|In 1996, a
battle over the future of affirmative action was raging at UC Berkeley.
Youth and student organizers across the state were coming to
consciousness and joining the movement to defend equal access to
education. Young women and young people of color were the frontline
fighters of this struggle for justice, but they lacked the support and
training they needed to confidently develop as strong leaders. SOUL was
born out of that struggle, designed to serve as a program that would
train young women and young people of color to build and lead the
social justice movement.
SOUL started as a summer training program inspired by the Student
Non-Violent Coordinating Committee’s Freedom Summer. Since that
first summer, SOUL has blossomed from a student-based summer program
into a year-round community-based organizing and training center for
young people. We now run a wide variety of organizing skills trainings,
political education programs and technical assistance projects to meet
the many needs of the social justice movement in the Bay Area and
around the country.