Our workshop markets literally build value around the thinking of the young people we serve.
The thinking of young people in under-served neighborhoods is not valued, and this is not a good state of affairs. In contrast to the thoughts of relatively affluent young people and the professionals they will become, the thoughts of young people who live in high-poverty, high-crime neighborhoods are not expected to grow, develop, and contribute to the world around them.
We address this problem by creating “workshop markets.” In each market, a youth-produced project is “sold” to the community. It is sold for a donation to the Lifting Voices Youth Fellow scholarship program or for a donation of volunteer time.
The markets target five groups which have contributed to the devaluing of these young people’s thoughts: local government, schools, families, neighbors, and peers.
The markets connect with these groups by demonstrating that their self-interest is served by our kids thinking well. Through this, we help grow a culture that nourishes them.