Youth Initiatives

youth initiatives


  • Youth Impact

    Youth can be transformative leaders, addressing inequity in their communities and the factors that lead to youth involvement in the criminal legal system.  

  • Identity-Based Initiatives

    We provide affirming space for young people to explore their identities, build community, pursue self-care, and access healing spaces with an intersectional lens. 

  • Youth Entrepreneurship and Social Enterprise

    Social enterprise and entrepreneurship programs nurture young people’s skills to develop career pipelines and start businesses, solve local problems, and support economic development. 

  • Youth-led Placemaking

    Youth-led placemaking forges strong connections between individuals and their environments to create public spaces that foster community well-being. 

  • Youth Arts

    Art engages young people to build creativity, skills, and create networking opportunities to support educational and career trajectories. 

  • Youth Action Institute

    The Youth Action Institute is a public policy research fellowship that supports young New Yorkers in investigating and testing solutions to the issues and policies that affect their lives

Publications & Digital Media

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  • “Already in the Trap”: Young New Yorkers on Why They Carry Guns

    Vital City

    Center researchers explain how their experience and credibility influenced how they approached interviewing New York City youth for our study on gun violence, "Gotta Make Your Own Heaven." They share the importance of centering community voices through this anecdotal narrative of their experience.

  • Changemakers in Action: Saadiq Newton-Boyd

    Saadiq Newton-Boyd knows from his experience with Brooklyn Justice Initiatives that you have to genuinely see potential in the community and let its members lead the way on the solutions to enact positive change. 

  • The NYPD has Recovered More “Ghost Guns” in 2021 than Any Previous Year


    Ghost guns have become increasingly popular in recent years, especially in jurisdictions where gun control regulations make it difficult for ordinary residents to obtain guns legally. Giving insight into why some New Yorkers feel the need to own a gun, the article links to and summarizes our report 'Gotta Make Your Own Heaven': Guns, Safety, and the Edge of Adulthood in New York City, where more than 300 young people from New York City neighborhoods suffering from high gun violence were surveyed. The result? More than 80% said that they’d personally been shot at and reported having carried a gun at some point in time, and many felt they lacked any other protection.

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We work with reformers around the world.

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