Posted by Kathy Liang 

Building connections with organizations that also strive to create change and advocate for issues within communities is an essential part of YAC. Brothers on the Rise (BOTR) is an organization located in Fruitvale, Oakland that aims to empower young men to achieve success and to make society more just and equitable by forming healthy relationships. They also hope to see a world free of male violence where men contribute to maintain peace in their homes.

In hopes of learning more about each others’ work, YAC members Vivian Wu and Aaron Balot led a teen dating violence workshop while participating in BOTR traditions. BOTR interns began the meeting honoring important figures in their lives, opening it up to other participants; then community agreements are set. As Vivian and Aaron presented valuable information about teen dating violence, the young men gave their utmost attention and respect. They asked the YAC members thought-provoking questions to further clarify and elaborate.

This opportunity was very valuable to both Brothers on the Rise and YAC, as it is important for youth involved in different communities to come together and learn from one another. It was a new experience for YAC to have an all male and intentionally binary audience engage in an open discussion about domestic violence.

YAC has made great efforts to update their Teen Dating Violence workshop to be accurate and appropriate for young audiences. After review from APILO attorneys and constant revision, the workshop has become more refined, containing lots of information well thought out by the members. YAC persists to educate their peers about teen dating violence beyond the month of October, domestic violence awareness month and are ready to host a workshop in January at Stanford University’s Listen to the Silence conference!