BreakOUT! is celebrating the launch of the Building Our Power Institute, a 15-week long leadership development and organizing training for BreakOUT! members.  The Institute will run two cohorts a year, one in Spring and one in the Fall, and incorporate political education, youth organizing and movement building, healing and wellness, Know Your Rights trainings, individual goal-setting, and more.  The BOP Institute was designed through a partnership between our youth leaders and Organizers “to build upon the awesomeness generated by BreakOUT! Members, and to foster their development into fiercer community leaders.”

The Institute will also build BreakOUT!‘s capacity by providing a clear leadership pipeline for youth, additional ways for youth to move up and through the organization, greater outreach tools to reach new members, increased grassroots fundraising strategies, and additional ways to determine the impact BreakOUT! has on our members and their leadership development.  The program borrows curriculum gathered from similar programs around the country as well as our own BreakOUT! curriculum and builds upon the lived experience and expertise of our members.

By the end of the 10-week long program, youth will know how to identify issues in their lives, determine the root causes of the issues they face, how to frame issues in the media, access resources and allies, fundraise to support their causes, and launch successful campaigns to make a safer and more just New Orleans.

What’s more is that the program will allow youth to fully engage by providing a stipend for their time and rewarding them afterward with access to travel opportunities to conferences and convenings, part-time contract positions, and other “perks” reserved for our most active Core Member Leaders.   As our youth learn grassroots fundraising skills, they will be actively fundraising for the participants in the next cohort so that they are at once learning skills and giving back to the Institute and future cohort members to come.

The first pilot run of the Building Our Power Institute has already begun with 11 participants and is being reviewed and evaluated by Organizers and members in order to launch the next full round in Spring 2015.

During the cohort, General Membership meetings will be held monthly on the last Wednesday of the month.  Be sure to follow us on Facebook for updates and the application for the next BOP in 2015!