NCBI strives to develop leaders who work to end mistreatment, correct systematic inequalities and strengthen communities.
Youth Forward is a support and action group for LGBTQQ youth ages 14-19. This program provides queer youth the opportunity to develop leadership skills and apply those skills in building safer schools and communities.
Empowering youth leadership is a keystone of all NCBI youth programs, and Youth Forward is no different. The program was launched from a youth-adult partnership, youth named the group, select weekly topics, help facilitate group activities, and act as ambassadors for the group. Youth Forward helps build a network of support to hold up youth who may be vulnerable, isolated and marginalized.
NCBI’s Youth Forward facilitators are recognized as leaders by their colleagues; other queer youth group facilitators throughout the region repeatedly turn to NCBI for support and guidance. Youth Forward participants have risen to become active leaders, advocating for their LGBT community on issues ranging from gender-neutral bathrooms in their schools to federal non-discrimination legislation protecting LGBT students.
Interrupting oppression requires empowering and mobilizing those targeted by oppression as well as their allies. The most effective social movements center the voices of those most directly impacted by oppression while at the same time engaging allies as key collaborators to achieve positive social change.