Our Programs

The National Collaborative for Transformative Youth Policy's programs fall into two broad categories: collaborative policy advocacy and power building initiatives. Both of our programmatic work streams are fundamentally connected, mutually reinforcing, and complementary. We believe that both threads are essential to achieving transformative change.

Our Programs

Collaborative Policy Advocacy

Economic Justice, Mental Health

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Power Building Initiatives

ND4Y, Communities Collaborating to Reconnect Youth, Policy 101

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Collaborative Policy

The National Collaborative for Transformative Youth Policy's collaborative policy advocacy work seeks to achieve transformative policy change at the federal, state, and local level in deep collaboration with directly impacted young people and their communities. This means that we authentically engage young people and their communities in all the stages of the policy process: agenda setting, policy formulation, policy adoption, policy implementation, and policy evaluation. We consistently strive towards shared decision making and co-creation with youth, and to be trusted partners to youth-led efforts. We hold ourselves primarily accountable to young people who have been most marginalized by existing policies and systems. We make it a priority to regularly conduct check-ins with and gather feedback from young people, to hire young people to co-lead policy work, and to center young people in our governance and advisory structures.

Our strategies include traditional policy advocacy approaches such as research, data analysis, policy development, coalition work, technical assistance, learning communities, developing legislative text, convening, and providing policy recommendations. We also rely on creative approaches such as art, narrative change, and digital strategies. Our initial core content areas are economic justice, mental health, community safety, and their intersections. Future content areas will be added based on young people's feedback and an assessment of the TYP Collaborative's ability to make a unique, additive contribution to the issue area.

Economic Justice

We center our economic justice policy advocacy in the experiences of opportunity youth- young people who need to be plugged into resources to connect to school or work, or because they have experienced the child welfare or criminal legal systems. Our policy expertise includes youth employment, equitable systems building, and connecting local systems leaders to federal policy.

Mental Health

We uplift policy solutions that respond to the systemic causes of youth mental health challenges, including poverty, racism, discrimination, community violence, and climate change. Our policy expertise includes youth peer support, equitable school-based mental health, youth mobile response, telehealth, healing centered practices, community-based care, Medicaid policy levers, confidentiality and minor consent.

Power Building Initiatives

The National Collaborative for Transformative Youth Policy's power building initiatives are focused on collaborating with young people and their communities to increase equitable access to the existing policy making process, creatively disrupt that process to permanently shift dynamics of power and accountability, and work towards reimagined systems and structures. These efforts are focused on connecting young people and community members directly to the channels of power to advance a youth-led liberatory vision for change. We will also support and collaborate with local and state-level grassroots and organizing efforts. This work incorporates principles of mutual aid and grassroots organizing, and includes a crisis fund to provide direct support to young people experiencing crisis because of current and historic policy violence. Current initiatives under this work stream include: A New Deal for Youth (ND4Y); Communities Collaborating to Reconnect Youth (CCRY), virtual and in-person policy 101 workshops, and our youth mobile response working group. Future initiatives might include expanded virtual and in-person political education modules and a Youth Liberation National Convening.

ND4Y logo

ND4Y is a youth-led, youth centered effort advocating for the creation of new systems, policies, investments, and structures that reimagine life for young people in America.

CCRY is a national learning community of leaders working across systems to help young people reconnect to education and career pathways.

Policy 101

Policy 101 workshops are designed to demystify policy, introduce the concept of systems of power and their influence on policy, provide an overview of the basic elements of a policy agenda, and provide participants the opportunity to draft an advocacy strategy for an issue that they care about.

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