Each year, a group of 15 youth are selected to serve on the Urban Word Youth Leadership Council. Council members have regular office hours; attend meetings with staff, school partners and funders; and facilitate workshops, open mics and slams. They are the bridge between our staff and youth community, which is the key to our student-centered social justice pedagogy. No major organizational decisions are made without their input and support. Youth Council members are the torchbearers of our movement, gaining artistic and professional development skills that will help to shape their career ideals.