$25,000 / Fall 2017
PrYSM is a youth-led organization that supports Southeast Asian youth to become leaders, organizers, and critical thinkers by offering educational workshops, leadership opportunities, and mentorship to build grassroots power and organize collectively for social justice. Every day in Providence, groups of young Cambodian, Laotian, and Hmong American youth are stopped by the Gang Unit of the Providence Police Department (PPD) without a given reason, solicited for their personal information, and entered into the Gang Database system. Over the past two years, PrYSM has led a coalition of local grassroots organizations called STEP UP (Standing Together to End Poverty and Undo Profiling) to prevent this racial profiling and hold the PPD accountable to its community. This year, the coalition won passage of a Community Safety Act which ends racial profiling, establishes due process for those added to the gang databases, and ensures language access rights. Hazen’s renewal grant will enable PrYSM to guide the implementation of the new policy and also enable PrYSM to launch a campaign for Education Justice to dismantle the school to prison pipeline in the Providence Public Schools.