Youth Speaks Develops a New Generation of Voices for Bold Change

“It’s not the thoughts or the prayers.It’s the actionsIt’s how we stared down the barrel. Stared untilthe barrel lowered until […more…]

Youth Speaks Amplifies the Narrative Power of a New Generation

Co-founder of the only tech news website for Black millennials; head writer for Disney+’s upcoming superhero series starring a Black […more…]

Youth Speaks

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Executive Director: Michelle “Mush” Lee


We create spaces that challenge youth to amplify their voices as creators of societal change.

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There could not be a better time for Youth Speaks to expand its vision, wisdom, and innovation to the evolving task of building power for the next generation. I have been blessed to see Youth Speaks work to inspire and catalyze young minds to bring truth, beauty, and wonder into a world in need. Times have changed, but the urgency of Youth Speaks’ mission has not.
Jeff Chang, Former VP of Narrative, Arts, and Culture at Race Forward, Author, and Cultural historian

Powering Up the Voices of Youth

Youth Speaks has been encouraging young people to use poetry, stories, art, and their voices to drive political change and justice for over 25 years. 

Their innovative program, Power Lab, will pair 20 young poets, writers, and culture-bearers with movement partners to continue to impact our culture in substantial ways. Youth Speaks needs only 40% of its seed fund, a remaining $2 million, to support its Power Lab artistic fellowships over two years and $250,000 to continue their mission of amplifying young voices. 

Key Supporters

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California Arts Council
Emily Leys and Gene Chung
Golden State Warriors
Hellman Foundation
Barbara and Amos Hostetter
Mission Economic
Development Agency
National Endowment for the Arts
Jenny Fan Raj and Nehal Raj
San Francisco Department
of Children,
Youth & Their Families
San Francisco Grants for the Arts
The Center for Cultural Power
The John D. and Catherine T.
MacArthur Foundation
The Morgan Plouffe Family
The Robert and Michelle
Philanthropic Fund
Universal Music Group,
Taskforce for Meaningful Change