YAI 2009 a Success!

•June 29, 2009 • Leave a Comment
Carrie Rheingans, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Carrie Rheingans, Ann Arbor, Michigan

The 2009 Youth ACTION Institute was a huge success! Running from June 22 – June 27, over 20 youth from across the country and the globe attended the 2009 YAI. The highlight of the week was the Friday demonstration against budget cuts in the city of San Francisco and the state of California. Throughout the week, participants had the opportunity to attend workshops that focused on specific skills needed to carry out an action, and many of the skills were tied to planning the demonstration.

We met with Angela Green, the director of the Iris Center in San Francisco, on Monday afternoon. She described the work of the Iris Center and the difficulties they will have providing services if more budget cuts go through. After an energetic brainstorming session, the entire group decided we’d do a demonstration at the end of the week as the first step in many throughout the summer to protest the budget cuts. Angela was there with us on Friday, and many people in the plaza where we demonstrated asked for more information and wanted to get involved. Overall, it was a great week!

Prince, Justin and Karisma at the demonstration

Prince, Justin and Karisma at the demonstration


Cirriculum Planning Going Well

•April 12, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Hello YAI’ers! The Planning Committee is having a great time figuring out this year’s agenda/cirriculum for the YAI. We’ve got an exciting hands-on segment in the works for all participants, which will give us some practice in the techniques we’ll be learning at the YAI. We’re also creating the pre-YAI packet, which will contain some materials to help us be as effective in our sessions as possible. For starters, check out Housing Works’ ‘Talk Like an Activist” page. Another addition this year is a workshop where we learn  how to use social media and Web 2.0 technologies in community organizing. Got ideas for this year’s YAI? Leave a comment below!

Welcome YAI’er

•April 9, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Johnny Guaylupo is the Intake Coordinator for Housing Works/East New York ADHC. Prior to working at Housing Works, he worked for Montefiore Adolescent AIDS Program as an Outreach Worker. Johnny is a PLWHA and has been infected since the age of 17.

Johnny remains very active in addressing the crisis of those faced with HIV/AIDS. This includes the Campaign to End AIDS (C2EA)–a diverse, exciting coalition of people living with HIV/AIDS in the US, their advocates and their loved ones. He serves as an organizer and activist for the C2EA Youth Action Institute (YAI) since it’s first YAI in 2005. Johnny presented and spoke to over 300 young people at the 2006 Ryan White AIDS Conference in Philadelphia, PA and was recently part of the civil society youth caucus at the United Nations 2006 High Level Meetings on HIV/AIDS. He was also part of a speaker’s tour in the United Kingdom and visited 17 universities speaking to different societies. In 2006, Johnny was awarded the Tarsha Durant National Leadership Award (NAPWA).
Johnny has been part of the Kaiser Family Foundation PSA “SOY” Campaign and MTV Staying Alive PSA for World AIDS Day 2008. He is presently the Chair for the New York City AIDS Housing Network Board of Directors.

Weclome to the Youth Action Institute & C2EA’s Youth Caucus

•March 11, 2009 • 2 Comments

First and foremost I would like to welcome each new participant to a coalition of organizations and individuals that want to stand up and fight for the rights of individuals infected and affected by HIV/AIDS. My name is George Montgomery Jr. and I one of the current National Co-chairs for C2EA’s Youth Caucus. I started my advocacy/outreach work in the HIV/AIDS field in 2008 with my participation at the Youth Action Institute held in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It was here I learned to break out of my shell and help make a difference to bring an end to this epidemic. After YAI 2008 I became one of the most active youth in Charlotte, NC. Joining the Youth Advisory Panel at Metrolina AIDS Project, Ryan White Part A Planning Council, Charlotte Area Task Force, D-Up, became the Chair for C2EA’s Mid-Atlantic Region, and the only youth on C2EA’s Executive Committee. And had it not been for YAI, I know I would never diverged myself in so many different areas.
Currently, I am a senior at Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte, NC working on my Bachelor’s degree in Business Management with a double concentration (Human Resources & Financial Management). I plan on continuing my education by earning a second bachelor degree in social work. Ultimately I would like to become a case manager for youth.
This year’s YAI will be one to remember. The planning committee and I have been working diligently to make the conference full of learning, community based activities, and of course FUN & EXCITEMENT!!! YAI may be a weeklong but I guarantee each of you will leave with skills that will lay the groundwork for some serious advocacy and activism in your community.
I would like to close by encouraging each of you to come to this conference with open minds, and the willingness to learn, and put in your full efforts for all of the community based events. We will provide you with the tools necessary to be successful in all you do; it will be up to you to take these tools and apply them to real life situations.

I look forward to meeting each of you in Cali!!!

Greetings from Carrie on the Planning Committee!

•February 25, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Each of us planning committee members will be writing a brief introduction so you can get to know us before the YAI.

Carrie in front of the AIDS Memorial in Durban, South Africa

Carrie in front of the AIDS Memorial in Durban, South Africa

My name’s Carrie Rheingans and I was an attendee at the YAI 2008 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. At the time, I was a staff member at the HIV/AIDS Resource Center (HARC) in Ypsilanti, Michigan. I was the coordinator for all our fundraising events, as well as an HIV test counselor. Previously, I was a volunteer at HARC, doing outreach on our mobile unit, HIV test counseling, education at community venues, and supporting the office staff and fundraising events. Currently, I am an AmeriCorps member serving through the National AIDS Fund. Right now, I serve as one of the curriculum committee co-chairs (with Ericka) for the YAI planning committee (so leave curriculum suggestions in the comments!!).

I have a Bachelor in Science from the University of Michigan in German Studies and Biology. After working for a couple years, I’m back at U-M getting two masters degrees – one in public health (in health behavior and health education) and the other in social work (in community organizing). Though I look like a through-and-through Michigan girl, I’ve also lived in Freiburg, Germany and Durban, South Africa, and I’ll be living in Lima, Peru for a couple months this summer.

Leave any questions for me in the comments section! I can’t wait to meet YOU!!


•February 23, 2009 • 1 Comment

Welcome to the blog (short for weblog) for the Youth Action Institute! We are busily planning for the 2009 Institute at UC-Berkeley in June.  We’ll be using this blog to post updates about the upcoming Institute and happenings with the current cohort of YAI’ers.  Please leave comments with any questions or suggestions you have.  We look forward to seeing you at YAI 2009!