Opening in February 2018, the Merced office was the first yli expansion in 14 years. Program staff and freshly minted youth leaders in the Girls & Women of Color (GWoC) and Rise & Lift programs dove right in with their #MErcedToo campaign, addressing sexual misconduct in the Merced Unified High School District.

By summer, the office was already growing as yli merged with youth media organization, YouthWire. As part of this merge, Merced’s yli office took in the We’Ced program, which had been operating in Merced since 2011, training young people in storytelling skills and amplifying their voices on issues that matter to them and their communities.

Over the next year, the Merced office will be working to establish yli’s innovative, powerful youth programming while building strong relationships within the community. The programs are driven by La Cultura Cura curriculum, which integrates policy advocacy change and healing from trauma. It is youth-led, adult-supported, and elder-guided.

Current Programs

Past Programs

Timeline of Wins in Merced

October 8, 2021 · 

Merced youth pass resolution to support BIPOC LGBTQ+ community

In Fall of 2021, Merced youth successfully advocated for the city to allocate funds to support a pride center, ensuring that youth voice and input was included in the development of the center’s operations. In mid-October, they collaborated with local youth-serving partners and spearheaded the movement to ensure that ARPA funding benefits young people. In … Continued

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February 27, 2019 · 

Walking our Paths: We’Ced Releases its 7th Youth-Led Publication

In January 2019, the Merced Sun-Star delivered copies of Walking our Paths to communities across the county. This is We’Ced Youth Media’s 7th such publication, featuring the stories of young people, but with a very special twist. The entire publication was produced by the young people themselves.

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December 14, 2018 · 

Youth Win ‘Cultivators of Change’ Award

BHC Merced awarded two ‘Cultivators of Change’ awards to YLI young people. First, We’Ced Youth Media was recognized for their part in leading the Trans Day of Remembrance + Trans & Intersex Rights March Merced which was the first ever in Merced County. Girls and Womyn of Color were also awarded the prize because of … Continued

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October 21, 2018 · 

GWoC intern, Guadalupe Reyes-Calderon Wins 2018 TCE Youth Award

June 13, 2018 · 

Merced Youth Demand Changes to Sexual Harassment Policy at School

Girls and Womyn of Color youth and staff advocated and facilitated for the passing of several policies that will create safer conditions for students and staff at Merced Union High School District. The school board adopted the following changes: Youth will be represented on the School Board, either as appointed members or with voting rights … Continued

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