Project VOYCE envisions a world with representative leadership for a more just and equitable society.
Project VOYCE’s mission is to partner with youth to cultivate transformational leadership to address root causes of inequity in underrepresented communities by training, employing, organizing, and building equitable youth-adult partnerships.
Why We do What We do
When young people in historically oppressed communities are looking for truth, power and collective liberation---they come to Project VOYCE. We create spaces with youth that promote critical thought learning and explorations of power, and social justice. We provide the language, knowledge and tools to ensure that the emerging majority are not afraid to confront, to listen, to see the world unveiled and reimagine new possibilities for the future. We have confidence our youth’s ability to think, to want, and to know and we help them build confidence and trust in themselves.
Before the emerging majority can dismantle systems of oppression, they must learn how those systems were designed, how they function, and how we feed their existence knowingly and unknowingly. We cannot “fix” systems that work as they were designed to work but we can imagine and create new systems when we have diverse leaders who see beyond what they have been “programmed” to see.
Representation & Leadership:
We believe that it’s not enough to simply be represented descriptively, nor is it enough to be a leader without authentically representing the voices of the silenced.
Social Justice & Equity:
Social justice is the equal distribution of resources and opportunities, in which outside factors that categorize people such as race, ethnicity, gender, etc. are irrelevant. Equity derives from the concept of social justice. It represents a belief that there are some things which people should have, that there are basic needs that should be fulfilled, that burdens and rewards should not be spread too divergently across the community, and that policy should be directed at achieving a level playing field. Social Justice is the long-term goal that can be achieved through short-term intentional interventions aimed at equity.
Inclusiveness & Diversity:
Diversity is the goal of having a variety of interrelated dimensions of human experience and identity such as race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity and expression, socio-economic status, nationality, citizenship, religion, sexual orientation, ability and age in a single space or institution. Diversity alone does not achieve or strive necessarily for a culture of belonging and honoring of differences in experience and identity. Inclusiveness takes diversity to the next level as it strives not only to have a range of experiences and identities in a space but to include and honor the value of those experiences and identities.
Action & Critical Reflection:
At PV we aim to develop youth as sociopolitical actors who think critically about systems and exercise political agency. As sociopolitical actors, individual agency/action and collective agency/action is how youth engage in existing systems through participation. The critical reflection also known as “critique” is the practice of questioning and denaturalizing the sociopolitical context of one’s life. The combination of action and critical reflection are opportunities for young people experiencing oppression to talk about challenges in their everyday lives, examine root causes of inequality and take action to dismantle barriers and forge new pathways forward.
Compassion & Accountability:
While we strive to create a culture of love and compassion, we know the urgency of now is upon us and we must hold ourselves and each other accountable for building the sharing society we dream about. Accountability at Project VOYCE means that we challenge each other to live without excuses.