Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Youth Social Justice Forum Gets Milwaukee Youth Talking about Equality and Free Speech

On Thursday November 4th, 2010, over 300 high school students came together at the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee Student Union for the 11th Annual Youth Social Justice Forum.

The crowd of students, teachers and volunteers gather for the day
Students learn how to build puppets from scratch to turn their ideas into 3-D images
With the assistance of almost 80 volunteers from all over the city, including the 2010-2011 class from Public Allies Milwaukee, students actively participated in educational workshops that covered topics from “Creating Audio PSAs” for radio broadcast to “Political Cartooning and Art.” The workshops were presented by volunteers and partners from across the region.

Art Night Books artist Devin Trudell shares political cartoons
In its eleventh year of operation, the Youth Social Justice Forum has evolved from a political awareness event for Milwaukee-area youth to a premiere Social Justice Forum for education and activism for southeastern Wisconsin. The Youth Social Justice Forum increases awareness about issues that directly affect young people, offers hands-on workshops that teach youth real skills to help them raise their voices, provides experiential learning that fosters creative and collaborative thinking, and brings people together to bridge the gap between different racial and economic backgrounds.

Political expression in t-shirt form is ripped from the headlines and incorporated into a workshop
The First Amendment comes alive when students have hands-on lessons about free speech and art
In addition to the workshops, those in attendance also had the opportunity to observe a debate concerning the topic of immigration reform and then cast a ballot to vote on the debated measure using real ballots and counting machines.

City of Milwaukee ballots and tabulators give students the experience of voting
True Skool speakers discussed the history of urban art
This event would not have been a success without the participation and collaboration of many talented volunteers and facilitators. Supporting organizations and businesses include: 88.9 Radio Milwaukee, the City of Milwaukee Election Commission, Milwaukee Public Theatre, Public Allies Milwaukee, RedLine Milwaukee, True Skool, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Urban Underground and the ACLU of Wisconsin staff and friends. The countless hours spent during preparation for this event resulted in a fantastic outcome.

Public Allies Milwaukee volunteers helped the day run smoothly

Photos taken by ACLU of Wisconsin staff member Marion Ecks

View more pictures from the event on the ACLU Student Alliance HQ Facebook photo gallery

Bring the Youth Social Justice Forum or other youth rights workshops to your students or community group! For more information on next year's event or to get news and information about our educational work with young people, sign up for updates or contact our Youth and Program Department at (414) 272-4032 x 23. Get involved!