19 Nov Non-Profit Launches Snapchat Channel With Black & Brown Youth

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At Community Coalition we pride ourselves in being on the cutting-edge of social justice work and using social media to amplify our message. Yet we realized that we were not engaging a core sector of our organization, dozens of our high school youth that come to our office three times a week.

We heard from our youth that Snapchat was the most active social media they used. The numbers bear this out. According to Forbes, Snapchat boasts over 1000 million users that send 500 million snaps daily. The Content Strategist blog has a great infographic about how brands are using Snapchat to reach young audiences. (Snapchat’s core audience is ages 13-25).

This is how our Snapchat channel was born. We have decided to launch our Snapchat account and turn it over to our high school leaders. We’ve developed what we call the “Snapchat Street Team” composed of seven Black and Latino youth from four different high schools in South Los Angeles. We work with them to provide content coaching and strategy. The goal is to have them tell their stories and capture what they see through their own lens.

This week we launched our first Snapchat campaign called “Behind The Lens With South Central Youth” where you will get a behind the scenes look into the stories of South L.A. youth. They will be “snapping” about issues affecting their communities, challenges they face at school, but also providing an insight look into how they are improving their communities.

Young people of color are often stereotyped by the media and criminalized in their schools. After a school or police incident involving young people of color, many in the media are quick to point out the suspicious “behavior”, or how they acted or what they said to justify violence against our young people of color. If this doesn’t ring a bell, remember the case of Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice and the pool party incident in McKinney Texas.

Our Snapchat will serve as a tool for young people to create their own media and tell their own stories. We hope to provide people a window into their challenges and triumphs.

In many ways this is an experiment, but we believe in the power of young people to be the heroes of their own story.


Fermin Vasquez is the Communications Specialist at Community Coalition. You can follow him @fermin101

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