Common Roots

Common Roots is a joint project of CPA and People Organizing to Demand Environmental and Economic Rights (PODER). It was founded in 1998 as a collaborative leadership program serving low-income Chinese and Latino youth in San Francisco. 

Common Roots youth, 1999

Today, Common Roots is a 6-week youth leadership and environmental justice program held every summer, where a core group of youth leaders work together to develop cross-cultural solidarity, deepen understanding of social and political issues impacting their communities, and grow leadership and organizing skills.

During the summer, youth engage in community building, political education, and grassroots, direct action campaigns on issues impacting local youth, low-income residents and people of color. Some issues Common Roots youth have led on in the past include environmental justice, safe working conditions, community gardens, and transit justice.

Group photo at Common Roots youth-led community action day, 2023