The 8th Annual Summer School of Youth Activism in Iowa, Regeneration: Cultivating Intergenerational Learning and Leadership, remote workshops now in session

NATIONAL: In partnership with Monsoon Asians & Pacific Islanders in Solidarity, AF3IRM National announces the start of the 8th Annual Summer School of Youth Activism in Iowa. This is the second year we will be conducting the school remotely due to the pandemic. The theme of the school is Regeneration: Cultivating Intergenerational Learning and Leadership and calls on us to explore life and activism online and offline in a post-pandemic world. The loss of elders, a lost generation of knowledge, tradition, and culture over a short period of time has meant that young people are living through unprecedented times and the moment calls for charting a new path forward. The school cultivates the space for young people to name the unjust systems of oppression exposed during the pandemic and center what the youth voice looks like within the broader movement and call for a more equitable world. 

TUESDAYS and THURSDAYS, 1-3 PM VIA ZOOM : JULY 20 & JULY 22/ JULY 27 & JULY 29/ AUGUST 3 & AUGUST 5 Register at:

AF3IRM is a national organization of women of color with transnational histories and legacies. We are (im)migrants, children of (im)migrants who acknowledge three systems of oppression under modern capitalism: class, race, and gender. AF3IRM runs a Summer School for Youth Activism and a Summer School for Women’s Activism with the general goals of understanding systems of oppression, learning from each other and discussing how the personal is political, and organizing for change. 

Meet the 2021 AF3IRM Summer School of Youth Activism team: 

Alma De Jesus Ramirez will be facilitating SOYA. Alma is originally from Guerrero, Mexico and is a Co-Coordinator of AF3IRM Los Angeles, a mother of two, and started her activism in 2001 when she first learned about her undocumented status. In 2005, Alma’s brother was deported, and in 2011 he was kidnapped in their home country. This encouraged Alma to organize against family separation and help other families to reunite with their loved ones. She is one of the co-founders of Dreams to be Heard at CSUN.

Cecille Cervancia is coordinating this year’s school and is a mother, educator, union organizer and artist. She is a lover of music, dancing, running/ walking outdoors and reading. Cecille has been a core member with AF3IRM LA for about 4 years.

Cheryl Zarate will be facilitating SOYA and is a mother, middle school teacher and AF3IRM core member. She has two young boys 6 and 4 years old who always remind her to have fun whenever she gets too busy with being a teacher and community organizer.  She loves reading YA genre books, marvel comic universe, and an introverted hype woman. 

Devika Shankar will lead the Resilience Toolkit during SOYA. Devika is a Co-Coordinator of AF3IRM Los Angeles. As a Certified Facilitator of The Resilience Toolkit, she is most interested in supporting activists and organizers of color in building an embodied practice and increasing their capacity for resilience in the face of long-haul justice work. Devika has over 13 years of experience in the field of domestic violence, working with survivors with many marginalized identities, including survivors of color, immigrants, youth, and LGBTQ survivors. 

Eztli is a former SOYA participant and is currently one of the AF3IRM youth representatives. She is 15 years old and was born in L.A. to a mother who raised her through her organizing. Eztli became aware of different issues affecting her community like deportations, I.C.E. raids, police brutality, sex trafficking, and racism from a very young age.  Her mother and the women of AF3IRM are the strongest women she has been surrounded by; she wants to be as brave as them and help fight for her communities because she knows how important it is to fight for justice. 

Genevieve Rana will be leading the SOYA self-defense workshop and is a member of AF3IRM New York, first-generation Filipina, and educator. Outside of AF3IRM, she is an elementary school teacher and a museum educator connecting out-of-school resources to New York city youth and teachers. Genevieve enjoys running, gardening, and trying new foods.

Juanita Zavaleta will be facilitating SOYA and is a core member of AF3IRM Los Angeles, educator, mom, and cat lady. A Southern California native, she enjoys reading, creative writing, cats!, and ridiculous amounts of stationery supplies.

Katharine Guerrero-Yanez will be facilitating SOYA and is a core member of AF3IRM Los Angeles and a community organizer working with Indigenous communities. As an educator in Tongva Territory also known as the San Gabriel Valley area teaching Social Justice and World Religions, Katharine encourages her students to speak up and stand up for injustices that they may witness. With the intention of dedicating herself to her students and community, Katharine hopes to bring an awareness and sense of empowerment that we all have the capacity to heal ourselves and community.