We hope this letter finds you and your families safe and well. As many of you know, Youth Empowered Solutions (YES!) officially closed its’ doors on July 31, 2020. Over the past decade YES! has employed more than 100 young people from all across North Carolina, empowered thousands of youth from more than 25 states, conducted countless trainings for youth and adults, and changed hundreds of policies, systems and environments that directly impacted racial equity, youth empowerment, health, wellness and communities across the state and country.
We want to take a moment to acknowledge all of the amazing youth and adult staff that have come through the doors at YES! – our dedicated board members that supported the organization, our countless community partners, and the funders that saw our vision and invested in this work. We would have never built this unique and transformative organization without your commitment and dedication. Thank you.
As with most things, the only thing that is constant is change. At YES! we worked hard to grow and evolve to meet our mission, the vision of our young people, and the urgency of now. As a result, the mission of YES! outgrew the leadership and could no longer sustain itself in the current structure and leadership. The YES! journey has ended, but with each ending there are also new beginnings.
We are so excited to share that the work of YES! will continue under the leadership and support of the Partnership for Southern Equity (PSE) and has evolved into YES! for Equity.PSE is an Atlanta-based nonprofit with the mission to advance policies and institutional actions that promote racial equity and shared prosperity for all in the growth of metropolitan Atlanta and the American South. We know that this next chapter as YES! for Equity will be an exciting and meaningful adventure as we have the opportunity to further grow youth leadership across the American South.
Jessica Daniels, Katie Warner, and the YES! for Equity team would like to take a moment to thank Dwayne Patterson, Chief Equity and Impact Officer at the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation (formerly Vice President of Strategy and Engagement of PSE) in believing in this partnership and fostering this opportunity. We would also like to thank Nathaniel Smith, PSE’s Founder and Chief Equity Officer, for continuing to nurture this new relationship and for all of his guidance, wisdom and support during this transitional period.
YES! for Equity will continue to offer YES! Youth and Adult Leader Trainings and extensive consulting and coaching around youth leadership development, racial equity, and organizational structures to engage and embolden young people across the American South.
Thank you all for being on this journey with us. We need the leadership of young people now more than ever and are excited to continue this work as YES! for Equity. Stay tuned for more announcements in the coming weeks and feel free to reach out if we can support your youth leadership and racial equity work!