By Karen Stokes
In a crowded room on the second floor of the Urban Underground, 4850 W Fond du lac Ave, the Young People’s Resistance Committee (Y.P.R.C.) hosted the first session of their Y.P.R.C. Summer School. The theme: Resist and Flourish.
The camaraderie combined with passion for healing this city was prevalent amongst the group of approximately 60, with ages spanning from as young as eight, to young adults in their 20’s. The diversity within the group of Latinos, African American and white members delivered a message of unity. The participants in the summer school session were committed to learning about solving issues affecting Black and Brown people in this community.
“We want to bring new people into the movement,” said Y.P.R.C. member Jorge Maya. “Young people are sometimes the best organizers and mobilizers and this city needs some young blood to keep on pumping this mass movement.”
Maya, 24, came from Mexico years ago. He attended Hamilton High School and recently graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a degree in civil engineering.
“The youth act out because they are angry and we want to provide an outlet for that anger and to fix the social and economic problems in the city,” said Maya. “Since manufacturers have left, the community has struggled economically. We face other struggles like police violence and immigration.”
A statement from the organization reads, The Y.P.R.C. is a youth-led, multinational organization that works for the rights of immigrants, students, and workers. Our function within the campuses with which we are involved encompasses these, and many other efforts. We organize to not only increase awareness of the injustices immigrants face in this country, but to engage in the movement all who become indignant to such issues.
Maya Neal, a member of Y.P.R.C. said, “We recently became Y.P.R.C. from a group formerly called Youth Empowered in the Struggle (YES!). The way that we transitioned from a rebranded entity I think was a success. We came up with a plan and a path to reach out to more people in the community.”
Y.P.R.C. is not a nonprofit organization. Funding is accomplished through fundraisers, donations and membership dues.
The Y.P.R.C. Summer School’s purpose is to illuminate Milwaukee’s rich history of Black/ Brown struggle and radical politics. Through lectures, and stories, a series of topics will be examined. The summer school is looking to empower attendees through building relationships and developing organizing strategies to utilize in improving this community and strengthening their movement.
A panel consisting of three women spoke last night about each of their family’s unique history in Milwaukee. Each woman, one Latina, one Black and one White had a story that taught them about the everyday politics of this city.
“Black and Brown people across the world have a long history of resistance,” Neal said. “It’s not just one single movement, it’s not just out of the blue, it’s not just because Trump is president, we have a long history of resistance and that’s why we want to show people outlets and ways that the can fight back.”