Further, as people of African descent, we face many similar challenges throughout the African Diaspora --- North, Central and South America, Caribbean and Africa. We can learn from our common challenges and share solutions, resources and strategic action for the common good.
IYLI provides opportunities for students to develop activism and advocacy skills by volunteering in social change organizations where they plan and implement projects that are aligned with the mission but that also reflect students’ vision for positive change. Through their experience, students are engaged with people and institutions in their community. IYLI extends that engagement to ever expanding social, cultural and political spheres and environments, both in the U.S. and throughout the African Diaspora. IYLI collaborates with the Liberty Partnership Program (NYU Steinhardt - The Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools), NYC’s Education Success Initiative, Campaign for Black Male Achievement, international Global Access Pipeline, and other organizations and networks.
IYLI makes international travel and study a reality for high school students of African descent. Since 1990, IYLI has made it possible for more than 500 participants to travel and study in 17 countries in Africa, Latin and South America, and the Caribbean at no or low cost. This contrasts with other programs for high school students that cost on average more than $8,000. IYLI is building a youth constituency for Africa and future leadership that will support cooperation, collaboration and mutual self-help with communities throughout the African Diaspora and beyond.
While all students – and the community – are welcome to attend IYLI seminars and workshops, the core of our movement is the IYLI Fellow. IYLI Fellows make a commitment to a life of self-development and service to uplift our communities and bring about positive social change both at home and throughout the world. Over the course of their high school years, Fellows become facile in applying the IYLI framework of history, culture, geography and environment to approach challenges. More than half of IYLI alumni pursue careers in health, public service, education, youth and community development and international affairs following graduation from college.
"Our youth must travel and be global citizens" --Michael Webb, co-founder