Tiana Day, left, the founder of nonprofit Youth Advocates for Change and Mimi Zoila, right, protested in support of Black Lives Matter in San Francisco in June. (Photo courtesy of Tiana Day)
Whitney High School

Q&A: Meet Tiana Day, founder of nonprofit Youth Advocates for Change

Bay Area activist Tiana Day is the 17-year-old founder of Youth Advocates for Change, a nonprofit organization focused on creating a safe space to amplify youth voices and inspire local action inclusive of intersectional social justice issues. 

Tiana Day and city council candidate Sameera Rajwade recently hosted an Instagram livestream to share struggles growing up BIPOC in San Ramon, Calif.

On June 6, Tiana started a GoFundMe to raise funds for scholarships for Black youth. The GoFundMe has raised more than $24,000 out of their $50,000 goal in a one month span. To help with funding, Youth Advocates for Change has also released four custom T-shirts, with empowering messages, such as “We are in this together,” “Lead with Love,” “Be the Change,” and “Movement, not a Moment.”

 


 

This past month, what has your nonprofit accomplished? 

This month, my nonprofit just announced the collaboration with another organization called The Peter Pan Foundation. In addition, we are able to support teen voices by proposing the idea to the San Ramon city council about creating a mural in our city to represent bridging the gap of inequality and racism. Since things are going a little slower due to [COVID-19], we haven’t been able to do all that I want to since we aren’t fully established. This month in total has been a lot of behind the scenes work to get my nonprofit up and running legally.

How can readers further support or donate to your organization?

Readers can help support Youth Advocates for Change by following us on Instagram at @youthadvocatesforchange, where we will be posting all updates on how to get involved. We also have a GoFundMe linked in our bio where readers can donate. With the money, we will be giving out scholarships to Black students so they can follow their dreams through education! So far we have raised almost $25,000 to give out which is half of our goal!

Where did you first get the idea to found the initiative?

I got the idea to start YA4C because so many reporters & media outlets would ask me what my next steps were. I knew I wanted to use my platform to my advantage to make a bigger impact, but I didn’t know how. My dad suggested we create a nonprofit since I felt through my teen years I wasn’t never comfortable enough to speak out like the way I am now.

I want to help other teenagers break that silence and speak up as well as support whatever they’re passionate about because what we say matters! Even though adults try to invalidate us due to our age.