When SWOP became a membership organization in 1986, a basic need was to begin providing childcare for our members. But we realized that if SWOP and others were to have an impact in the long run we would have to begin focusing more attention on child development and youth issues. We began to provide educational, artistic and multi-cultural activities to reach far beyond what our children were learning in school. We worked with students and participants in the Summer Employment Programs to provide a vehicle for older youth to participate fully in our struggles. Out of this work has emerged our Child and Youth Development Resources Program, which works to assist children and youth in developing their own agendas for participation and social change through such activities.
The SWOP youth group serves as a space for solidarity, where leadership is fostered, and political education is at the forefront.
The SWOP youth work on various issues; currently, they are working on campaigns relating to food justice, the school to prison pipeline, and the Student Bill Of Rights.
Folks who regularly attend meetings become eligible to be a part of our Core Membership. All and any youth are welcome.
Contact our Youth Rights Organizer, Amanda Gallegos, to get involved:
Student Bill of Rights
In 2013, SWOP youth worked with elected officials to pass a Student Bill of Rights in the NM State Legislature.
Preparing future youth leaders by giving them the tools they need for developing skills in community organizing and job readiness.
YES! is an employment opportunity for youth to become engaged in community organizing.
Youth acquire a political consciousness, and social justice awareness through educational workshops paired with direct organizing in their own communities. The program intends to teach meaningful job and life skills.
YES Logic Model
This student bill of rights is proposed with the purpose of establishing the basis for a fair, safe, and engaging learning environment for the students of New Mexico. These rights have been compiled through a series of workshops in collaboration with the SouthWest Organizing Project and students across different schools in New Mexico.
Students shall have freedom from discrimination.
Students shall have access to extracurricular and after school programs.
Students shall have information, resources, and support to prepare them for life after high school, and shall be highly encouraged to pursue higher education.
Students shall have equitable school and classroom environments.
Students shall have affordable and nutritious food.
Students shall have access to bilingual education.
Students shall have full protection of their constitutional rights while in schools.
Students shall have safe and secure public schools.
Students shall have the right and the opportunity to organize themselves and self-represent in important school decision-making processes.