For the month of January, and in honor of MLK Day, our 2% for Justice commitment will support the NYCLU, New York's chapter of the ACLU, drawing special attention to their Teen Activist Project!
The NYCLU is one of the nation’s foremost defenders of civil liberties and civil rights, and we're proud to represent and support this local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.
Founded in 1951, the NYCLU is a not-for-profit, nonpartisan organization with eight chapters and regional offices, and more than 160,000 members across the state. Its mission is to defend and promote the fundamental principles and values embodied in the Bill of Rights, the U.S. Constitution, and the New York Constitution, including freedom of speech and religion, and the right to privacy, equality and due process of law, with particular attention to the pervasive and persistent harms of racism.
The NYCLU works toward its mission by advocating for all New Yorkers to have equal access to opportunities and the equal ability to participate in government decisions that affect them. This includes planning and development decisions, which historically have excluded or intentionally discriminated against Black, Indigenous, and Latinx New Yorkers.
At Loisa, we are especially enthused by the NYCLU's commitment to youth activism, notably through its Teen Activist Project (TAP).
TAP began as the Teen Health Initiative in 1997, founded with the mission of removing barriers that prevent young people from accessing critical health services and information. Now, over 20 years later, TAP carries on the mission of the Teen Health Initiative and is a part of the NYCLU’s new Education Policy Center. TAP students work on broader NYCLU advocacy issues, including ending the school to prison pipeline, protecting student privacy and creating safe and supporting schools for all students.
Today, TAP reaches and connects nearly 200 youth participants in New York City each year. TAP members learn about civil liberties and legal issues, reproductive justice, community organizing and activism. Students work together as peer educators to make sure the youth of New York know their rights, create campaigns on issues the NYCLU is working on, and organize protests, rallies and marches across the city.
For students, TAP provides a unique opportunity to develop leadership skills as they learn about, and advocate for, civil rights and liberties alongside NYCLU professionals. TAP students simultaneously provide the NYCLU a window into the challenges faced by public school students in New York City as they help shape and promote the NYCLU’s youth agenda.
Please join us in supporting the necessary work of the NYCLU by spreading this post, sharing the good word, and donating here.
If there is a high school student in your life who you feel would contribute and grow by participating in TAP, have them apply the the ambassador program here!