Kid's Rethink New Orleans Schools (Rethink) is a youth organizing and youth leadership development not for profit organization that uses participatory education and action research to build the leadership skills of youth in New Orleans.
Our organization was founded in 2006 by a group of community organizers and activists from across the country in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Twenty middle school students participated in the inaugural summer program during which they referred to themselves as “Rethinkers.” Many returned to New Orleans for the first time after a hard year of struggles born out of the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.
They dreamed big about the changes they wanted in their schools and shared their vision at a news conference. The Rethinkers continued to meet throughout the year to ensure that student voices were at the forefront as New Orleans made plans to rebuild its school system.
Rethink’s mission is to support young people of color in becoming thoughtful and capable leaders through the process of rethinking their educational experiences in their school communities and taking action to make systemic improvements. Our vision is both an equitably great education for all students and a future wherein generations of young leaders equipped with the necessary tools to affect systemic change are committed to lifelong community engagement.
We believe that every movement towards our mission and vision helps dismantle the social, political, and economic barriers that prevent young people from being heard and creates opportunities for youth to learn and practice leadership in ways that make a real difference to them, their schools, and New Orleans.