The Rockaway Advocate magazine is a citizen journalism project of the Rockaway Youth Task Force based out of Far Rockaway, Queens. In addition to being the only black-led newspaper in Rockaway, the Rockaway Advocate is also a youth program that combines local advocacy with youth development. In today’s world, rarely does mainstream media offer youth of color a platform to tell their own stories and those of their communities. These stories are often ignored, misrepresented, or marginalized. At the Rockaway Advocate, we are changing that narrative. Contact us firstname.lastname@example.org.
WE WANT YOU!
Do you see an issue in your community that deserves coverage? Do you know someone in Far Rockaway who we should write about? Is there a public official who you’d like to ask a few probing questions? If you think you have a good idea for a story that should run in the Rockaway Advocate, please let us know!
ABOUT THE ROCKAWAY YOUTH TASK FORCE
The Rockaway Youth Task Force is a member-led organization of youth of color within the Rockaway peninsula that builds power to secure, social, economic and racial justice for all. We develop politically conscious leaders who are invested in improving themselves and their communities through youth-led campaigns, leadership development, movement building, and cultural expression through arts and media.
Milan has always been active in community organizing, having been appointed to Queens Community Board 14, attending various community meetings, and ultimately becoming aware of the glaring lack of youth participation in his community. Looking around, Milan realized there were few places where young people in the Rockaways could grow and learn to be great leaders. Therefore the vision of RYTF came to fruition – an advocacy organization created and ran by the youth of the Rockaways to properly address youth issues in the community.
Director of Operations and Programs
Tamera currently serves as RYTF’s Director of Operations, and is also an appointed member of Queens Community Board 14. Tamera is a Guyana native but grew up in Far Rockaway, NY, and her background as an immigrant continues to inspire her work and create connections with Rockaway’s diverse population. Tamera originally joined RYTF as a Youth Organizer, and excelled in every opportunity she took on at the organization, before rising to her current position. The Root selected Tamera as a Young Futurist of 2018 in celebration of her work with the Rockaway Youth Task Force. Tamera now brings her wide range of experiences and skills to her vision for RYTF as a director.
Malachi originally joined the Rockaway Youth Task Force as a member in High School and has worked with the organization in various capacities since then. Malachi was born and raised in Far Rockaway, NY, and his background informs his incredible ability to connect with the Rockaway community and inspire youth from the area. Through developing these skills, Malachi became an extremely effective organizer and rose to join RYTF’s staff. He is also a full-time college student, studying business marketing at Baruch College. In his spare time, Malachi loves to play Fortnite and compete at Yu-Gi-Oh tournaments.
Community Engagement Organizer
Andrea started as a member with RYTF in High School and emerged as a leader after being elected Lead Organizer by her peers. Her work as a dedicated organizer and motivational leader earned her current staff position. Andrea is also a first generation college student, studying political science at Baruch College. She is a first generation American from Guatemala and Puerto Rico. Andrea is passionate about being an activist because she deeply values being able to advocate for herself and on behalf of others. When she’s not in the office or working on campaigns, she writes spoken word poetry.
Aury first joined RYTF as a member in High School and her demonstrated leadership abilities led to her peers electing her to be a Lead Organizer. She continued to develop her capability and leadership through her work, and rose to her current position through a determination to take on more responsibility and contribute more. Aury is inspired to change the community that she now lives in for the better, and she finds value through empowering herself and others. She is currently studying biomedical science at Hunter College. She also serves on the community advisory board of St. John’s Episcopal Hospital. When Aury is not managing RYTF’s schedule, she relaxes by watching Grey’s Anatomy and reading.
Rockaway Advocate Coordinator
Barry has been a dedicated member of RYTF since its inception, and since then has taken on many roles during his time with the organization. Barry was born in Trinidad and grew up in New Jersey and New York. During Superstorm Sandy, Barry was forced from his home for nearly a year and that experience solidified his commitment to the Rockaway community.