ABC7 Unite: Public Allies offers new opportunities to young people

ByDarla Miles and Eyewitness News via WABC logo
Friday, August 7, 2020
EMBED <>More Videos

Public Allies is a national movement committed to advancing social justice and equity by engaging and activating the leadership capacities of young people.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Public Allies is a national movement committed to advancing social justice and equity by engaging and activating the leadership capacities of young people.

"I got another job based off my experience with Public Allies," said 23-year-old Aurora Douglas, a recent graduation from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. "Having public allies on your resume is a big deal. It shows that you know about community."

Douglas made such an impact at the United Community Schools she served in Brownsville that they don't want to lose her.

"STEM programs, they're not usually directed towards kids in these areas," she said. "So I'm glad that they got the opportunity to work with iPads and learning how to create programs."

ABC7 Unite: Teens rebuild man's home destroyed by Superstorm Sandy

Douglas will continue the work she started during a 10-month apprenticeship with the Public Allies program. The national non-profit organization has been around 28 years and operates program in 25 states, including in Chicago, Illinois, where Michelle Obama served as the executive director.

"We pride ourselves on being a social justice organization that focuses on homegrown local leadership," program director and alum Janeen Ettienne said. "Where were tapping into young leaders who are traditionally left out of rooms of power."

The program works by pairing participants, or "allies," to work with local community-based non-profits to development their leadership skills and build confidence -- and there is a peer support component as well.

"I was expecting it to be peers, but we had people who were like my grandmother's age," Douglas said. "Which adds to how amazing to our cohorts is, and Public Allies."

ABC7 Unite: Photographers offer free headshots to 10K unemployed Americans

The program has also led to career changes.

"Before I started Public Allies, I had a career in public relations and entertainment," alumni Vincent Cunningham said. "And I wanted to find a way to segue into doing something that I felt was more impactful."

Cunningham, 30, is now working with City Harvest's Plentiful, moving into a full time role after his apprenticeship.

"It made me really realize that you need different pieces of the puzzle to get the picture," he said. "You need different people, different shapes, different sizes, different philosophies. And this truly changed the trajectory of my life."

MORE ABC 7 UNITE

See more stories at abc7NY.com/unite

SEND STORY IDEAS TO EYEWITNESS NEWS

Watch Here & Now

Here & Now episode archive

RESOURCES

We are also publishing resources in a range of areas, which will grow and can be found below:

Ways to Help

Black Lives Matter

Black Voters Matter Fund

NAACP

National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform

No New Jails NYC

Voices of Community Activists & Leaders (VOCAL-NY)

Black LGBTQIA + Migrants Project

Teaching the Next Generation

Black Lives Matter at School

Creating Space To Talk About Racism At Your School

Teaching for Black Lives - Rethinking Schools

Black-Owned Bookstores in New York and New Jersey

Cafe con Libros (Brooklyn)

Grandma's Place (Harlem)

Sister's Uptown (Manhattan)

Source of Knowledge (Newark)

The Lit. Bar (Bronx)

The Little Boho Bookshop (Bayonne)

Books

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children In A Racially Unjust America by Jennifer Harvey

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism

Podcasts

1619

Black Wall Street 1921

Jemele Hill is Unbothered

Still Processing:

Movies

American Son: Available on Netflix

If Beale Street Could Talk: Available on Hulu

Just Mercy: Available on Amazon Prime

Selma: Available on Amazon Prime

The Hate U Give: Available on Amazon Prime

When They See Us: Available on Netflix

Documentaries

13th: Available on Netflix

America Inside Out with Katie Couric: Available on National Geographic

Becoming: Available on Netflix

I am Not Your Negro: Available on YouTube