Gaining Responsibility through Ownership and Willingness (GROW) is CUFFH’s youth organizing program
GROW meets weekly to offer professional development, community organizing training, facilitation skills, and recreational activities for youth ages 14 to 25. GROW programming includes 6 social justice programs based in 4 local churches and one high school.
Programming opportunities include music, arts, public speaking and organizing training, in addition to our long standing after-school basketball program. GROW empowers youth to tackle the community issues that impact their lives by exposing them to organizing and leadership development skills in a fun, recreational setting.
CUFFH’s Youth Council is comprised of the most passionate youth from each of our other three programs. Meeting bi-weekly, they connect our youth network, further their political education, learn technical terminology about organizing and housing issues, and create and work on ongoing projects.
Partnering with the Academy of Urban Planning & Engineering, CUFFH develops high-school students into strong advocates for social justice, both inside and outside of the classroom. Meeting weekly during the school year, GROW Bushwick uses a curriculum that comprehensively discusses issues from gentrification to LGBT rights, and builds an intersectional lens which students can apply to the rest of their education. From protests in Bushwick to conferences in Manhattan and even civil rights marches in Washington DC, students have the opportunity to learn in action and build with important movements.
GROW Williamsburg is CUFFH’s longest-running youth organizing program. Youth from ages 14 to 18 meet weekly to gain leadership and organizing skills, and to form connections while playing basketball. The social justice portion of each meeting consists of workshops, trainings, and discussions on how to build the community power to confront pressing issues like housing injustice and police violence. Older community members and GROW alumnus often stop by to form connections with youth as well.
Each summer CUFFH works with 15 to 20 youth from across the city in an intensive activist training program. Combining curriculum from GROW Bushwick with field trips, protests, and youth-led projects, our summer organizing training gives youth the most time in the field. Whether youth enter the summer with a background in social justice or not, they end with first-hand experience of movement building and activism.