YR Media Launches Merchandise Line Showcasing Youth-Led Designs and Opening a New Career Pathway for 14-to-24-Year Old Creators They Serve

Award-winning nonprofit that centers underrepresented youth journalists, music producers, and designers showcases tumblers, totes, hats and more that feed into their media mission

Oakland, California, April 02, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- YR Media is most well known for its editorial, having won Edward R. Murrow, Signal, George Foster Peabody, and Gracie awards for riveting storytelling about the foster care system, juvenile justice, and other pressing topics for, by, and about historically underrepresented youth. Over the last decade, the Oakland-headquartered nonprofit, with a new Midwest hub in Chicago, has also garnered acclaim for its multimedia offerings, including a revamped design pathway launched and led by Chief Creative Officer Pedro Vega Jr., who joined YR Media in 2020. Today, the organization is proud to announce a new YR Media merchandise line, all of which celebrates its milestone of turning 30 this year.  Items are now available for purchase at yrmedia.org/shop.

True to the nonprofit’s model of teaming 14-to-24 year old journalists, music producers and designers with adult mentors to co-create stunning storytelling across media, this line of branded T-shirts, hoodies, totes, mugs, water bottles, baseball caps, notebooks, and other irresistible items showcases the work of IPAF designers and provides them with learning opportunities in marketing and content creation. The line also represents a new revenue stream for YR Media which has recently made headlines for its equitable music licensing program, another youth-centric offering that provides a library of sample-free, original compositions to brand partners, including MACRO’s iHeartPodcasts debut, “Shattering the System,” hosted by acclaimed audio journalist Sonari Glinton. With respect to the merchandise line, showcasing the original artwork and designs of YR Media’s emerging designers’ cohort is just the start.

“The launch of YR Media’s own merchandise line is a thrilling accomplishment,” said Chief Creative Officer Pedro Vega Jr., whose background includes being part of e-commerce marketing teams for Steve Madden, Superga, and Betsy Johnson. The Chicago native, now based in Roanoke, VA, also developed creative from photography to digital campaigns and Steve Madden's first mobile app. “We are also planning to develop seasonal limited collections and having our emerging designers take the lead on conceptualizing digital marketing campaigns and accompanying visuals.”

“YR Media is so excited to offer yet another avenue to showcase the brilliance of our YR stars and help them along in their career pathways,” said Kyra Kyles, YR Media CEO. “This line also provides additional channels for our community of supporters to invest in us and build more awareness of our impact.”

To see the entire YR Media merchandise line, please visit yrmedia.org/shop.


About YR Media
YR Media is an award-winning leading media, technology, and music training center and platform for emerging BIPOC content creators, who use their voices to change the world. Headquartered in downtown Oakland, California, with a Midwest hub in Chicago, Illinois, the nonprofit has invested 30 years in helping future generations build foundational skills in journalism and multimedia content creation. They produce journalism, music, graphic design, podcasts, and documentaries that disrupt and shape the mainstream narrative. For more information on YR Media, visit yrmedia.org.


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