On August 17, 2023, Reality Changers students gathered with youth from MidCity CAN and Youth Will for the first Youth Community Conversation held by California State Attorney General Rob Bonta. The purpose of this event was for the Attorney General to hear directly from California youth about the issues that are affecting their lives. Five students represented Reality Changers and brought up topics that are close to their hearts: housing affordability, environmental justice, health care affordability, and education equity.
press release from the California Department of Justice:
SAN DIEGO – California Attorney General Rob Bonta today launched the first of a new series of youth community conversations with young leaders to foster civic engagement and hear directly from high school aged youth about the issues that are most important to them. The discussion provided an opportunity for young leaders from across San Diego to share their experiences, concerns, and ideas on a wide range of topics from fostering safe and inclusive school environments, to advocating for social justice and climate sustainability and preventing gun violence in our communities.
“Today’s youth are not just the leaders of tomorrow; they’re the leaders of today,” said Attorney General Bonta. “As the People’s Attorney, and as a proud father of three, I believe it’s crucial to provide young people with opportunities to express their thoughts on the issues that matter most to them, and to hear their ideas about how we can work to build a safer, more just and prosperous future. These young people are already working to make positive change in their communities, from advocating to prevent gun violence, to fighting for climate action and inclusive communities. I’m proud to represent the more than 8 million kids and teens who call the Golden State home as their Attorney General, and I am committed to ensuring that they have a seat at the table as we work to build a better tomorrow for future generations.”
Today’s conversation provided an opportunity for young leaders from around San Diego County to have a dialogue with Attorney General Bonta and members of the California Department of Justice’s Office of Community Awareness, Response and Engagement (CARE), Bureau of Children’s Justice (BCJ) and their peers. During the wide-ranging discussion, the students were able to share their ideas to build a more just society and provide insights to help the California Department of Justice respond to the needs of our future generation. The discussion included members from:
- Mid-City CAN Youth Council—a group of BIPOC students who are passionate about getting involved in advocacy and civic engagement, and who are making sure young people have a seat at the table.
- Youth Will — who, through community organizing and grassroots advocacy, are fighting for the future of San Diegans under 25 on issues ranging from housing, to healthcare, the environment, and helping their peers find employment.
- Reality Changers— a free program that helps prepare San Diego students from successfully apply for and attend college, and become first-generation college graduates.
Attorney General Bonta is committed to protecting and uplifting our youth, and working to build a better tomorrow for future generations. As part of those efforts, he has fought to foster safe and inclusive school environments, defended the rights of LGBTQ youth, pushed our schools to provide an inclusive curriculum that reflects the diversity of our state and nation, and fought for foster youth and justice-involved youth. He has also worked to build a safer, more just society for our youth, by helping to reduce gun violence in our communities, protecting reproductive rights, and fighting for our climate future. More broadly, the Attorney General is deeply committed to responding to the needs of historically marginalized and underrepresented communities and, in July 2021, also launched the Office of Community Awareness, Response, and Engagement to work directly with community organizations and members of the public as part of the effort to advance justice for all Californians.