STATEMENT: Alliance for Youth Action Honors Juneteenth, Building Power for Black Liberation

For Immediate Release:

June 19, 2023

Press Contact:

Carmel Pryor

WASHINGTON –  Today, the Alliance for Youth Action uplifts how local youth-led organizations demonstrate the spirit of Juneteenth – a federal holiday commemorating the day in 1865 when the last enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas finally got word they were free from the institution of slavery. Youth organizers across the country are building real power for Black people, fighting for Black liberation in their communities, and advocating for Black people to be seen in their full humanity and treated as such.

To commemorate Juneteenth, Alliance for Youth Action Executive Director Dakota Hall released the following statement:

“Though we have a federal holiday to commemorate and reflect on this historic day, youth organizers in the Alliance Network know that our work towards Black liberation is not yet done. Enslaved people lived with faith in a future that they could not see and, in this same spirit, young people across the nation today are organizing to realize dreams for a better future for their communities. 

Like my ancestors, the dreams of young people are often deferred, but youth organizers in the Alliance Network continue in the struggle for freedom.

After successfully winning their fight to end the practice of permanently assigning School Resource Officers (SROs) to Milwaukee Public Schools in 2020, Leaders Igniting Transformation is continuing to fight to build safe schools after Governor Tony Evers decision to approve a shared revenue proposal earlier this month that will force Milwaukee Public Schools to place armed police and school resource officers in schools across the district. As in years past, this will disproportionately impact Black and Brown students as well as students with disabilities, and LIT will continue to fight to end the school-to-prison-deportation pipeline. After years of advocating for voting rights restoration, youth organizers at Chicago Votes will continue to advocate for the Voting in Prison Bill to restore voting rights to the roughly 35,000 Illinoisans in prison, in time for the 2024 elections.

From college affordability and housing justice to voting rights restoration and marijuana decriminalization, local youth-led organizations in the Alliance Network are determined to prevail in realizing their dream of a brighter future for Black people. 

Because until we are all free, none of us is free.” 

If you would like to speak with Alliance for Youth Action Executive Director Dakota Hall and/or leaders of Alliance Network organizations about their efforts to build Black youth power, please reach out to Vice President of Communications and Engagement Carmel Pryor (