Jamileh and the RYSE team are gearing up for Kids First Richmond, which will be on the ballot in June 2018.
Richmond’s children, youth and young adults have long needed more life-changing services and opportunities. Now, local community based organizations including SEIU Local 1021, APEN, ACCE and elected leaders including County Supervisor John Gioia and Richmond Vice-Mayor Melvin Willis have come together for a Richmond Fund for Children and Youth in order to more effectively invest in our youth.
Kids First Richmond will ensure that Richmond’s youth are physically, emotionally, mentally and socially healthy, educated, and living in stable, safe and supported families and communities. Like us on Facebook to stay up-to-date with Kids First Richmond, and read more about Jamileh's work below!
Name and Title:
Jamileh Ebrahimi, Youth Organizing Director
How long have you worked at RYSE?
I have worked at RYSE since April of 2012.
As the Youth Organizing Director, what do you do?
My primary role is to build a vibrant youth organizing culture in the City of Richmond that ensures that young people serve as key stakeholders and decision-makers on issues and policies impacting their individual and collective well-being, and to enable the structure, functions, policies, and programs to make Richmond a truly youth-friendly city.
What do you love most about your job?
In addition to cultivating youth leaders and community power building, I love that our office is in the center. This results in a wide spectrum of interactions and responsibilities, it keeps me on my toes and allows for flexibility. I also appreciate our commitment to being a learning organization.
How did you first hear about RYSE and why did you choose to get involved?
I started organizing in high school with Youth Together, focusing on multi-racial alliance building and education justice. At the time, Youth Together had sites in Oakland, Berkeley and Richmond and as we were organizing for our youth center at Skyline High in Oakland, the Richmond sites were organizing for a safe space where youth can access resources, build power and grow. That space became RYSE.
I remember coming out to Richmond to support their advocacy and later as a staff person at Youth Together coordinating “Regionals” (day-long trainings for all sites) where the RYSE youth council members would participate. My first job at RYSE was in 2010 when I supported the Healthy Richmond Youth Team’s engagement and survey collection for the beginning of The California Endowment’s Building Healthy Communities initiative. I re-joined staff again in 2012. I feel honored to be able to aid in the development of a youth organizing culture in Richmond and to work towards the vision of my Youth Together peers.
If you had to describe RYSE in three words, what would they be and why?
- Love: We are all here because we love this community and the young people who live here. We want to make sure that every young person feels that they are loved.
- Partnership: From its inception, RYSE was a collaborative effort and we are committed to working in-partnership with community partners to advance the needs and wants of young people, even when it's not easy.
- Audacious: RYSE goes big, all the time, because that's what young people deserve. We strive to be audacious in our work and in our leadership. Who else would run a ballot initiative and launch a capital campaign in the same year?!?
Tell us something that happened in the RYSE community that resonated with you this month.
Last week, RYSE hosted our Youth Leadership Institute, where youth leaders from our four program departments spent a week together building relationships and participating in workshops under the themes of: Grounding in RYSE & our Theory of Liberation; Gender Justice; Movement Building & Campaigns; and Leadership and Community Building. Each day opened with a cultural or health & wellness practice and was followed by two workshop sessions. The powerful week ended with a private screening of Black Panther!!
What song are you most likely to be caught singing or humming?
The entire Black Panther Soundtrack. #WakandaForever
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