Monday, November 30, 2009

Youth Social Justice Forum 2009 Teaches Students About Rights and Liberties

The UW-Milwaukee ACLU Student Alliance and the ACLU of Wisconsin proudly joined campus and community partners in organizing our 10th Annual Youth Social Justice Forum. Held on November 6th, the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee campus was the perfect venue to bring together area high school students to celebrate and learn about their rights, as well as protecting their liberties.

Each year hundreds of Milwaukee area youth come to participate in workshops run by dedicated volunteers and ACLU of Wisconsin staff, and this year was no different. There were over 350 high school students and UWM and community volunteers.

Thanks to the Milwaukee Election Commission , participants had a lively debate about the control of MPS and held an election using real voting machines and booths to express their opinion. The election was overwhelmingly in favor of maintaining the school board without mayoral control.

Offering unique perspectives, workshop facilitators helped students develop creative ways to participate in the civic dialogue that is the bedrock of America and our Constitution. Workshops included: Creating Audio PSA's; Know Your Rights; Graffiti Art for Social Justice; Introduction to Youth Organizing; Poetry, Politics and Power; Student Privacy; Political Activist T-Shirt Making; LGBTQ and You; Political Cartooning and Art.

Urban Underground continued their multi-year legacy of providing quality support and vital workshops about youth rights and individuals rights during police encounters. Art Night Books and the Social Development Commission, as well as several new partners including TRUE Skool and 88.9 Radio Milwaukee. Kid Cut Up , a long time friend of TRUE Skool volunteered his DJ skills for the event. Multi-talented MIAD Junior, Jasmine Barmore, created the powerful graphics for the t-shirts and books.

See some amazing photos in this gallery, created by gifted photographer John Jay Ward.

Contact us if you're interested in having your school attend next year, or if you would like to receive a Youth Social Justice Forum t-shirt or book.