2016 Gathering: Los Angeles

Building the Foundation
In the Temescal Canyon, just outside of Los Angeles, Youth Passageways brought together leaders from around the world in a multicultural, multidisciplinary, and intergenerational community. Approximately 75 – 100 rite of passage facilitators, changemakers, and youth engaged in ceremony, dialogue, experiential activities, and small-group workshops. On the final evening of the gathering, YPW and LA Partners hosted a public event co-created by partner organizations from the LA area and around the world featuring diverse approaches to youth initiation and well-being.

The Pre-Gathering Webinar

In preparation for the YPW Gathering in April 2016, the network’s Cross-Cultural Protocols (CCP) working group hosted a webinar. This webinar was designed to provide an overview of YPW; bring participants up to speed on the Cross-Cultural work Youth Passageways has been engaged in since the Summit 2013, especially the development of Cross-Cultural Protocols in Rites of Passage; and set the stage for the work occurring at the Gathering in 2016.

Read our Cross Cultural Protocols >

Gathering Report: A Shared Story

Coming out of the gathering we knew a crucial part of the story was the way in which it would be captured. What follows is an attempt to bring some of the many experiences, stories, and perspectives into the context of the larger narrative.

Read the full report here >

Blessings & Beauty

Blessings & Beauty: YPW’s First Ever Public Event

This gathering marked the first time that YPW opened its doors as it were to the public for an evening of rhythm, poetry, ceremony, celebration and action! This public youth designed event featured offerings from Street Poets, Youth Justice Coalition, Golden Bridge, Rhythm Arts Alliance, Tia Chucha’s Young Warriors and more.

Learn More >

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From the Participants: Water & Fire

One of the most important aspects if not the most are the varied and incredibly diverse array of stories and perspectives that show up when we gather and likewise take away a great many things. Here are some reflectiosn from participants both during and after our time together.

Hear from the participants here >

“Be Heard. Be Healed” The Poetry of Initiation

More than at any point before, poetry and language acted as a meeting place and leveler for our shared experiences. From Street Poets in their element to new and at first unsure voices, so many stepped forward to share their creative agency and beauty with us. Here are just a few of the many words we will now carry with us.

Experience it here >

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The 2016 Gathering Press Kit

Please enjoy this brief Press Kit introducing you to our organization, what we were up to in LA this April, and to provide information about a few of the amazing partners who helped us make it happen. We believe this gathering and public event shone a light on some of the most innovative work available to support youth as they grow into adulthood. Read more by clicking the link!

Go to the Press Kit >

Thank you to our Gathering Sponsors & Partners!

Our 2016 Gathering could not have been possible without our Los Angeles Host Partners! This gathering was alos sponsored in part by the Kailo Fund, Kalliopeia Foundation and California Wellness Foundation and pulled off in collaboration with: Spreading Seeds Wellness Center, Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural: Young Warriors Program, The Ojai Foundation, Youth Justice Coalition, Youth Mentoring and Street Poets, Inc. Find out more about our Host Partners below.

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Spreading Seeds Wellness Center


An organization dedicated to teaching cultural wellness tools through knowledge, wisdom and understanding. Spreading Seeds introduces the necessary cultural tools for youth and young adults to live a healthy balance of the mind, body and spirit that results in overall wellness, self-awareness and self-mastery in order to develop the self-discipline to make mindful choices towards a more successful existence.

Learn more about Spreading Seeds Wellness Center >

Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural


Tia Chucha’s Young Warriors is a community project created by youth for the youth of the Northeast San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles. The youth empowerment project provides arts awareness, performing arts, cultural awareness, mentoring and social consciousness to pre-teens, teenagers and young adults.

Learn more about Tia Chucha’s >

The Ojai Foundation


The Ojai Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering practices that awaken connection with self, others and the natural world. They have a beautiful 40-acre educational retreat center and sanctuary in Ojai, CA that inspires, transforms and nurtures all who visit. They host skilled and trained facilitators and guides who weave retreats, rites of passage, and land-based council programs with over 1,200 students each year.

Learn more about The Ojai Foundation >

Youth Justice Coalition


The Youth Justice Coalition (YJC) is working to build a youth, family, and formerly and currently incarcerated people’s movement to challenge America’s addiction to incarceration and race, gender and class discrimination in Los Angeles County’s, California’s and the nation’s juvenile and criminal injustice systems.

Learn more about Youth Justice Coalition >

Youth Mentoring


The mission of Youth Mentoring is to awaken at-risk youth to their power, unique gifts and purpose by matching them with caring adult mentors and placing that “match” within a structured group dynamic that provides the resources youth need to reach productive, conscious adulthood. They further seek to awaken society to the needs, promise and value of this overlooked population.

Learn more about Youth Mentoring >

Street Poets, Inc.


Street Poets breaks the cycle of violence in the lives of at-risk and incarcerated youth, awakening them to their gifts. They build creative community, bringing youth, adults and elders of diverse backgrounds into deep transformational relationship. They also consult and collaborate with other organizations and communities to inspire both individual and systemic change, transforming the culture from one too often driven by fear to one that celebrates healing and the creative process.

Learn more about Street Poets >