Voices Influence Building Equity (VIBE) is a committee of directly impacted youth ages 14-30 focused on nurturing healing centered engagement, which is a holistic framework involving culture, spirituality, civic action and collective healing. The committee focuses on civic education and engagement, systems change, and narrative change as important aspects of promoting healing and well-being in communities. VIBE is rooted in the understanding that trauma is not just an individual experience but is also shaped by social and structural factors, including systemic oppression. We must address the root causes and toxic systems that continue to harm our youth.
Mental Health Access
Our youth are our future and if they are not well, we are not well. As young people in Buffalo, living through the Covid-19 pandemic, racially targeted mass shooting, the daily onslaught state violence and divestment, and through listening and learning, the VIBE committee knows there are deep gaps within our systems that have made it difficult for young people to receive culturally competent and sustainable mental health care. Through leadership development and education, VIBE works with community partners to address and dismantle the barriers both within the culture and within systems that youth and young adults interact with everyday. Our goal is to invite our young leaders into their own liberation by creating systems and cultural norms that properly address their mental health and wellbeing.
Community Violence Intervention
The VIBE committee is committed to developing leaders in community who are at-risk of gun violence. In doing this, we empower our young people to envision and cultivate a community where community violence is nonexistent, what that looks like is up to them.
Civic Education and Engagement
VIBE is a committee that prides itself on educating and equipping our youth and young adults with the tools they need to step into their own power. That is why we have a youth/young adult get out the vote campaign which includes civic education training that is done for and by our young leaders. During this civic education training, participants will learn about the local elections and policies that impact their daily lives. Our goal is to not only promote voting among the 18-30 population, but to also provide our young people with the knowledge they need to make informed voting decisions.