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Santa Ana youth groups Wednesday evening celebrated youth involvement in their community and local politics, as part of a Star Wars-themed event by the California Endowment celebrating youth empowerment in ten cities across the state.

Teens from seven youth groups, which are all part of the Santa Ana Building Healthy Communities initiative, presented work they’ve done throughout the year and were asked to post on social media about issues in their community with the hashtag #myforceawakens, named after the newest Star Wars film.

According to administrative coordinator Joel Cazares, the social media campaign is encouraging teens between 13 and 24 to engage with other youth groups across the state about the issues affecting their community.

“Youth [in Santa Ana] can see what’s happening in Del Norte and Oakland, and the youth in Oakland can see what’s happening in Santa Ana,” Cazares said. “So [they might] post ‘#myforceawakens when families are being deported.’ Or, ‘#myforceawakens’ when there are high levels of youth in the juvenile justice system.’”

Contact Thy Vo at or follow her on Twitter @thyanhvo.

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