Group photo from the 2018 YDSA Winter Conference
Young Democratic Socialists of America is the youth and student section of the Democratic Socialists of America, and a national organization of recognized campus chapters and several hundred activists. We are students organizing in our universities, colleges, and high schools to fight for the immediate needs of workers and students while building our capacity to fight for more radical and structural changes.
Our constitution outlines five key objectives for Young Democratic Socialists of America. They are…
…To Build the Power of Students, Campus Communities, and Youth to Fight for Equality, Justice and Democratic Socialism
YDSA is a space in which students, campus workers and community youth can learn from one another and be empowered to fight against the most pressing social justice issues impacting our communities. We educate our fellow students on how capitalism is negatively impacting every social justice issue from immigration rights to free healthcare to stopping global warming, and to organize campaigns that will combat these threats to our right to a better world. We practice radical solidarity with other campus and community groups that are fighting for justice, equality and liberation, and push for a true democracy in our campuses and local communities that will serve as the ground for for a democratic socialist future.
…To Develop, Determine, and Promote the Policies and Positions of the YDSA
Through our biannual conventions, we democratically determine what the next overarching goals and positions for YDSA will be and how to put them into practice. Through healthy debate and learning from other leaders representing chapters from all over the country, we determine the aims of our campaigning work in our communities and our vision for a democratic socialist society. We aim to establish a clear framework of short and long-term goals towards establishing democratic socialism and to provide resources for working towards those goals in our chapters all across the country.
…To provide support and assistance to local organizations of YDSA, to assist and support the organization of new local and national organizations, and to facilitate cooperation between local organizations across the United States and internationally
We support our chapters in a number of ways. Through workshops and materials aimed at teaching new activists how to resolve, organize, and combat any potential issues both from within the chapter and the larger context we are organizing in. Additionally, in order to achieve democratic socialism in the United States, we see it as crucial and necessary to facilitate cohesiveness between our many YDSA and local DSA chapters in order to increase person-power on any given project and eliminate the issue of multiple small committees working on the same goal and mirroring each other’s work separately, as cooperation is bound to be much more efficient and productive. Furthermore, while we are based in the United States, it is of the utmost importance that we not only try to better the lives of people living in the United States, but also work with our comrades abroad who are exploited by American imperialism who have much to teach us about how they’ve dealt with the challenges and successes they’ve experienced organizing in their own difficult circumstances.
…To promote Democratic Socialists of America among students, campus communities, and youth
We aim to encourage the people we work with on campus and in our communities to join the largest and fastest growing socialist organization in America, and to make the connections and learn from the variety of perspectives and experiences we offer in our big tent organization, where multiple anti-capitalist strategies and tactics are discussed and implemented. The larger our organization is, the more we can accomplish through our various chapters, and while YDSA has a specific focus on campuses and the local communities surrounding them, we are still very much a part and reflection of the larger parent organization and all that is has to offer in support and lifting up the working class.
…To educate and train YDSA members to prepare them for a lifetime of organizing in the service of a democratic socialist future
It is essential towards establishing democratic socialism that we do not stop at student activism. YDSA serves as a training grounds for organizing in the larger world by providing the skills and experience that will make improving our activism and our various projects possible. Through our conventions, workshops, partnerships with local DSA chapters and the support and guidance of the leading National Coordinating Committee, YDSA will be the basis for the next generation that will learn from but accomplish more than all the generations of socialists before it.