Youth Empowerment + Organizing

We believe in the potential in youth as leaders of today and tomorrow. Our mission is to empower and inspire youth from different communities to become leaders for social change together. Our vision is a society where young people are partners in creating the just, equitable, and healthy world that we all deserve.

Our Youth Empowerment Programs provide high school and college-aged youth the opportunity to gain critical thinking skills and leadership skills outside of an academic setting through education, service, and interpersonal development. HANA Center is a safe and brave space. We welcome all youth from any background or experience.

If you would like to learn more, please contact Chaz Lee, Youth Empowerment + Organizing Program Manager, at chaz@hanacenter.org or William Oh, Youth Organizer, at woh@hanacenter.org.

Fighting Youth Shouting Out for Humanity (FYSH)

FYSH is HANA Center's social justice youth leadership council. Stronger as one, we can create positive systems change that uplift the most vulnerable people in our communities. We make our voices heard by developing and leading campaigns, mobilizing young people to take collective action, educating legislators & holding them accountable, and sharing experiences and knowledge to fight and shout out for our collective humanity.

#DrummingUpPower: After School Matters

#DrummingUpPower is HANA Center’s youth empowerment program offered in partnership with After School Matters where teens learn up to four different instruments used in pungmul, or Korean traditional drumming. In addition to drumming, teens will learn how we can each use our own culture and the arts to build and grow the power of our communities together. By the end of the program, teens will perform in a final drumming showcase and create a visual or performing arts piece based on their research around issues impacting themselves and other young people in the city. Young leaders will realize that we can use our drums and arts to fight for justice and human rights with “HANAsori,” or “one sound” in Korean.

What is pungmul? It is an ensemble of traditional Korean percussion instruments that represent various elements of nature and carries a tradition of activism and cultural pride. HANA Center's pungmul ensemble plays and performs at immigrant justice rallies, marches, and other events to bring positive energy rooted in culture. 

Gender Justice Program

We provide a safe space where young men and women can learn, connect, and support each other to create a more gender equitable world where all of us are healthy and free.

Our Gender Justice Program offers several gender-based spaces.

  1. Womxn That Fight (WTF!) is a space founded by high school to college aged youth who are passionate about fighting for womxn's rights and reproductive justice. It is a space to engage in discussions and continue to learn about the different systems and structures that womxn of color face in the United States.

  2. Changing the Community is a space for young men of color to learn, connect, and support each other while gaining the tools to dismantle heteropatriarchal structures and toxic masculinity.

Financial, College, and Workforce Empowerment Program

We empower youth with the financial capacity skills and tools to navigate the higher education landscape to uplift themselves and their communities. In addition, we partner with HANA's Education and Workforce Empowerment Department to provide resume building, mock interviews, and related workforce development skills tailored to youth.