Rockaway Local Tamera Jacobs Honored By The Root
Community organizers, like gifts, come in all sorts of packages. Some are passionate orators like Martin Luther King Jr., while others raise awareness and build community through social media like DeRay Mckesson. And still, others organize their communities in ways you might not expect or see in the public eye. The Rockaway Youth Task Force’s Tamera Jacobs is anything but typical and has found a way to be an organizer on the front lines and beyond. Due to her many accomplishments and dedication to her community, we are pleased to share that Tamera Jacobs has been selected as one of The Root’s 2018 Young Futurists.
The Root is an online magazine devoted to black culture, politics, and news. Each year they select 25 young people under the age of 25 that have made significant differences in their communities in a variety of capacities. For Tamera, her personal mission is to create change and organize on behalf of young people and people of color. She advances this mission not only with bullhorns and posters, but through grants and spreadsheets. As RYTF’s Director of Operations and Programs, much of Tamera’s job is behind the scenes. Not only is she a fixture on the front lines, but she’s also the person who spends late nights in the office perfecting the language of a grant. That grant could mean the difference between being able to provide funding for a trip to Albany to speak with members of the New York State government or not. The logistical side of organizing is just as important as the boots on the ground narrative, and lucky for us we’ve got us a young woman who can do both. Through her work, Tamera has gained valuable skills in nonprofit management, philanthropy, and community organizing, but she’s most proud of the relationships she’s been able to form with leaders in the community and government officials.
Tamera was born in Guyana, but grew up in Far Rockaway. Her experience with social justice and organizing began at an early age and she was particularly interested in food justice. She served as an apprentice for the East Rockaway Growing Coalition before being promoted to RYTF’s Director of Operations and Programs, where she works to maintain the organization’s fiscal and operational health. Through that role, she’s gotten the opportunity to create tangible change in her neighborhood. Most recently, Tamera was instrumental in fundraising nearly $40,000 to build two new community gardens in Far Rockaway. In addition to her work at RYTF, Tamera is also pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business management at the City College of New York and is a newly appointed member of Community Board 14.
Tamera exemplifies what it means to be a youth leader. At 21 years old, she has exceeded the expectations set upon her by her age and she encourages the rest of her generation to follow suit. When asked about the advice she’d want to share with other young people she said, “We are not just leaders of the future, but we are also leaders of the present! We have the power to be change makers of today and tomorrow.” The Rockaway Youth Task Force is so proud of Tamera and grateful for everything she does to make RYTF thrive.