“Partnering with Resilient by Design is bringing our Y-PLAN work to a new and exciting level of regional impact with resiliency leaders, schools and young people across the Bay Area. We are  working together to lift up youth voice and young people's lived experience as core to designing and re-imagining resilient cities." - Dr. Deborah McKoy, Executive Director, Center for Cities + Schools, UC Berkeley


UC Berkeley’s Center for Cities + Schools and the Resilient by Design | Bay Area Challenge, funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, kicked off the spring Y-PLAN Youth Challenge on Tuesday, January 30th at the Bay Area Metro Center in San Francisco. Before the formal event even started, Cathy Simon, architect of the Bay Area Metro Center, led a private building tour for Y-PLAN students from Richmond’s Kennedy High School.

Following the tour, the event itself opened with remarks from Allison Brooks, Chair of the Resilient by Design Executive Board, Dr. Deborah McKoy, Executive Director of the Center for Cities + Schools, and Dr. La RueMoore, Kennedy High School’s Information Technology Academy Lead. Next, Y-PLAN students from the leadership team of Kennedy’s IT Academy presented their visions for a resilient future that they devised with their classmates during this fall’s implementation of the Y-PLAN. After the formal presentations, the students from Kennedy High School, as well as their peers from East Palo Alto Phoenix Academy who have just begun implementing Y-PLAN this spring, had a chance to interact directly with roughly two dozen professionals from Resilient by Design teams and partners. Together, the youth and adults shared their experiences with personal, professional, and community resilience, and their own roles in designing a more resilientfuture for us all.

The evening concluded with invitations for Richmond’s Kennedy students to present their work at the upcoming Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC)’s Spare the Air YES Conference; a call for mentors to support these young people directly and digitally; and an opportunity for networking and pizza for all in attendance.

This event served as the official kickoff for the Y-PLAN Resilient by Design Youth Challenge, which is supporting young people from urban public school classrooms across the Bay Area asthey collaborate to create a unified vision for a resilient future for their communities. During the spring semester, more than 500 young people will engage with Resilient by Design Teams as they complete a Y-PLAN process bringing their own lived experience together with research to analyze the current conditions and present their recommendations for a more resilient Bay.

Stay tuned for more details throughout the spring as these young people tackle some of the most pressing issues in their communities, together with community partners and civic leaders, under the guidance of the Center for Cities + School’s Y-PLAN team. Teams will offer RBD Youth Challenge Final Proposals and Recommendations first to their local civic leaders in each city and then representative Y-PLAN teams will come to UC Berkeley for a region-wide presentations and dialogue on Wednesday, April 25th.