Power Building connects and elevates youth organizing campaigns divesting from policing, control, and confinement and investing in systems of care.

At YO! Cali we define powerbuilding as: 

  • Centered in unapologetic youth voice and power
  • Shaped by visionary dream space
  • Fueled by healing, joy and relationships
  • Rooted in multigenerational, cultural wisdom, held by the many

For the sake of our collective liberation.


Our Power Building Role

  • Gather and amplify the leadership, strategy, and impact of BIPOC, trans, undocumented, and systems impacted youth & their organizations across geographies
  • Advance interdependence & connections between local communities and across issue fights by building relationships, sharing lessons, and creating movement infrastructure
  • Honor local wisdom and strategy while aligning efforts to scale up and out local wins towards collective power & transformation
  • Serve as a political home for youth, alumni, and organizations to connect, heal, deepen their skills & analysis, and create bridges to new movement spaces

Core Programs & Activities


Youth Wellness Bright Spots


In 2023, YO! Cali brought together eleven organizations in a “Bright Spots” project focused on documenting youth-led models and practices for youth mental health and wellbeing. Young people and organizers met monthly for peer learning and shared strategy. They defined youth wellness and healing in their own terms, sharing the strategies and best practices of their organization’s wellness efforts, learning from each other’s lessons around youth-led documentation, and sharing profiles of their organizations and communities.

The eleven organizations include BIZ Stoop (Oakland), Students Deserve (Los Angeles), Youth Will (San Diego), Gente Organizada (Pomona), Loud For Tomorrow (Delano), Hmong Innovating Politics (Fresno), Youth Leadership Institute (Fresno), Little Manila Rising (Stockton), RYSE (Richmond), South Bay Youth Changemakers (San Jose), and California Native Vote Project (Sacramento).

With funding support from the Children and Youth Behavioral Health Initiative (CYBHI), the Bright Spots projects will influence the direction of the Initiative and other efforts to support youth mental health in California.