It starts with prejudice. It starts with stereotyping. It starts with othering. Because we are young, we take it in. We feel it all. We are labeled troublemakers, bad influences, loiterers, thieves, threats. We are harassed. We are ignored. We are disproportionately punished by the systems that should teach and protect us. And yet, these are our systems. And that means we can change them. Raising Justice brings together youth and policymakers to build a more just society for all.
Raising Justice challenges the systemic oppression that denies young people their right to basic public safety.
We are youth-founded, youth-run, and youth-focused.
Two teenagers. Two Portlands. Two kinds of justice. Our founders Taji Chesimet and Britt Masback each saw a system that was failing young people. Taji saw a prejudice rife with false narratives about who he was and who he could become. Britt saw a system entrenched in white privilege. Together, they founded Youth Educating Police, spotlight on the mistreatment of young people by the Portland police, especially those of color. The mission has grown beyond educating police, and it is time for a new name that reflects the scope of our ambition. Today, we are Raising Justice.
Justice only works when it works for all of us.
Rolling Stone Youth Organizer Series Features Co-Founder Taji Chesimet
In the third episode of Rolling Stone’s “Youth Organizers” video series, Kimberly Aleah takes a look at Portland, Oregon and the youth-led work being done by Taji Chesimet of Raising Justice.