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The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

Learn4Justice: Inspiring change, progress among youth in our communities

Program empowers through a justice-oriented humanities education
Audrey Tran
Thy Luong, 17, founder and president of Learn4Justice smiles after her interview on March 16.

Inspiring students and creating change, Learn4Justice works with underserved youth in our communities; while the organization was founded in San Jose, its programs outreach at both the local and international level.

Thy Luong, 17, the founder and president of Learn4Justice, describes how the organization has expanded since its foundation.

“We are a small organization of high school students and college students, mostly from around the Bay Area, but we also have a few chapters outside of California as well. I think there is one in Virginia, in Utah and in other areas of the U.S. because that’s something we’re working on,” Luong said.

Learn4Justice is an organization led by students aiming to foster global changemakers by providing justice-oriented humanities education such as speech and debate, journalism and creative writing/poetry.

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Their mission is to educate and empower individuals and communities to actively fight against injustice and discrimination through a justice-oriented humanities education.

Luong explains Learn4Justice’s mission in further detail.

“Our mission is primarily to combine social justice with humanities-oriented education. The goal is to educate youth, especially underserved communities, generally elementary, to be able to think critically about issues and also be able to use applicable skills in other areas,” Luong said.

Learn4Justice provides a wide variety of resources and opportunities within communities. One of the organization’s priorities is to provide free after-school programs for elementary and middle school students that focus on improving several different humanities skills.

The curriculum is created by youth; high schoolers are trained to teach a pre-provided curriculum and Learn4Justice chapters are tasked to facilitate the process of bringing after-school programs, summer camps and more to schools and libraries nearby.

Luong breaks down the steps and actions that Learn4Justice takes in order to achieve its mission.

“Our work is primarily done by (creating) community programs,” Luong said. “The chapters that I started last year when I founded the organization reaches out to local elementary and middle schools sometimes … and there were a couple teachers there to implement after-school programs. We also work with local libraries”

Learn4Justice provides a variety of programs that address specific areas of study: Creative Writing and Poetry, Speech and Debate, Journalism and Cultural Exchange.

The Creative Writing and Poetry workshop focuses on encouraging students to advocate for social justice by using creative writing and poetry as tools for action. Instructors lead interactive lessons on writing techniques, display a diverse range of authors who utilize writing as a form of advocacy, and provide opportunities for students to explore their passions and create their own writing projects.

The Speech and Debate workshop works with students to grow confidence in persuasive speaking and argumentative skills; students are able to develop an understanding of climate issues and their impact, as well as analyze solutions.

The Journalism workshop creates a safe space for youth to actively listen and speak up in a society that often underestimates the power and voices of the younger generations. This program works to challenge societal stereotypes and uplift underrepresented voices.

Lastly, the Cultural Exchange workshop is a five-week/five-day program that aims to promote cross-cultural understanding and teaches students the importance of connecting with others across different backgrounds and walks of life.

For example, in 2023, Learn4Justice hosted the Global Changemakers Exchange Program, a 5-week program that allows high school students across the globe to engage in discussions about social justice issues and to participate in hands-on workshops that explores areas such as journalism, podcast-making and more.

Luong describes her experience planning the structure of the summer virtual program.

“Every week we dedicated different global justice issues and educational news … We brought together about 30 to 40 participants across the course of the summer from various countries … I got to meet a lot of really cool peers, the participants and the people who were running the program,” Luong stated.

Students can bring Learn4Justice to their own school or district; the Learn4Justice executive team provides the training, preparation and curriculum to help students grow leadership skills and develop their own programs.

Luong explains how rewarding of an experience implementing the programs at Learn4Justice has been.

“Teaching the kids (has been) very cool, watching the shyer kids become more confident. (At the beginning) of the program, kids are scared to start this program. But then they feel more confident in public speaking and want to get involved in environmental stewardship and trying to be more sustainable – to give kids agency.

As inequalities continue to persist in our society, programs such as Learn4Justice provide the space, resources and opportunities for youth to flourish in creating change and working towards justice in our communities.

“I think it’s really cool because we’re all youth, and I think educating our youth about issues and working in their communities is a really important thing for the youth to do and for adults to recognize,” Luong said. “In general, education about justice issues at a young age is especially important for children’s critical thinking and emotional skills, and their ability to find themselves.”

To learn more about Learn4Justice, check out their website at:

Follow their Instagram (@learn4justice) for more updates about their work and upcoming events and opportunities.

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About the Contributor
Audrey Tran
Audrey Tran, Freelance Reporter
Audrey is a second-year anthropology student who yearns to inspire others to always be curious. She is excited to be a part of La Voz and hopes to turn her writing into a form of encouragement for others to always yearn to learn and ask questions about the world.

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