What We Do
2.7 million children have a parent behind bars…
Youth Rise Texas (YRTX) is an Austin-based organization that was founded in summer 2015 by a woman of color and a group of Latinx and Black youth all of who were experiencing the loss of a parent to deportation or incarceration. What began as a summer of healing, art creation and community building is today youth of color member organization dedicated to uplifting the voices of teens that are affected by parental removal due to incarceration, detention, or deportation so that they may heal, act for change, and build compassionate communities.
We are a co-founder of Texas’ only youth civic engagement table, the Texas Youth Power Alliance, through which we collectively increased the youth vote in Texas by 600% over the past four years, putting Texas on the map as a real national battleground for transformative electoral power and organizing.
YRTX members have been awarded prestigious recognitions for their involvement with YRTX from the Soros Foundation, Facebook, the Robert Wood Johnson Culture of Health Leaders, Impact Austin and Davis Putter Fund. Our programs have been recognized by local and national media, including PBS Newshour and Rolling Stone.
In 2018, we also embarked on original, community-driven research to establish data local on the impact of parental removal, establish proof of concept, and advance policy recommendations for school districts and lawmakers, the results of which will be published in the coming months.
Youth Rise Texas works to create the conditions for young people to rise from systems of oppression. Our leadership pipeline works to put youth at the forefront of healing our communities and winning demands that safeguard or realize rights. That work includes programs that aim to end the systems that criminalize people of color and those who are undocumented.
We do this by engaging in transformative organizing and addressing youth as whole people through our six programs. All of our programs create the conditions for youth to be healed and transformed in the service of the work. We have developed an organizing methodology, strategy and infrastructure to create a youth-centered agenda that prepares us for the next 10 years of transformative change in Texas.