The Youth Liberty Squad is a youth leadership program created to engage high school students to inspire them and provide them with the tools to become the next generation of social justice leaders.
The Youth Liberty Squad was created in 2019 to build the foundation for the next generation of social justice leaders and to work with them to advance our education equity work. Our goal is to work alongside students to support them in feeling empowered to advocate for themselves in school and in their community. YLS students have become leaders on various issues, including student rights, school funding, art access in schools, school-based mental health, and ending the school to prison pipeline, among others.
ACLU SoCal’s Youth Liberty Squad (YLS) is a youth leadership program that engages high school students as leaders and organizers on civil rights and civil liberties. YLS students have the opportunity to learn about civil rights issues that affect their communities, with a special emphasis on educational inequities that exist in California’s public schools. Students learn how to address and challenge these issues through various methods of advocacy such as influencing policy makers and using the law to protect their rights. This includes advocacy issues such as student rights, school funding, racial justice, ending the school to prison pipeline, art access in schools, school-based mental health, student digital privacy, and more!
Through Know Your Rights presentations, trainings, “artivism,” public rallies, meetings with policy makers, and other hands-on activities, YLS students take an active role in helping shape ACLU of Southern California’s Education Equity work. The Youth Liberty Squad provides a unique opportunity for students to create change in their schools by developing their leadership skills and working alongside ACLU SoCal organizers and attorneys.