The Link Spotlight: April 2017

VOICE Advisory Committee

VOICE: Vision of Intelligence, Creating Equity

Members are young women, ages 14-21, with experience in the juvenile justice system. Members are paid staff of The Link and their role is to co-found and advise the development of the gender-specific POWER program in The Link’s Juvenile Justice Division.

  • Members meet at least twice per month to discuss all aspects of the administration and implementation of the POWER Program such as group topics, community speakers and partners, outcome reporting, budget, and staffing.
  • Members are also afforded additional opportunities to support other Link programming and events, advocate on behalf of justice-involved youth through community engagement, policy, and funding, and contribute to an overall narrative shift regarding justice-involved youth.

Highlights

  • Co-Founder Chyenne Boyce appointed to the Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee (JJAC) by Governor Mark Dayton, September 2016
  • VOICE Members Keeasia Davis and Alexis Kretz and ED Beth Holger-Ambrose attended a convening for the National Girls Initiative (NGI) at the White House, November 2016

Program Development
Selected Accomplishments

  • Co-Founders involved in the interview and selection of Program Manager and two Case Managers to staff the POWER Program.
  • Co-Founders established priorities and relevancy for group topics to develop a 16 week curriculum. Selected a gender-specific evidence based curriculum to match the priority topics.
  • VOICE Members went shopping to select graduation gifts for the POWER Participants and to buy winter coats to be distributed to the participants as needed.

Fundraising and Outreach
Selected Accomplishments

  • VOICE Members participated in a conversation with The Phillips Foundation’s “next generation” who are considering juvenile justice as a focus area for future funding. VOICE contributed their personal experiences and their insights into useful ways for funding to impact the system.
  • VOICE Members participated in Give To The Max Day 2016 by writing a fundraising page, soliciting their own networks for donations and learning fundraising skills. VOICE also participated in thank you calls and emails to donors to the agency throughout the day.

Community Events and Professional Development
Selected Accomplishments:

  • “Stop the Violence” BBQ and Basketball Tournament, July 2016
    • In partnership with Office of Black Male Student Achievement, Change Equals Opportunity (CEO)/Run and Shoot High School Basketball League, Minneapolis MadDads, Justice 4 All Program (Take Action MN)
    • Photography project #NotForgotten in partnership with A Graceful Movement highlighted people in the community impacted by the incarceration of a friend or loved one. Asked “When do you miss their presence most?” and “What do you hope they know or believe about themselves?
  • Racial Justice & Policing Panel, November 2016
    • VOICE gave input on questions asked during a panel conversation with Black Lives Matter, Justice 4 All and Neighborhoods Organizing for Change which centered around topics of police violence, protest and community organizing. VOICE also assisted with the setup and tear down of the event, which The Link hosted.


Advocacy & Civic Engagement
Selected Accomplishments:

  • Restore The Vote Campaign, September 2016
    • In partnership with Justice 4 All (Take Action MN) phone bank to a list of formerly incarcerated people in Minnesota to garner support for the restoration of voting rights upon release from prison.
  • Get Out The Vote Campaign, November 2016Thank you to the youth staff who have made the first year of the VOICE Advisory Committee such an amazing success!

Congratulations to the members of the VOICE Advisory Committee and the staff who helped to make this first year such an incredible success!