Adanarys Barragan is the new co-Director of The City School's 2015 Summer Leadership Program, along with Royal Nunes. Ada has been a Pathways Coordinator and staff with SLP for the past two years. In addition, she is currently the Program Coordinator with Beantown Society, on the board of ACE and one of the Lead Organizers of El Movimiento. Ada was also one of the members of the Boston trip to INCITE in April 2015. We're lucky to have her on staff with us!
What is your favorite memory of The City School?
My favorite memory of The City School is the Thank The Youth dinner we had in 2014 because it was really an event that the adult staff from our sister organizations help put together instead of having the youth do it. This was because we thought that the youth shouldn't have to plan their own dinner where they are supposed to be thanked and appreciated for the work they do. We even had certificates of appreciation for all of them. It felt great being able to thank the youth we work with everyday for everything they bring into this work and being able to just vibe and hang out with them unrelated to work felt great.
How have you changed because of your first summer of SLP?
After my first summer at SLP, I learned more about myself and how to build relationships with people, especially other youth. I was taking in all the knowledge and the experience of being at SLP and reflected on how I wanted to grow as a person. I have become more aware of other people's struggles and how they connect to my own. I can also see how to take action to change the things negatively impacting my community.
How have you continued your commitment to social justice beyond the Summer Leadership Program?
I have continued to be a youth worker at other organizations, on a volunteer basis or work basis, and continued to support other young people in their growth. I have dedicated much of my time providing any support necessary in different organizations so that we can achieve our goals of making our community one that is healthy, safe and affordable to live in. Social justice is my passion, which for me that also encompasses building relationships with people and being a support system for those that need it.
What are your plans for the future?
My plans for the future are to continue working for social justice and community organizing, then do some traveling to different countries, and then attend graduate school possibly for immigration law so that I can continue doing the work that I do, but be able to support people in a different way.
If you could have coffee with one social justice activist, who would it be and why?
I would want to have a chat and sip some tea with any young person that is out organizing and protesting in the community because I believe they are the leaders of today. Many a times we focus on helping youth develop to become the future leaders without realizing that they are the leaders of the present, of right now. We cannot predict what the future holds. The youth out in the streets organizing their community and fighting for justice are not the social activists, but the revolutionaries of today continuing the fight our ancestors have fought for centuries.