Andrew, the Education & Justice team, and RYSE have been hard-at-work preparing for the upcoming Night out for Safety and Liberation in Richmond. This FREE, fun, and empowering event will take place Tuesday, Aug 1st at RYSE Center!
Learn more about the event here, and learn more about Andrew below!
Name and Title:
Andrew Yeung, Economic Justice Program Manager
How long have you worked at RYSE?
I have worked at RYSE for one and a half years.
How did you first hear about RYSE and why did you choose to get involved?
I heard about RYSE through its powerful arts programs and its strong reputation in the local youth development & education community. I chose to be involved at RYSE when I was at a natural transition point in my career in youth work and sought out greater values alignment in my labor. I reached out to friends that worked at RYSE and began a conversation that has brought me to today.
If you had to describe RYSE in three words, what would they be and why?
Loving, transformative, community.
As the Economic Justice Program Manager, what do you do?
As the Economic Justice Program Manager, I bolster both the direct service and broad level work of the Education & Justice Department, with a particular eye on services and policies that support youth as they move towards post-secondary and career pathways, including managing academic support services and college access programs. Our particular framework for post-secondary and career services focuses on realizing economic justice by supporting youth as they meet their immediate needs through work and by developing youth-driven advocacy for local and national economic policy that moves towards collective liberation, not merely survival nor profit.
What do you love most about your job?
I love so many aspects of working at RYSE, but I’d really have to highlight the deep community that we build with one another and with our young folks as an amazing part of the work. Additionally, I think the bold leadership of women of color and queer folks at RYSE speaks volumes to our ability to be responsive, rooted, and visionary.
You recently returned from the Free Minds, Free People Conference in Baltimore. Can you share one insightful thing you are carrying with you still from this experience?
The Free Minds, Free People conference is always a convening of such powerful communities and leaders in the broad field of liberatory education. What has stuck with me is how the conference highlights the many ways in which education and youth work sits at the intersection of so many vital conversations, from trauma and healing to sanctuary spaces to anti-capitalist, decolonial struggle. It deepens my faith that different schools, thriving communities, and a better, more whole world is possible.
Tell us something that happened in the RYSE community that resonated with you this month.
I had the pleasure of working with two young men through a partnership with Upward Bound at UC Berkeley, as they supported RYSE as Education & Justice summer interns. Witnessing the ways they were able to step into leadership, engage with learning, and dig into challenging research and action around education policy was super powerful. It was another reminder that if, as a society, we are able to create more spaces for youth to step up and step in, youth will lean in and lead with self-determination and vision for their own futures and that of their communities.
What song are you most likely to be caught singing or humming?
Any jam off of Jamila Woods’ HEAVN is a guaranteed earworm, but a song I hum a lot is Lonely Lonely —I highly recommend this record for feeling powerful and resilient!
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