McSilver Applauds NYC Human Rights Commission Youth Initiative Launch

NYC Commission on Human Rights Launches Youth Programming Initiative to Reach 5,000 Students

NEW YORK— The New York City Commission on Human Rights, in partnership with over 60 schools and organizations (complete list at link) that educate and work with young people, announces the launch of a new comprehensive program called Youth for Equity and Solidarity. The program will educate over 5,000 young people this year, ages 13-21, and includes the creation of the Commission’s first-ever Youth for Equity and Solidarity (YES) Council. Youth for Equity and Solidarity incorporates student-led community and school action plans, expanded programming in issue areas relevant to the lives of young people in New York City today, and a tailored human rights reading list. The kickoff event, entitled Your Power, Your Rights: New York City Youth in Action, is taking place at the Queens Central Library in Jamaica, Queens.

“Youth leaders are human rights leaders. Today’s leaders and tomorrow’s young people need to be empowered to stand up for their rights and take action in their communities,” said Carmelyn P. Malalis, Chair and Commissioner of the NYC Commission on Human Rights. “The launch of Youth for Equity and Solidarity will allow young people across this city to lead the human rights conversation for the next generation, and become stewards of change to ensure an equitable city for all.”

“Young people are the voice of the future, and when I meet with students across the City, I am filled with hope for the ways they will change the world,” said Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza. “I’m proud to partner with the NYC Commission on Human Rights on this initiative to serve the City’s students and look forward to the work ahead.”

The Commission is tasked with educating New Yorkers on the NYC Human Rights Law, one of the most protective anti-discrimination and anti-harassment laws in the nation and to foster inter-community dialogue, and routinely conducts free workshops and programming across the city for young people and adults alike. For the past several years, the Commission has strengthened its engagement in schools and youth-focused spaces, expanding youth-oriented programming, and piloting youth-focused initiatives. Today’s launch is the culmination of these efforts. The event will: feature student presentations of action plans developed with the Commission; announce the expansion of the Commission’s comprehensive youth curriculum; mark the beginning of the application period for the Human Rights Youth Advisory Council; and launch a human rights reading list with tailored recommendations based on age and interest for parents, young people, and educators.

“Young people are leading global efforts to address issues of inequality, discrimination, and hate. At the NYC Commission on Human Rights, we understand the value in centering youth as we work to address these issues and the impact they have,” says Franck D. Joseph II, Deputy Commissioner for Community Relations, NYC Commission on Human Rights. “The programming and youth advisory council being launched today are a direct result of our deep engagement with young people across New York City, and are meant to empower them to make a positive change in their schools and communities. It is important for young people to know that they have allies who will not only hear them, but who will support and follow them as they work to foster healthy and thriving spaces for themselves.”

“Our research and programming relating to the mental health and well-being of young people point to the importance of simply listening to them. Their voices matter. We applaud the New York City Commission on Human Rights on the launch of an initiative that will empower them to stand up for their rights, be heard, and take action.” – Dr. Michael A. Lindsey, Executive Director of the NYU McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research

Read more about the initiative at the NYC Commission on Human Rights website

Photo of Dr. Michael A. Lindsey
Michael A. Lindsey, PhD, MSW, MPH
Executive Director