Robin Bowman will partner with The American Teenager Project to create an exhibition, curriculum, and training program to stimulate youth engagement on civil and human rights issues. Working with local arts organizations, high schools, and advocacy groups in Richmond, California, Bowman will use her five-year body of work, IT’S COMPLICATED: The American Teenager, as a foundation for teaching youth and their adult allies in Richmond how to “see” and “listen” to the youth in their community. She will offer storytelling workshops, train youth and teachers as ambassadors for the program in their schools, and connect youth to peers who are advocating and organizing around the issues affecting their communities.
The program will begin with a workshop for staff and youth at RYSE Youth Center to run a storytelling workshop and summer program. The portraits and interviews created during the summer program aims to capture a significant cross-section of stories by Richmond youth and begin the process of community building among them. Bowman and her partners will then work with local youth justice groups—such as Community Leaders Organizing Undocumented Dreamers (C.L.O.U.D.) and Gay Straight Alliances—to curate a two-month exhibition at the Richmond Arts Center. This exhibition will feature Bowman’s work alongside the work of Richmond youth and will be used as a platform for area youth to discuss and document issues affecting their community. To promote the adoption of The American Teenager Project curriculum in subsequent years, intensive training will be provided to educators and counselors to serve as ambassadors for the program. The goal is to foster alliances between youth, their peers, and adult allies who are advocating and organizing around issues affecting their communities.