Calling all teenagers! Apply now for the…

Social Justice Leadership Academy

July 8 - August 8, 2019

Ages 13 - 19

Mondays - Thursdays 10am-3pm
Youth Fellows (Ages 16-19) work Mondays-Fridays, 9:30am - 3:30pm.
Orientation for Youth Fellows is on July 5.

Calling all teenagers: Join us for this summer’s Social Justice Leadership Academy!
 The Social Justice Leadership Academy (SJLA) is an immersive summer leadership program for Hudson teenagers, combining transformative political education and hands-on arts programming to support youth in developing their visions and voices for change. Over the course of five weeks, we…

  • Work with professional artists to create music, film, radio, poetry, theater, dance, visual art, fashion, and more.

  • Develop our skills as community leaders.

  • Identify the big issues impacting our communities, learn about movements for justice, and take our own action to make change.

  • Expand our networks and connect with inspiring people throughout the Hudson Valley and beyond.

  • Build a family of trust and mutual support.

  • For Youth Fellows: develop professional development skills, including communication skills, resume-building, goals mapping, etc.

Our partners include the Columbia County Sanctuary Movement, Wildseed, Hudson Muslim Youth, Youth FX, Found Sound Nation, Wild Gather, Drive Time Radio, Soul Fire Farm, Brotherhood Sister Sol, and more…

How to apply:

Interested in being a

  • Youth participants (ages 13-19) attend Mondays - Thursdays, 10am - 3pm.

  • All participants must complete an application to join the program.

  • Click here to complete the Youth Participant registration form. Applications are due by June 1, 2019. Space is limited and spots are granted on a first come, first serve basis, so get your applications in soon!

Interested in being a
Youth Fellow?

  • Youth Fellows (ages 16-19) work as staff Mondays - Fridays, 9:30am - 3:30pm. 

  • Orientation for Youth Fellows is on July 5, 2019.

  • Youth Fellows receive a stipend for the summer, helping to design and lead activities; providing mentorship to their younger peers; setting up, cleaning up, and maintaining our space; and cooking daily meals. Youth Fellows receive professional development support and training on Fridays.

  • All Youth Fellows (ages 16-19) must complete an application to be hired as staff for the program, as well as an in-person interview. Youth Fellows are also encouraged to apply for a position through the NY Summer Youth Employment Program of Columbia Greene Workforce.

  • Click here to complete the Youth Fellow application. Applications are due April 18, 2019 There are very limited paid Youth Fellow positions and priority goes to youth who have been participants in the program and those participating in the NY Summer Youth Employment Program. 

Email or call 518-945-8445 with any questions.




Throughout the summer we use art to express and explore ideas, to ask questions, to reflect, to share, and to transform ourselves and each other. We collaborate with professional music producers, photographers, media-makers and poets to write and record songs, shoot photography projects, conduct interviews, produce radio for broadcast, write and perform poetry, choreograph dances, and to create jewelry and fashion. These tools support us in taking control of our own narratives: sharing and reflecting on our own experiences, and telling our own stories of struggle, strength and resilience.



SJLA is a safe and supportive environment for us to develop the skills and confidence to step up as leaders in our communities. We practice writing speeches and speaking publicly, and leading workshops and activities. We learn about the roles that people play in movements, and consider each of our own skills and passions. Are you an artist, a warrior, a builder, a healer, a storyteller? What kind of power do you bring to your community? At the end of the summer we plan and host an epic public event for our families and neighbors. Throughout the summer Youth Fellows receive additional professional development support, including trainings and workshops in communication, resume-writing, time management, mapping our futures, etc.

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The relationships we develop during SJLA are long-lasting: together we build a culture and community of openness and acceptance, trust and mutual support.  Every week we also connect with inspiring organizers, activists and artists in our city and beyond. We travel to meet other youth groups in the Hudson Valley, Albany, and New York City, sharing our songs and art, learning about other youth organizing efforts and media projects, and building relationships for future collaborations. SJLA is a family.

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Through hands-on workshops and conversations, we develop our critical awareness and understanding of systems of power, privilege, and oppression. We learn about issues impacting our communities, like gender and sexuality, mass incarceration, immigration, the school-to-prison pipeline, and educational injustice. We learn about movements for liberation, and inspiring actions being taken by youth around the world today. Together we develop our vision for making our own community a more just place, and organize our own action for change.











Apply now!


Would you sponsor a teen to participate in this transformative summer leadership program?

Every summer, we provide meaningful employment and job training to 10-12 youth leaders (ages 16-19) to help facilitate and run this program, and to serve as mentors to their younger peers (ages 13-15). By employing teen staff, we make participation in the program possible for youth from low-income families.


See photos from past SJLA summers here: