50 Winners Helping Others Win: #21 Jonathan Lykes

National Youth Pride Services is proud to announce it’s Third Annual list of 50 Winners Who Are Helping Others Win on our national magazine RizeUp! We used our national membership of youth and young adults across the U.S. to come up with the list and we are excited to see who they are not only watching, but learning from.

Jonathan Lykes – Policy Analyst Jonathan Lykes is a Black queer artist, activist and policy analyst. He currently works at the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP), addressing disproportionality and disparities that effect LGBTQ and gender non-conforming youth impacted by deep-end systems (child welfare, mental health, homelessness and criminal justice).

He is the former artistic director of Performing Arts for Effective Civic Education (PAECE) Program at the University of Chicago, where he used interdisciplinary art and performance to help youth realize their roles as civically active members of the community who thrive toward the achievement of systemic change and social justice. Jonathan’s interdisciplinary approach to art, activism and anti-oppression work, merges policy change, artistic expression and activism. Combining these forms of social transformation—and harnessing their synergy—Jonathan works to create awareness, promote personal healing, surmount institutional barriers and generate systemic change.

Jonathan’s current position as the Project Lead of the getR.E.A.L Initiative’s youth engagement plan at the CSSP, situates him to merge his multidisciplinary artistic background with public policy reform, community engagement and systems change work.

Lykes is also a community organizer, currently serving as the co-chair of the DC Chapter of Black Youth Project 100, a movement of young adults using a black queer feminist lens to advocate for community and systemic change.

He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago, where he also received his master’s degree from the School for Social Service Administration.

“You
can
kill
a
revolutionary…
but 11169816_10155400424740591_3533831169456437688_n
you
cant
kill
the
revolution.

…I am no one, and at the same time I have to be someone. I am a nameless faceless generation rising up from the depths of “teenage complacency.” I am the rich man sipping his wine on a summer afternoon in the Bahamas, and I also am the poor homeless women that gets passed by millions of people each year who don’t want to know that she exist. I am all the mistakes from the past, the franticness of the present, and the beauty of potential in the future. I am intelligence wrapped up into a cocoon of stupidness. I am stupidness surrounded by an uncountable amount of peers with more wisdom than this world can handle at one time. I am justice when unfairness is the only thing available, I am unfair. I am contradiction, hypocrisy, and redundancy. I am what people say I shouldn’t be. I am an agape lover, a helpless romantic, a passionate leader. I am no one, and at the same time I have to be someone. I am Jonathan Lykes…”

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