Challenging Youth Gurus

They have become a staple of the world of afterschool programs and nonprofits: youth gurus. I’ve spent a few years traveling around the country teaching adults how to relate to children and youth, and a few more before that doing exactly that. Through reflection and relentless critical self-examination, I’ve arrived at a few trinkets ofContinue reading “Challenging Youth Gurus”

Adam Fletcher: Speaker for Hire

After completing a youth speaking program through Omaha’s Urban League when I was 14, I gave my first public speech related to youth. Talking to a neighborhood church about youth in our community, I gave a rousing call to arms for church members to support activities me and my friends by volunteering and with donations.Continue reading “Adam Fletcher: Speaker for Hire”

Generations and Adultism

“We cannot wait to engage youth any longer, because they are not waiting for us. Whether or not we give them our tacit approval, they are moving ahead with the future right now, just as they always have, only faster.” When I launched into my keynote speech last month at a Raleigh, North Carolina, conferenceContinue reading “Generations and Adultism”

MLK Day Speech: Too Late

“We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with a fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history there is such a thing as being too late. Procrastination is still the thief of time…The ‘tide in the affairs of men’ does not remain at theContinue reading “MLK Day Speech: Too Late”

CommonAction Update

A friend of CommonAction emailed today and asked what we’ve been up to. The summary sounded good to me, so I want to share it with you: Over the last couple of months I’ve mostly been on the road, first in NYC, then Albany, Rochester, Buffalo, and Syracuse – all on different trips. It wasContinue reading “CommonAction Update”

Youth Conferences

Youth conferences are a peculiar thing. When they are done well, they are done really well. When they are otherwise, well, they usually stink. Case in point: On a recent November saturday in San Jose, California, more than 1300 girls attended a day-long young women’s empowerment conference hosted by Girls for a Change. There wereContinue reading “Youth Conferences”

New York Part 2

I spent November 7 at a one-day conference in Albany, New York, at the invite of the New York State Student Support Services Office. This is the second time I’ve come out to NY, working with the excellent crew led by Kim McLaughlin. It is really gratifying and encouraging to see a group of individualsContinue reading “New York Part 2”

New York & Meaningful Student Involvement

For the last four days I’ve been working with dozens of teachers, principals, district officials and regional education administrators to help devise systemic plans for meaningful student involvement. In a demonstration of remarkable commitment, the New York State Student Support Services Office hosted three conferences across the state – Buffalo, Syracuse, and Rochester – whereContinue reading “New York & Meaningful Student Involvement”