandra Sanchez

Throughout the years, it has become inevitable that we would realize that students within our minority communities tend to fall victim to systemic injustices. Our black community in the United States is one of the most affected, especially its youth. For this reason, the Black Youth Leadership Project (BYLP) has made it its mission to introduce its youth to the legislative process and help them get a better understanding of democracy and public service. BYLP is a non-profit and non-partisan educational organization in California, which was established in 1999. Its staff has served over 3,500 students to achieve academic success, career growth, and leadership opportunities. 

BYLP provides free programs to provide opportunities for success and a sense of community for their black youth. The organization also offers a black graduation celebration for students who’ve fallen into unfair suspensions, expulsions, and even arrests. Such events have prevented many black students from participating in their high school graduation. So, BYLP created this advocacy in 2018 to allow students to celebrate their achievements and receive love and support from their community. As part of this graduation program, BYLP also presents the students with their Black Prom advocacy. BYLP Advocacy Services is another program, which allows students to file a complaint on any incident of racial harassment or discrimination on a school campus. The organization also enhances students’ nutritional knowledge with their Food for the Culture program, with Chef Liesha. Here, Chef Liesha will teach students how to cook their cultural heritage food, nutritional value, and recreate it once they leave their home after graduation. 

The organization also provides programs that will help students after they graduate. Their G.O.A.T. program, which stands for Goals, Organization, Applications, and Transcripts, helps students stay on track with their transcripts to ensure that they align with their goals. In addition, BYLP wants to get its students involved with the legislative process. With the establishment of the Legislative Open House program, students have the opportunity to become legislators for a day. This event helps students learn about the legislative process and hold mock-committee hearings and mock-floor sessions. Lastly, BYLP also provides students with a free Social Justice Bootcamp. In this program, students will attend a 5-day camp to study criminal justice, black history, and much more. 

Overall, BYLP provides a variety of networks to help people feel seen and accepted. The programs range from girls and boys support groups to parents and adults. If you want to learn more about BYLP and explore its mission, visit its website and follow its Instagram and Twitter page.


Home.” Black Youth Leadership Project, 2018.

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