Press Release

America’s Promise Awards 200 Grants for Youth-Led Racial Equity Service Projects

Power of Youth Challenge’ winners are leading service projects focused on racial healing, equity, and inclusion

WASHINGTON – America’s Promise Alliance today announced 200 mini-grants to youth leaders working to promote racial equity and inclusion in their communities. The grant recipients are 13 to 19 years old, represent 36 states and the District of Columbia, and have each received $250 to support their service projects.

This year’s grants, which are part of the Power of Youth Challenge, focused specifically on promoting racial equity, recognize the important role that young people play in addressing racial division and injustice in their communities. Grant recipients have taken on a range of issues: from educating peers and community members about various cultures, to taking action to address racist policies, to providing tangible supports for immigrants and refugees.

“The vision that these young leaders have for building strong, just, and inclusive communities is inspirational,” said Mike O’Brien, CEO of America’s Promise Alliance. “Their projects and passion give me confidence that a future led by young people like our Power of Youth Challenge grantees will be a brighter one.”

The Power of Youth Challenge is an initiative to provide young people who are making a difference in their communities with direct financial support and coaching to further their efforts. Now in its third year, the Challenge has provided 500 mini-grants to young people for youth-led service projects that address some of the most vexing problems facing our communities—from social justice and racial discrimination to mental health, safety, and education.

This round of grants was made possible with generous support from The Allstate Foundation, which is dedicated to empowering youth to succeed and lead. Grant applications launched on January 19, 2021—the National Day of Racial Healing.

Below are three grant winners who are representative of the array of projects funded this round:

Race in the Classroom: Open Discussion
Camden County, N.J.

Andrew G. worked with members of the African American Appreciation Club to lead an open conversation about racism in the classroom, being a minority in a school setting, and assumptions about BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) students. After a successful initial conversation, the project is expanding to all high schools in the district. School administrators, Board of Education members, and students will all be invited to future conversations.

Encode Justice
Santa Clara County, Calif.

Sneha R. is using a Power of Youth grant to fund educational workshops about the ways in which flawed facial recognition technology has resulted in wrongful arrests of Black men. These workshops have reached more than 3,000 high school students worldwide and share about the potential of algorithms to be a force for good as well as the ways they currently compound surveillance and discrimination.

CAFYIR (Career Aid For Young Immigrants and Refugees)
Orange County, Fla.

Alexis D. is leading free Career Aid For Young Immigrants and Refugees workshops to provide students with specialized mentoring and career education. The workshops are led by a team of volunteers and focus on careers in science, humanities, and the arts.