The Southwest Organizing Project is proud of the relationships that they foster through active organizing, outreach, and especially one on one conversations with leaders. Those same principles apply when approaching youth leaders, as the goal is always to be able to lead to action with one another. That action was achieved this winter as SWOP worked with the youth in their community to host the Youth Winter Series Kickbacks. Through the combined efforts of SWOPs Youth Organizer, Dantay Williams and the 15 youth that played a huge role in these efforts, they were able to host 2 separate events for the community.
The young people that participated organized money, vendors, activities, people, and resources with the goal of bringing the Winter Series Kickbacks to their community. Those efforts were felt by everyone who attended and even those who may have caught one of the stories on the news. Through diligent effort, every weekday, the participating youth were able to draw in over 100 community members to their first event where they had a hot chocolate bar, holiday cookie decoration, dancing, free barbers, DJ, food table, games, face painting and gift giveaways. Their 2nd event was even more so impressive as they had even more community members come out to participate in fun games and raffles, involving people from diverse cultures and age ranges from toddlers to adults.
Although the Winter Series Youth Kickbacks have drawn to a close, the relationships that were fostered between SWOP and the young leaders continues forward and they are eager for the opportunity to do the same come Spring, Summer, or Fall. “I love working with them. I feel like the youth did an amazing job with ideas, planning and even allowing themselves to be coachable. Without them, half of the things that were achieved would not have happened. I stuck by their side, they stuck by mine and I look forward to being able to continue watching them grow.” Dantay remarked, when asked about the overall experience.