Other Group

Youth Organizing Culture Change Fund (YOCCF)

Website:

yoccf.org/

Location:

New York, NY

Type:

Youth Activist Group

Formation:

2022

Fund Advisor:

Nyoka Acevedo

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The Youth Organizing Culture Change Fund (YOCCF) is a pass-through funding entity supported by large, left-leaning grantmaking organizations like the Ford Foundation and New York Foundation that provides grants, training, and other resources to left-of-center youth activist organizations. 1 YOCCF is based in New York and, beginning in 2022, funded a cohort of ten left-of-center community organizations. 2

Partners, Activities, and Grantmaking

The Youth Organizing Culture Change Fund is a pass-through funding entity whereby large, left-leaning grantmaking organizations 3 support youth community organizing and activism 4 based upon four core principles: the power of youth to expose injustice and provide leadership; the use of culture and the arts to redefine ourselves as part of “redesigning values, systems, and dynamics that shape everyday life;” intersectionality; and equity. 5

YOCCF chooses partners who align with its mission of “changing oppressive systems,” “using cultural and narrative change strategies to ignite systemic change,” “are led and staffed by BIPOC,” have “experience in youth-centered work,” and fulfill other core criteria. 6

In 2023, YOCCF chose ten partners as part of its inaugural fund cohort. Supported by funding from the Ford Foundation and Kornfeld Foundation, YOCCF offers its cohort capacity-building services, leadership development, and opportunities to partner with artists, cultural producers, and philanthropies. The inaugural cohort is part of a two-year pilot program for YOCCF to test its strategies. Partners also received a $160,000 general operating grant and were provided the opportunity to receive mentorship and coaching from the Center for Cultural Power (previously Citizen Engagement Lab Education Fund) and Universal Partnership. 7

Partners of YOCCF include Brotherhood Sister Sol, a nonprofit providing programming to young people that teach history, sociology, and politics from an equity and social justice perspective; Committee Against Anti-Asian Violence (CAAAV), a New York-based organization that advocates for left-leaning causes like defunding the police, rent cancellation, and eviction moratoria; Dreamyard; Drum; El Puente; Flanbwayan Haitian Literacy Project; Groundswell (not to be confused with Groundswell Fund); Make the Road NY, a community organizing group focused on immigrant communities with ties to immigration expansion and labor union movements that receives substantial funding from government sources; and Sistas & Brothas United (SBU). 8

People

The Youth Organizing Culture Change Fund is led by Nyoka Acevedo, the fund coordinator. 9 Acevedo was previously employed as a program officer and interim director at Andrus Family Fund, a director at the Future Project, a manager of grants programs at Drug Policy Alliance, and a restorative justice coach for Los Angeles Schools. On her LinkedIn profile, Acevedo describes herself as a consultant for YOCCF while self-employed through an entity called Sweet River Consulting. 10

YOCCF is also led by a steering committee consisting of Javier H. Valdes, director of civic engagement and government at the Ford Foundation; Katy Clark, executive director of Kornfeld Foundation; Rickke Mananzala, executive director of New York Foundation; and Cristina Jimenez, co-founder and former executive director of United We Dream and United We Dream Action. 11

Grantmaking decisions at YOCCF are guided by a seven-member “Grantmaking Guidance Circle,” including Akeria Adams, a student leader at the Urban Youth Collaborative; Marinieves Alba, a director at the Action Lab; Austin Green, a youth organizer and arts administrator; Nyeisha Mallet, a youth climate justice  activist; Tamara Morgan, an employee at Adaptive Design Association Inc.; Jeannette Rodriguez Pineda, an art teacher and curriculum consulter, AI’ Urdun Isla, a youth community organizer, and Adilka Pimentel, a community organizer. 12

Funding

The Youth Organizing Culture Change Fund is not an independent tax-exempt organization and does not publicly issue detailed funding reports. However, YOCCF lists many major foundations and left-wing grantmaking funds as supporters, including the Andrus Family Fund, Brisson Family Fund, David Rockefeller Fund, Endeavor Foundation, Ford Foundation, JPB Foundation, Kornfeld Foundation, Mertz Gilmore Foundation, New York Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Scherman Foundation, The Pinkerton Foundation, Trinity Church Wall Street Philanthropies, and the Warner Music Group/Blavatnik Family Foundation Social Justice Fund. 13

Beginning in August 2022 through July 2024, the Ford Foundation made grants totaling $1,000,000 to YOCCF to support “cultural arts organizing campaigns led by youth organizing groups in New York City.” The grant was distributed through New York Foundation to be distributed to YOCCF. 14

References

  1. Fund Team.” YOCCF. Accessed March 7, 2024. https://yoccf.org/fund-team/.
  2. “Ten NYC youth-led organizations selected for inaugural youth organizing and culture change fund cohort, catalytic funding provided by Ford and Kornfeld Foundations.” Ford Foundation. January 23, 2023. Accessed March 7, 2024. https://www.fordfoundation.org/news-and-stories/news-and-press/news/ten-nyc-youth-led-organizations-selected-for-inaugural-youth-organizing-and-culture-change-fund-cohort-catalytic-funding-provided-by-ford-and-kornfeld-foundations/.
  3. “Fund Team.” YOCCF. Accessed March 7, 2024. https://yoccf.org/fund-team/.
  4. YOCCF.” YOCCF. Accessed March 7, 2024. https://yoccf.org/.
  5. “Approach.” YOCCF. Accessed March 7, 2024. https://yoccf.org/approach/
  6. “Movement Partners.” YOCCF. Accessed April 30, 2024. https://yoccf.org/movement-partners/.
  7. “Ten NYC youth-led organizations selected for inaugural youth organizing and culture change fund cohort, catalytic funding provided by Ford and Kornfeld Foundations.” Ford Foundation. January 23, 2023. Accessed March 7, 2024. https://www.fordfoundation.org/news-and-stories/news-and-press/news/ten-nyc-youth-led-organizations-selected-for-inaugural-youth-organizing-and-culture-change-fund-cohort-catalytic-funding-provided-by-ford-and-kornfeld-foundations/.
  8.  “Movement Partners.” YOCCF. Accessed March 7, 2024. https://yoccf.org/movement-partners/.
  9. “Fund Team.” YOCCF. Accessed March 7, 2024. https://yoccf.org/fund-team/.
  10. “Nyoka Acevedo.” LinkedIn. Accessed March 7, 2024. https://www.linkedin.com/in/nyoka-acevedo-89a7ab197/.
  11.  “Fund Team.” YOCCF. Accessed March 7, 2024. https://yoccf.org/fund-team/.
  12. “Fund Team.” YOCCF. Accessed March 7, 2024. https://yoccf.org/fund-team/.
  13. “Fund Team.” YOCCF. Accessed March 7, 2024. https://yoccf.org/fund-team/.
  14. “Core support for the Youth Organizing Culture Change Fund for cultural arts organizing  campaigns led by youth organizing groups in New York City.” Ford Foundation. Accessed March 7, 2024. https://www.fordfoundation.org/work/our-grants/awarded-grants/grants-database/new-york-foundation-144328/
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Youth Organizing Culture Change Fund (YOCCF)


New York, NY