The Abolitionist Youth Organizing Institute (AYO, NYC!)

By Flux Factory Inc

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The Challenge 

The City of New York has cut funding for this year’s Summer Youth Employment Program, leaving thousands of young people across the city without access to necessary financial resources in the midst of a pandemic. In this crisis moment, we know how important it is for young people to not only have direct access to financial resources, but also a community of support and connection that challenges the normalization of policing and incarceration as the city continues to invest in policing over people. The Abolitionist Youth Organizing Institute is creating virtual space this summer for 50 young people ages 16 to 24 to organize towards liberated futures together. 

What is the Abolitionist Youth Organizing Institute (AYO, NYC!)?

The Abolitionist Youth Organizing Institute (AYO, NYC!)—a collaboration between Project NIA & EFA Project Space—is an immersive 7 day training experience for young people ages 16 to 24 who are interested in and/or are already working towards social justice. The training will introduce participants to the concepts of organizing, campaign development, direct action, mutual aid, creative resistance, prison industrial complex (PIC) abolition and transformative/healing justice. The institute will cover the basics of organizing from an abolitionist framework, with the goal of helping participants find/define & sustain their role within movements for social justice and change. By the end of the institute, participants will see themselves as agents of positive change in their communities and develop some meaningful skills to drive their organizing work. 

We urgently need to raise funds and we are relying on individual donors to reach our goal of $40,000. Donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

Funds raised will go directly towards:

-Fifty (50) $500 stipends for young people

-Technology & other access needs for participants

-Compensation for training facilitators



Lead Organizer: Project NIA

Launched in July 2009, Project NIA is an advocacy, organizing, popular education, research, and capacity-building center with the long-term goal of ending youth incarceration.  Project NIA’s mission is to dramatically reduce the reliance on arrest, detention, and incarceration for addressing youth crime and to instead promote the use of restorative and transformative practices, a concept that relies on community-based alternatives. Through community education, participatory action research, advocacy and organizing, Project NIA facilitates the creation of community-focused responses to violence and harm. 

Project Partner: EFA Project Space

EFA Project Space, launched in September 2008 as a program of The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, is a collaborative, cross-disciplinary arts venue founded on the belief that art is directly connected to the individuals who produce it, the communities that arise because of it, and to everyday life; and that by providing an arena for exploring these connections, we empower artists to forge new partnerships and encourage the expansion of ideas.

The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts is a 501(c)(3) public charity, dedicated to providing artists across all disciplines with space, tools and a cooperative forum for the development of individual practice. We are a catalyst for cultural growth, stimulating new interactions between artists, creative communities, and the public.

In addition to serving as the Institute’s virtual/online host, this summer, Project Space will be organizing additional public talks and content that can be accessed through our website at

Fiscal Sponsor: Flux Factory 

Fiscal sponsorship for the Abolitionist Youth Organizing institute (AYO, NYC!) is provided by Flux Factory, a 501(c)(3) charity in New York State.

Flux Factory's mission is to support emerging artists through residencies, exhibitions, education and collaborative opportunities; build sustainable artist networks; and help retain creative forces in NYC. Through open calls, Flux provides affordable space for 40 Artists-in-Residence a year; shared workspaces such as a print shop and woodshop; time to exhibit in Flux's gallery; and educational and professional opportunities. Residents produce 4 annual Major Group Exhibitions of new art.


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Team Members

EFA Project Space

Flux Factory

Project NIA