Meet The Team
I joined the Citywide Board in Feb 2015 to support the governance and to help the development of policy advocacy work at the organization. A few months later I was asked to apply for the Executive Director position becoming the catalyst for change. Since then, citywide has gone beyond convening and back into community organizing. I’m a lifelong resident of the city of New Haven, an NHPS alum and parent. I stand beside our young people as they lead us into a world without oppression and racism. Almost 7 years since joining citywide I’m 43 and looking to support the next leaders of this organization.
Director of Community Organizing
Alyssa Marie Cajigas
Alyssa Marie Cajigas, is a 22 y/o Afro-Boricua. She is the Director of Organizing for the Citywide Youth Coalition Inc. Alyssa is a Strategy Council and Board member for the Perrin Family Foundation. She has also previously interned for PPSNE, with them they successfully launched the state's first queer camp specifically for youth of color and one of the only in the country. For Alyssa the camp is more than just a program, it's providing a space she always wished to have offered to her . Alyssa has been a community organizer for the past eight years she has worked on issues like LGBTQ+ rights, juvenile justice reform and the miseducation of our education system, among many other issues. In total, Alyssa is a true organizer and leader in the state of Connecticut who exudes the spirit of a new generation of youth that are politically conscious and personally committed to improving the community for the better.
Director of Political Education
I have been with citywide for about 4 years now. I came into the org to work in re entry as an organizer but have grown and expanded into running the political education department. I live in the Newhall section of new haven with my two kids 11 and 8. Being an educator at citywide has been the joy of a lifetime and I have learned so much about myself and grown as a person.
Community Organizing Fellow & Media Communications / Graphic Design Apprentice
Hello everyone. My name is Lizamishel. I am a sophomore at UConn majoring in Africana Studies and Minoring in Studio Art. I joined the Citywide Youth Coalition in 2019 and started as a fellow/youth leader. I was a part of the youth-led mayoral forum of 2019 and the early stages of the #WeVoteNext Campaign. I then transitioned to a staff member in 2021 as the social media apprentice at the organization. I have a passion for visual arts, specifically photography and graphic design.
I’m 16 years old and I attend Wilbur Cross I’m in my Junior Year. I joined CityWide because i been interested in social justice for 3 years and wanted a space to to talk about it and have people who have the same interest and citywide offered me that. I started coming to Citywide last year during September/october. I work in the Revolutionary Wendsday field.
Political Education Fellow
I joined CWYC in order to advocate and make change for the better of our world, spread the education of what our rights as the people are and be part of a safe space for those who face issues that white supremacy has put upon us. I am 15 yrs old, a prideful person of West Indian descent, an unapologetically queer person, coming from a life of many obstacles that I wouldn’t want anyone else to have to go through which is how I got my passion for activism. I currently live outside of New Haven but I used to be based in Fair Haven. I also currently go to Achievement First Amistad High School located in New Haven, CT. At the Citywide Youth Coalition, I am a radical wisdom/political educator, in my department, we learn and teach with members about how our government system(s) work, how it impacts us as well for how we go about changing the negative impacts it has on us.
Who we serve:
Youth voice is often absent or minimized in issue discussions that directly impact them. CWYC maintains the philosophy that youth voice is an essential tool for social change. However, CWYC also recognizes youth voice must also translate to youth POWER for youth to impact systems reform. CWYC’s aim is to strengthen young leaders and youth-serving staff personally and civically,with the belief that the New Haven area will undoubtedly benefit from an inclusive, united, and supported youth network whose voice will usher forth positive changes for all.
Citywide Youth Coalition, Inc. has opportunities available for youth-serving adults and young adults (ages 14-25) who work, go to school, or live in the urban New Haven region.
We create and work for liberated spaces where people from all groups and identity expressions can be free to exist as themselves and live authentically.
We build relationships where we can be open, vulnerable, and honest, working in partnership because we know that we can only go far in this work if we work with others.
We know that the process of transnational change requires community and that in order to effectively work together, we must build trust with each other.
The Need to Serve
Youth voice is often absent or minimized in issue discussions that directly impact them. CWYC maintains the philosophy that youth voice is an essential tool for social change. However, CWYC also recognizes youth voice must also translate to youth POWER for youth to impact systems reform. CWYC’s aim is to strengthen young leaders and youth-serving staff personally and civically, with the belief that the New Haven area will undoubtedly benefit from an inclusive, united, and supported youth network whose voice will usher forth positive changes for all.