LA Youths are invited to apply to participate in “My Voice Matters – Speak Out About Social Justice,”

BATON ROUGE, LA. – September 15, 2020 – Louisiana teens, ages 11-17, are invited to apply to participate in “My
Voice Matters – Speak Out About Social Justice,” a year-long, statewide initiative to engage youths in the ongoing
conversations about social justice and racial equality. The deadline to apply is Sept. 30.
The Young Leaders Academy of Baton Rouge (YLA) is one of only eight organizations in the nation chosen to present
the program, which is hosted by CLEO Legally Inspired College Ko-horts of Students (CLICKS). The initiative will begin
in October and continue through September 2021. The program features a series of virtual town halls with student
leaders from across the United States in an interactive discussion of contemporary social issues affecting young
people today.
“Today’s youth have an unparalleled opportunity to lead us all in the dismantling of the social injustices and
inequalities that have plagued our nation for generations, and we are honored to be selected to present the ‘My
Voice Matters’ program,” said Tonya Robertson, Executive Director of the YLA of Baton Rouge. “This program
represents an opportunity for our young people to learn how to speak up and speak out about these issues.”
The series centers on three themes: Police: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow; Protest: Your First Amendment Right; and
Practice: Youth-Led Community Projects. In the weeks following the virtual town halls, CLICKS participants will be
paired with adult volunteers and mentors to continue and deepen the conversations about these themes. Upon
completion of the program, participants will choose and complete their own project. Participants will enjoy
mentorships, virtual and hybrid skills development workshops, summer leadership and career exploration activities,
and quarterly outings to law schools, courthouses, and collegiate and professional sports facilities, among others.
“Our goal is to teach young people that their voices do matter, and more importantly, that their voices can bring
change, and we are excited to bring this education to young people across Louisiana in the coming weeks and
months,” she added. “We are grateful for our partners, Southern University Law Center and Louisiana Healthcare
Connections, for helping us to make this possible.”
“Through our LEGAL EXPOSURE program, we have assembled some of the best and brightest legal minds from the
Southern University Law Center to mentor these young men and women, expose them to relevant, real time legal
issues, and provide an analytical approach to solving the social issues plaguing our society today,” said Rahim Smith,
Executive Director of Legal Exposure and law professor at Southern University Law Center. “By teaching these young
adults about their constitutional rights, procedural history, and current statutes, it provides invaluable exposure to
these children that they may not have received without this platform.”