Youth Uprising

An Effective Practice


Youth Uprising is an Oakland-based non-profit organization that offers classes and other resources for Oakland youth in a variety of subjects, including leadership and community building, Media and Performance Arts, Material Arts, Health and Wellness, and Career Training. Youth UpRising grew out of the needs articulated by Oakland youth in 1997 after racial tension at Castlemont High School erupted into violence. Students identified poor educational resources, too few employment opportunities, the absence of positive things to do, and lack of community and personal safety as the root causes of the problems facing youth. Youth Uprising seeks to address those needs.

Goal / Mission

Youth UpRising aims to build youth leadership and affect positive community change by ensuring that youth and young adults are supported in the following key areas:
- Consciousness Raising that exposes them to a broader set of realities to develop their capacity to think critically about personal and community experiences;
- Personal Transformation that builds their capacity to transform experiences of trauma and oppression into opportunities for positive personal and community change; and
- Hard Skill/Leadership Development that increases their creativity, strengths, and skills as effective leaders who are competitive in the marketplace.

Results / Accomplishments

According to YU's 2005 Community Assessment Report, program participants see the center as a safe haven. Most participants (78%) come to YU at least three times per week to learn new things, get off the streets or out of the house, network, have fun, hang out and relax, and for participation in programs and activities. While at YU, young people participate in social and personal activities as well as structured programs and activities. Music, computers and dance are the three most popular programs and activities. Youth feel safe, comfortable and relaxed at YU, and are able to learn valuable skills for work and for life. Individual success stories are available at

About this Promising Practice

Primary Contact
Olis Simmons, Executive Director
Youth Uprising
8711 MacArthur Blvd.
Oakland, CA 94605
(510) 777-9909 ext 131
Education / Student Performance K-12
Art & Recreation / Art
Social Environment / Social & Civic Involvement
Youth Uprising
Date of publication
Date of implementation
Geographic Type
Oakland, CA
Target Audience