In late 2018, we launched Introducing Youth to American Infrastructure (“iyai+”), a national nonprofit to help accomplish three main goals:
Inspire, excite, and actively engage youth...
In our nation’s critical infrastructure sectors – by reframing the image to one of “community-building” – centered around impacts to people, communities, and society. Anchored in values and outcomes – the “+” – equity and inclusion, resilience, sustainability, smart, safe, and secure.
Increase the participation of historically under-represented groups – people of color and women – across our nation’s critical infrastructure sectors. Starting with the “lifeline sectors” – transport, water, energy, telecommunications. All are facing significant workforce development challenges. And all experience significant, longstanding diversity and inclusion challenges.
While progress has occurred in some areas – much more work remains to be done.
iyai+ encourages YOUTH to “build their civic muscle” through active community participation – sharing their considerable knowledge, learned experiences, and fresh perspectives.
Our YOUTH Sharing Their Stories
At iyai+, we are deeply committed to helping our YOUTH be strong, confident, self-sufficient, engaged people and caring members of society. Youth VOICE and meaningful engagement in problem identification and problem-solving within their communities is embedded in all aspects of our work.
Our “My Beloved Community” transformative justice program element developed in collaboration with the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice, Harvard University Law School encourages youth to apply their class and learned experiences to Tell Their Stories (in the form of “docu-shorts”).
Students share their insights regarding the impact of critical infrastructure on their personal lives, community, and society – as one way to help them understand this important connection. And encourage them to personally care about the importance of community participation – and public service.