Community Member

The Young People’s Guild Foundation

Suffolk, Virginia

Children showcasing what they learned about musical instruments during the Young People’s Guild Summer Program’s closing ceremony in 2012. (Photographer: Kevin Oliver)

The Young People’s Guild Foundation works toward economic, social, and environmental justice across Virginia’s Hampton Roads – spanning Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Newport News, Hampton, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, and Suffolk  –  to create positive change for all generations, particularly the youth. The area’s industrial and military corridor – including the Norfolk Naval Shipyard – has left a legacy of SuperFund sites and some of the highest cancer rates in the state. Founded in Suffolk, VA, the group advocates on behalf of its neighbors who face flooding and industrial contamination, particularly in Brighton, Truxton, and Prentis Park, whose per capita income is lower than 99.2% of neighborhoods in the U.S. and 88.2% of the children live in poverty. The Foundation hosts monthly meetings to connect community members and leaders; quarterly forums to connect members to civic leagues, faith-based groups, and business leaders; and offers consulting services, grant writing assistance, sponsorships, workshops, job fairs, and youth programs – each developing relationships and finding solutions.

Joyce Tasby, founder of The Young People’s Guild Foundation

The Young People’s Guild Foundation was founded in 1995 in Suffolk, VA with the original intent of providing scholarships to The Young People’s Guild School of Performing Arts (founded 1977) for students who would not otherwise have such an opportunity. Since then, the Foundation’s activities have expanded to address environmental social justice issues in underprivileged parts of Virginia’s Hampton Roads region. The Foundation is particularly focused on educating and advocating for the neighborhoods of Brighton, Truxtun, and Prentis Park in Portsmouth, which face flooding and industrial contamination. Led by Executive Director Joyce White-Tasby and supported by a seven-member Board of Directors, The Young People’s Guild Foundation engages communities that have historically faced environmental injustice through community town halls, meetings with civic leagues, and events like their annual Black History Trailblazer’s Sidewalk Parade.

For more information:

Black History Month: Honoring Truxtun area of Portsmouth, WAVY, February 2023

13 years after Portsmouth Superfund site flagged as priority, EPA proposes cleanup, VPM News, May 2022

The YPGF Executive Summary – The Enhancement Foundation

Dorothy Terry

Dorothy Terry

Dorothy Terry is a journalist by profession, having worked as a daily newspaper reporter on both coasts and a contributing writer for several national magazines. She is a former Congressional press secretary and has worked as a communications manager and consultant for corporations and nonprofits.


Joyce Tasby, Founder and CEO


Social Media

Climate Impacts

Flooding, Water Contamination

Environmental Justice Concerns

Air Pollution, Lead Contamination, Logging/Biomass, Superfund Sites


Art Activism, Community Farm/Gardens, Community Organizing and Education, Direct Relief and Aid, Elevation or Relocation of Homes, Legal/permit challenges to development, contamination, pollution, etc, Risk mapping and/or monitoring e.g. flooding/contaminants etc

501c3 Tax Deductible


Accepting Donations