While “Know Your Rights” has been an in-person event in the past, going virtual this year due to the pandemic created additional opportunities for youth leadership. “We decided to have youth create webinars to teach others about topics they are passionate about. We want to honor their voices,” says Our Space Program Manager Diego Basdeo Fitzgerald.
Four participants researched their chosen topic and identified gaps between what youth need and what our society or the legal system provides. Then, they taught others what they had learned by creating webinars on each topic. “Our goal was for these youth to leave with the confidence that they can teach and encourage others. We want to inspire community leaders!” says Basdeo Fitzgerald.
When participants felt intimated by the process, Cervantes helped by teaching a bit of history. “There have been LGBTQIA+ young adults throughout history who were trailblazers and changemakers,” Cervantes says. “Placing these young people in that lineage is incredibly inspiring and motivating.” The results speak for themselves.