One of the components of meaningful youth involvement I’ve routinely neglected in my work has been the spaces, environments, and climates we need to cultivate in order to successfully engage young people. Those spaces vary according to who is in the room, what the activities are, and what the intended outcomes are going to be.
It’s been exciting for me here at Generation WakingUp to feel the successful revealing of the climate we’re engaged in as co-learners. All of the markers of a good Pacific Northwest gathering are here, including the music, banners, and African drums. But environment goes beyond “stuff”: through careful design and substantial nurturing, the training design allows participants to enter themselves into the fray, effectively drawing out very personal contributions to the whole, engendering that sense of community among participants in a wonderful way.
I stayed here for an hour last night in a rather inspired beatbox battle with another guy named Adam. It was fun, it was freeing, and for what feels like the first time in a long time, I am me, fully and wholly. I want to share this space with you!