Youth Program: Pintamos Nuestro Mundo / We Paint Our World

Our Youth Organizing program, Pintamos Nuestro Mundo/We Paint Our World (PNM) was founded in 1997 as a bicultural, bilingual space for Latino immigrant youth between the ages of 11 and 18. The program offers the youth a democratic space to develop the skills to find their own voices and leadership. PNM works with young people in a number of ways, including extensive outreach, ongoing backup to support youth activists in their communities and provides them with peer-based training and experiences that open up the concepts of youth power, critical thinking and organizing. During the academic year, PNM meets Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m at Centro Presente. PNM wants to build and support a community of Latino youth working to defend immigrant rights and to inspire and empower a new generation to act for meaningful social change and economic justice. We understand the importance of having immigrant youth active in the decisions that impact their own destiny.

Our current projects

Arts & Communications Instruction

Our arts and communications classes are designed around a variety of media that vary during the year depending on opportunities and partnerships that arise. From painting, to sculpture to radio and video production the program provides the youth the opportunity to explore a variety of art and media formats to express their experiences and points of views as Latino immigrants.

Academic Tutoring/Mentoring

In partnership with local universities, the program provides to our youth one-on-one academic tutoring sessions, academic success seminars, college tours and advice regarding scholarships and college access.

Leadership Development and Community Organizing

Leadership Development: Given the collective identity that our youth develop in our Youth Program, we provide training for them to become leaders in their communities. We promote leadership by enabling our youth to name their strengths and potential, build on those innate strengths, learn the strategies of resistance used by previous generations who came before them, become adept in power analysis, and put into practice the relational organizing skills they will learn in our program. Of particular importance to us is promoting leadership that is inclusive and based in participatory, democratic, decision-making processes, rather than a hierarchical model of leadership. We envision the young members in this group transitioning into leadership roles in our organization by serving on our Board of Directors.

We truly believe that the active participation and leadership of young people, particularly young people of color, are critical in achieving social justice. Community organizing is an important process to empower a generation of young people who understand the importance of breaking barriers and having their voices heard in a society that discriminates against Latino immigrants, especially undocumented immigrants. The young members will be involved with Centro Presente’s immigrant advocacy campaigns, such as the Somos/We Are Campaign, which seeks to reframe the immigration policy debate as a human rights concern. As part of this Campaign they will participate in planning events, such as press conferences and meetings with elected officials.

Girls Group

Our girls-only group aims to empower young women to become strong leaders in their communities by understanding the role that community organizing, teambuilding and education play in their lives. Through field trips, arts and media projects, workshops and discussions the group provides an opportunity for young Latinas to address issues pertinent to their experiences.