“You can’t be what you can’t see.”

This frequently cited quote from Marian Wright Edelman, founder of the Children’s Defense Fund, refers to the importance of representation of women and people of color in media, educational materials, and in professional careers.

For the Center for Cities + Schools (CC+S) at UC Berkeley, this call for representation and lifting up young leaders of color has been central to promoting college and career readiness for participants in the Youth - Plan, Learn, Act, Now (Y-PLAN) initiative.

Y-PLAN is an educational methodology designed to challenge the status quo by inviting children and young people to participate alongside professional planners and other adults to transform policy landscapes and built environments. Partnerships with organizations such as the American Planning Association (APA) Diversity Task Force and the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) allow students to see what they could become while actively participating in civic processes.