FIERCE continues to serve as one of the nation’s few grassroots organizations whose mission is to engage LGBTQ youth of color in community organizing in response to unjust social issues largely impacting our communities, including some of the poorest neighborhoods in New York City, to actively direct our own social change agendas. While many organizations provide opportunities for LGBTQ youth to access direct services, FIERCE provides ongoing and progressive skills-based and leadership training and mentorship opportunities. Our staff is made up mostly of former members who learned organizing through our youth led structure and now pass that experience on to the next generation of leadership. As we have transitioned into working in the Bronx this is a cornerstone of how we build out our work.
Our members, who as teenagers face seemingly insurmountable challenges to creating a safe environment to declare their own identities build a movement in spite of the challenges. Many of them struggle with having their basic needs met, from food, housing, school, their own and their families’ medical costs and so many other responsibilities. One might expect even minor participation from our members seem challenging; however, the vast majority of FIERCE’s 300 plus members are actively engaged in movements for racial justice, gender justice, healing and health justice, educational justice, sanctuary and immigrant rights and more, with 30 playing key leadership roles in city, state and national campaigns.
Below is a visual laying out the different elements and programs of FIERCE’s organizing model. Learn more about our programs and campaigns by clicking HERE