CLEVELAND — The mission of Empowering Youth Exploring Justice, or EYEJ, is to empower pre-teens and teens through engaged learning and interactive discussion of issues they face every day. The Cleveland-based nonprofit believes in creating true conversation centered around social justice.  EYEJ has served over 1,000 children primarily in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District and four Cleveland recreations centers with its Discussion Series.

New for 2019-2020, they’ve added Miles Park School and have renewed their partnership with the City of Cleveland's recreation centers for Summer 2020 until Spring 2021. This program targets 6th through 12th graders. Volunteer speakers discuss topics like education, health, money, race and justice with the teens and encourage them to come up with ideas for change. 

Volunteers are always needed for this program. To find out more, visit http://eyej.org/volunteer/.

EYEJ also believes social justice means equal opportunity for all and young people are key in helping to make that happen. In fact, that is why EYEJ created the Impact 25 Youth Council to help challenge injustice. It is made up of teens and young adults who have experienced toxic stress in their lives like losing a loved one to violence, being sexually abused, suffering police bias, or struggling to get mental health services. Mallory Wilks, Miranda Priah and Ron Miller are members, and you can hear their stories and what EYEJ means to them below.

EYEJ’s work is funded by individuals, foundations and corporations. They were awarded a TEGNA grant, the parent company of WKYC Studios, to support their mission. They will also launch a Giving Campaign on November 1, hoping to raise $100,000 to continue its work.