Youth Empowerment

The Youth Empowerment Program of the RCNV seeks to support the youth of Santa Cruz County in the fullest way possible in their own struggles to create a more just and peaceful world. Coordinated by Sandino Gomez, our goal is not to tell youth how to go about this, but instead to mentor, guide and support their own efforts and initiatives towards social and economic justice.

We are active in the Bay area, Statewide and National movement to get young people OUT of the military and to prevent them from joining up in the first place. Our counter recruitment programs offer youth information about military recruiting efforts. We provide the TRUTH about the military and counsel those seeking Conscientious Objector status.

We are available for classroom and community group presentations. We can provide an excellent speaker for you!

Some Amazing Links related to youth:

RCNV’s ReGeneration Project is the beginning works of interns at RCNV who are striving to develop a program that is comprised of and caters to the youth of Santa Cruz as well as the student communities of UCSC and Cabrillo College. We are still in the building stages of our sub-organization, and welcome any input, feedback, support, or volunteer work. Find out more here:

YOUTHSERVE has local opportunities for youth & a link to Youth Coalition Santa Cruz, a local youth-run group that organizes speakouts, poetry readings, workshops and so much more.

The Military and Draft Alternatives Program of the Resource Center for Nonviolence (RCNV) provides comprehensive information about Selective Service Registration (required for all men between 18 & 26), Conscientious Objection to military service, and changing your mind if you’re in ROTC, Deferred Enlistment Program(DEP) or military service. www/

Schools Not Jails has a rad website with tons of info about all kinds of stuff – youth activism, prison industrial complex, antiwar, and independent news. This group mainly consists of youth and does incredible work.

Just Act, Youth Action for Global Justice, a national organization promoting youth leadership and global justice. Lots of great resources and links. They organize an annual Bike-Aid fundraiser that allows youth from poorer countries to visit the U.S. All the participants are given workshops along the route to train them to be the next generation of organizers.

The Youth Empowerment Center hosts various youth empowerment organizations. These include the YouthForce Coalition, and three other radical, firery youth empowerment groups. It is based in the San Francisco area.

AWOL Magazine, Youth for Peace and Revolution. Artwork, artists, news, events and lots of interesting links on a range of different subjects. Also has hip-hop connections.

Global Youth Connect is all about compassion, human rights, and responsibilities. They provide a wealth of resources and contacts for international youth activists, including scholarships, awards and training.

Youth for Environmental Sanity conducts environmental education camps and training for environmental and social justice. They also have a bunch of related links and

Training for Change trains people(usually youth) in ways of standing up for justice, peace, and environmental harmony. Their website has lots of information and

The Ruckus Society is an infamous organization which organizes and trains people for nonviolent direct-action and civil disobedience. They are notoriously effective and are geared towards helping environmental and human rights organizations.

These other sites are not as centered around youth but are definitely valuable and of interest to youth

Adbusters is a journal of the mental environment with information on culture jamming, anti-advertising, guerilla gardening and other wholesomely subversive activities to break you out of your role as a lucrative target market. Their website also has hilarious anti-ads and even downloadable anti-commercials.

The Independent Media Center is an incredible and inspiring project of journalists and others to provide news that is not influenced by commercial interests. You never would have thought that this much stuff was going on in the world so it’s a good thing that they are a global organization. Essential for everyone.


“I want to commend the Resource Center for Nonviolence for understanding that our young people are our future and we must make sure that they know that we’re working with them to secure a future, to secure a tomorrow.

I thank the Resource Center for Nonviolence for being a shining light, not only in this region in this part of the state, for really being a shining light in Northern California and for our entire state of California. You are a model of what we in the community need to do to ensure that we do develop a new generation of peace makers.”

The Honorable BARBARA LEE, Member of Congress, June 29,2002