Youth Voice EVERYWHERE!

As any expression of any young person about anything, anywhere, at any time, Youth Voice happens in countless places in every community every day. This includes schools, businesses, alleys, sidewalks, libraries, city halls, government agencies, afterschool programs, summer camps, foundations, nonprofits, community centers, at home, on the streets, and in parks. Youth Voice happens inContinue reading “Youth Voice EVERYWHERE!”

Change the World through Wikipedia

It’s a quiet night in the middle of winter when you surf Wikipedia over to your favorite subject. Lately you’ve been obsessed. Reading the regular “blah, blah, blah” you’d expect in an encyclopedia, suddenly your eyes come across something you know is wrong, and you want to fix it. Stumbling through the clunky interface ofContinue reading “Change the World through Wikipedia”

Questions About Youth Empowerment

Today I read a great article by a thought leader in New Hampshire’s democratic education community, Peter Berg. Peter does some cool work including coaching for young people themselves, and I really like his blog. Cool guy. His article, “Empowering Youth to Take Charge of Their Health“, got my brain running this afternoon, as hisContinue reading “Questions About Youth Empowerment”

A Disimagination Machine

People who remember court madness through pain, the pain of the perpetually recurring death of their innocence; people who forget court another kind of madness, the madness of the denial of pain and the hatred of innocence. – James Baldwin When I was 23, I started writing about my career. Studying at The Evergreen StateContinue reading “A Disimagination Machine”

Does Every Youth Ask “Why Is The World So Mean?”

Sitting in a circle after our activity, an eighth grader asks me bluntly, “Why is the world so mean?” After a game, I was facilitating a conversation with a group. I’d asked the students to brainstorm different problems they saw around them, and name some of the ways they were affected by them. Someone saidContinue reading “Does Every Youth Ask “Why Is The World So Mean?””

No Ms. Smith, There’s No Such Thing As Troubled Youth

Dear Ms. Smith, I recently read your blog the other day about “troubled youth”, and felt compelled to respond. I know you meant well, but the way you framed the problem was diminutive and belittling of the teens you are talking about. Unfortunately, most writers do it this way, because that’s the way mainstream societyContinue reading “No Ms. Smith, There’s No Such Thing As Troubled Youth”

Adultism and Classism

After getting prompted to expand on it in the “I Fight Adultism!” group on facebook, tonight I’m thinking about the inseparable connection between adultism and classism. Definitions Adultism is bias towards adults. Classism is discrimination against someone because of their social class. Class is the grouping of people according to their social, economic, or educational status.Continue reading “Adultism and Classism”

Our Hope Is Students on Fire!

The world is on fire right now! As I sat at my computer at my dining room table in Olympia, Washington, in the Cascadia region of North America, I read about the new round of protests erupt around the world. In one day, there were reports of students in Chile, the working class masses ofContinue reading “Our Hope Is Students on Fire!”

Adults Fighting Adultism Part Four

Adultism is pervasive throughout society. The bias towards adults happens everywhere, all the time, from our families to our institutions; our economies to our cultures. This isn’t inherently bad; it simply is. The Roots of Adultism The social roots of adultism are supported by the belief that society exists in order to promote overconsumption, theContinue reading “Adults Fighting Adultism Part Four”

Great Poetry Series: “To Be Of Use”

This is the 20th entry in CommonAction’s “Great Poetry” Series. Marge Piercy is is the author of seventeen novels and eighteen volumes of poetry, and a critically acclaimed memoir. Born in center city Detroit, educated at the University of Michigan, the recipient of four honorary doctorates, she has been a key player in some ofContinue reading “Great Poetry Series: “To Be Of Use””