Posted by Kathy Liang, Nicholas Chung, Emily Liang, Hua Wei, and Vivian Wu

On January 26th, 2019, YAC Interns were invited to hold a workshop at the Berkeley Social Justice Symposium at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School. For our workshop, we decided to present our ‘Understanding Teen Dating Violence’ presentation with a slight twist. Although the event mainly consisted of adults and lacked youth representation, YAC members were able to have close discussions about intersectionality and allyship and see from the perspective of our community members. Our workshop focused on recognizing our privilege and utilizing it to be supportive allies to our peers. We had participants list examples of privilege for various demographics, and we emphasized how a recognition of privilege is not a failure but instead a form of solidarity.

The keynote speaker, George Galvis, spread inspiration as he talked about the cycle of violence, the power of youth, and community healing methods. He advocates for at-risk youth, people in prison, and formerly incarcerated people with children. In addition, he is the co-founder and executive director of Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice (CURYJ). His work encourages everyone in the audience to once again become energized and motivated to continue their work in advocacy. We learned the origins of prisons and strengths within communities that spreads beyond our immediate family.

Overall, YAC members were able to provide a youth perspective on domestic violence at the Berkeley Social Justice Symposium.