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‘We hadn’t had a message specifically preached on racism until after the protests and killings repeated in 2020.’

Photo by John Price on Unsplash

By Sierra Lyons, recent graduate of Florida A&M University

This year has brought many changes, including graduating from college. I’ve been focusing on transitioning to my career full-time and daydreaming about where I see myself living next. But the biggest change I’ve faced this year wasn’t about school or my career.

It was leaving my multicultural church of 13 years.

Before I was a member, I was an earnest elementary and middle school student at their private school. I had no idea…


Gen Now + Next

College student and YR Media columnist Erianna Jiles lives a few neighborhoods away from where Floyd was killed. She reflects on the last 365 days.

MINNEAPOLIS, MN-: A family takes pictures in front of a mural of George Floyd on June 10, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. People have been gathering at the memorial site since George Floyd was killed on May 25, 2020 by officers of the Minneapolis Police Department. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

By Erianna Jiles at YR Media

Within days of George Floyd’s death in May last year, I questioned everything I knew about racism and police brutality. I knew it was time I start taking my own activism more seriously.

Looking back, I thought the work would be simple. I was down to have all the uncomfortable conversations and educate the White folks around me any chance I got. In my classes, the space felt safe…


Courtesy Sophia Stephens

How President Trump’s Muslim ban — Executive Order 13769 — echoes WWII’s infamous Executive Order 9066.

Recently, my mother sent a picture of our traditional Hinamatsuri dolls.

In the past, my sister and I helped her unpack each doll — about 16 in total — and arrange them on a precarious platform in our living room.

This time, it was just the emperor and empress sitting on top of the family piano.

The picture was gorgeous, but something felt wrong. I quickly realized that it embodied how it felt growing up Japanese American: beautiful but abbreviated.


Illustration by Jarrett M. Ramones.

By Zyanna Maynard, The kNOw Youth Media

1. Coming out to your parents is so hard because 9 times out of 10 they will tell you,
“Oh honey! You’re just confused”

Or my favorite:
“You’ll grow out of it eventually.”
No Mom, I am not confused I am very much so positive about my sexuality and no I will not grow out of it because it has been 6 years and 2 girlfriends and 3 boyfriends.

2. To the people who ask this question:
“So since you’re with a guy you’re straight now, right?”
“Since you’re with a girl now…


(Above: Yesenia Gonzalez, and her family, attended the ‘Know Your Rights’ workshop in Coachella to learn more information for themselves and to share with others in the community. (Image: Olivia Rodriguez/Coachella Unincorporated)

By Olivia Rodriguez, Coachella Unincorporated

Editor’s Note: Raices Cultura, a local arts and culture nonprofit, recently teamed up with lawyers, Megan Beaman, from Beaman Law, and Russell Jauregui, from the Law Offices of Russell Jauregui, to host a ‘Know Your Rights’ workshop on immigration issues in the new year. Coachella Uninc. asked Jauregui to list the top five things community members should do if they are worried about their immigration status in 2017.

1. Get the Facts

“With all the things that Trump and his supporters have been saying about deporting everybody, people should know their rights. People still have…


Until recently, 20-year-old Skarlett and her younger siblings lived in a homeless shelter in downtown San Francisco. They moved to San Francisco, the city where they were born, from Mexico. Skarlett is currently the caretaker of her younger brother and sister. Illustrations by Desmond Meagley. Design by Storm White/Youth Radio.

Until recently, 20-year-old Skarlett and her younger siblings lived in a homeless shelter in downtown San Francisco. She asked that her last name not be used to protect her privacy. Here is her story, as told to Youth Radio’s Amber Ly as part of the #SFHomelessProject.

I was born and raised here in San Francisco until I was 12 years old. Then, I moved with my family to Mexico for seven years. And a year ago, my younger siblings and I moved back here alone.


By Avery White

Water Defender stands before large group of armed police. (Image: Avery White)

Editor’s Note: Photographer and activist Avery White shares her first hand account from Standing Rock, North Dakota–site of the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline, which local Native American tribal leaders have been resisting for months due to the environmental threat the oil pipeline poses to lands they hold by treaty with the United States government.

I’m a photographer based in New Orleans, Louisiana, where the unchecked power of oil companies also threatens the life and health of our communities. …


Photo by Hannah Esqueda

By Hannah Esqueda, We ‘Ced Youth Media

Merced,Calif.–For many first-time voters, the initial excitement surrounding the voting process can quickly give way to stress as they navigate the lengthy and sometimes intimidating electoral process. Local youth voters also say the upset victory of Republican Donald Trump has left them surprised, but not necessarily disillusioned with the process.

“No one in my family has ever voted before, so voting for the first time made me a little nervous,” says Cassandra Avitia, an 18-year-old freshmen at Merced Community College. …


Illustration: Desmond Meagley/Youth Radio

BY Jasmine Bilir

I am a 15-year-old girl at a Denver High School. I do not have tax returns (but I promise that I would release them if I did). I have never worn a pantsuit (but I have worn a snuggie). And I know what Aleppo is. From the get-go, it was going to be difficult for me to relate to the 2016 Presidential Race and its candidates. But I tried: I watched the debates, I listened to my parents discuss issues, I even traded Taylor Swift for political podcasts during my runs. I gave it my all. …


Image: Thomas Hawk, used under a Creative Commons license

By Keisa Reynolds, Richmond Pulse

College application season is underway for prospective students. On November 1, University of California campuses will open their application portal for those interested in any of the nine campuses.

Applicants and their families can begin the process right now. Before getting started, there are recent changes and updated information applicants should know.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA form, opened October 1 for families seeking financial aid. FAFSA is used to determine aid packages including scholarships and grants, which many low-income students rely on.

“For many families, particularly if their son or…

YR Media

YR Media, formerly Youth Radio, is a dynamic national network of young journalists, artists and innovators. We create content that matters.

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