The Tree of Adultism

The Tree of Adultism shows how the roots are formed by discrimination against young people. In my book, Ending Discrimination Against Young People, I explain how all these different aspects are borne of discrimination against young people. As they emerge in our lives, they are exhibited through formal and informal ways that are present inContinue reading “The Tree of Adultism”

Recognizing Systems of Adultism

It is important to look beyond individual ways that people discriminate and are discriminated against to see that there are systems that define, support, promote, and sustain adultism. Everyone is affected by systems of adultism. The ways that adultism surfaces are so broad that it can feel overwhelming to try to name them. Systems of adultism stack up andContinue reading “Recognizing Systems of Adultism”

New Approaches to Youth Action

In my own restlessness, I find myself craving something different these days.  I’m increasingly dissatisfied with isolated experiences of “youth-led” activity that is seeded and driven by adults. I have come to see that the majority of this work is largely disingenuous and ultimately incapacitating for the young people who participate in these activities. IContinue reading “New Approaches to Youth Action”

Hostile Adults Are Undermining Young People

Adults have been hostile to kids for a long time. When it comes to undermining young people, I have grouped adults into three main categories: well-meaning adults, indifferent adults, and hostile adults. This is about hostile adults. Hostile adults don’t like young people. They are genuinely and overtly determined to maintain over-controlling relationships with childrenContinue reading “Hostile Adults Are Undermining Young People”

Well-Meaning Adults Are Undermining Young People

Things dropped by well-meaning adults still do what?!? There are several ways that adults undermine young people. I have grouped them into three main categories: well-meaning adults, indifferent adults, and hostile adults. This post is exploring the first category, well-meaning adults. They are determined to “help kids”, and can often be identified as progressive teachers,Continue reading “Well-Meaning Adults Are Undermining Young People”

Radical Transparency with Children and Youth

How To Be Radically Transparent With Children and Youth Start when they’re young. While young people are still young, that’s the time to make be radically transparent with them. Having a transparent conversation with a 17 or 18 year old can be difficult, if only because they’re conditioned to accept adults obfuscating. By starting early,Continue reading “Radical Transparency with Children and Youth”

Meet Them Where They’re At

Recently, I was called to a meeting where it was requested that we BYOD, Bring Your Own Device. It seemed ridiculous to me at first, as I thought that people who were inclined to bring their own devices already would. But when I got there, we were led through activities that could only be done onlineContinue reading “Meet Them Where They’re At”

33 Steps to Youth Voice

Creativity, government, schools, empowerment, community development… As the banner of youth voice is unfurled around the world, we see more young people standing up in unprecedented numbers than ever before. They’re demanding what is rightfully theirs: High-quality living, hopeful lives, and democratic realities. We’re just see this movement emerge like never before, and must keepContinue reading “33 Steps to Youth Voice”

Loosening the Evaluation Stranglehold

Every day, young people around the world—including Pittsburgh and all of Allegheny County—struggle to connect in meaningful ways to the world around them. They’re yanked on and dragged around by the adults in the lives, being sent to school, dropped off in after school programs, made to come to dinner, forced to kiss their greatContinue reading “Loosening the Evaluation Stranglehold”

10 Steps to Planning Programs With Youth

Planning youth programs for children and youth is tricky. Stuck without enough time to plan or strict guidelines for curriculum delivery, youth program workers can feel powerless over what they do with the young people they serve. In my own experience working in the field for more than a decade, I had this experience continually.Continue reading “10 Steps to Planning Programs With Youth”