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ROCKAWAY YOUTH TASK FORCE

Young Leaders working for an Equitable & Justice Rockaway

Rockaway Youth Task Force is a youth-led community based organization that focuses on educating their community, developing youth leaders through leadership trainings, organizing advocacy campaigns, and providing space for community members to build power. RYFT boasts a “By-Youth, For-Youth” model and strongly believes that teaching young people about the tenets of community organizing and empowering them to take the reins on campaigns lets them see the impact of their action in a personal way. Over the years, RYTF have rallied to end the school-to-prison pipeline, fought for an equitable food system and demanded police reform.

Rockaway Youth Task Force believes that young people should be represented in community politics, and applies this belief by securing multiple positions of leadership in Rockaway. Members of RYTF have held a seat on community board 14, as well as the position of Precinct Council President. RYTF also launched the Rockaway Advocate, a youth-run social justice magazine aimed at holding government accountable, providing resources that promote civic engagement, and celebrating the stories and successes of a community long underserved and ignored.

Guiding Vision: RYTF’s vision is a thriving Far Rockaway community that can shape it’s own future and respond to change and crisis with experience, historical knowledge, and in partnership with each other and the larger city, state, and federal agencies as well as national and international grassroots social justice movements. To realize this vision, RYTF seeks to build power within the Rockaway community by creating a pipeline of politically conscious, youth-allied leaders who can sustain continuity of positive change and community power, embedding themselves into the systems they are working to change.

Results:

  • Successfully campaigned to change a New York State law to lower the age to serve on community boards from 18 to 16.

  • Advocated for over $800,000 in capital expenses to Rockaway schools through Participatory Budgeting

  • Built and maintains one of the largest youth run urban farms in New York City. To date, RYTF has produced nearly 100,000 pounds of produce to the Rockaway Peninsula through a partnership with GrowNYC and provides growing space for over 50 families on the Rockaway Peninsula

  • Successfully campaigned for the Rockaway Ferry Shuttle to provide free access to residents in Far Rockaway

  • Conducted food justice workshops and trainings around the United States and internationally