Youth Justice Institute


Central Valley Youth Organizing Conference
October 25-26, 2003
Fresno State, University Center

Hook up to organizing skills, tools and tactics.
Build with youth activists across the state.
Strategize on how to expand the movement for youth justice in your region and throughout California.


The Youth Justice Institute (YJI) promotes, strengthens, and mobilizes the human and collective potential of underrepresented communities of the Central Valley through research, education, organizing, and leadership development. The Institute strives to create systemic change in the educational, health, and juvenile justice systems.

Toward this vision YJI:

  • Promotes alternatives to juvenile incarceration and equitable systemic changes in arenas such as education, law enforcement, media, and health
  • Increases civic participation of youth and adults in institutions that affect their daily lives
  • Builds pride, voice, and unity among underrepresented youth through community education, organizing, and participatory research
  • Establishes partnerships among organizations engaged in issues of educational equity
  • Strives to become a funding source for organizations whose programs carryout the goals of YJI

Today YJI celebrates:

  • A collaborative effort promoting alternatives to juvenile incarceration. Initial efforts include a Central Valley youth organizing convening, supported by the California Fund for Youth Organizing.
  • Hmong Community Education Task Force (HCETF). YJI sponsors and supports HCETF, a leading effort in bringing Fresno’s Southeast Asian community together with governmental, educational, and law enforcement agencies to address common concerns.
  • Youth Grassroots Organizing (Youth GRO). YJI spearheaded Youth GRO to promote equity in education for youth of color, immigrants, and other underrepresented groups in the Central Valley. By documenting local issues and perspectives on educational equity, youth action researchers from three Central Valley communities impact regional efforts to improve educational opportunities for all.

QUOTE: "Teens want to be valued. We want to stand up and want adults to listen. If people listen, what we have to share will benefit many other youths’ lives."—Michelle, Teens Supporting Teens, Woodland, CA

Past and current funders include the James Irvine Foundation and the California Fund for Youth Organizing.

For more information:
Contact Manuel Perez at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at (530) 758-3688.

Join us in supporting the vision.
If you are interested in becoming a funding partner, contact Mark Miller at mark@larkspring.comor at (916) 638-1733.

A project of the Central Valley Partnership for Citizenship—engaging immigrants, migrants, and refugees in the civic life of California’s Central Valley


Our History

Since 1996, CVP partners have launched campaigns and implemented programs to assist migrants, immigrants, and refugees organizing to claim their rightful place in the civic, cultural, and economic life of the Valley. The CVP supports Valley communities working together to achieve social and institutional change - change that provides the opportunity for all who reside in the Valley to live in dignity and good health, participate fully in decisions that affect their lives, and assume the rights and responsibilities of citizenship in its broadest sense.