The Buffalo-Niagara region is one of the most segregated metropolitan areas in the United States. This segregation contributes to a lack of economic mobility amongst people of color, creates misunderstanding, and allows for harmful and damaging stereotypes to perpetuate because people of different backgrounds do not live, work, or have any meaningful social interaction with each other.
The Erie County Youth Community Action Network (Youth CAN) Teen Leaders will make the Erie County 4-H Program an innovator in intentionally building relationships to reduce the negative effects of segregation. In Erie County Youth CAN, teen leaders, in partnership with adults, will unite across geographic, racial, and cultural boundaries to develop solutions to address the lack of equity and inclusion within their local communities and across Erie County.
This work will develop intercultural competence in our young leaders so that they are able to build meaningful relationships across difference to create societal change. This network will be a model for other 4-H programs and organizations throughout New York State, and beyond, to promote racial healing, reduce fear of the other, and build stronger communities prepared to face future challenges.
For more information about our innovative youth development work, click here: http://erie.cce.cornell.edu/4-h-youth-development/youth-community-action-1