Olympia—Partners Needed for a Youth Event

Talking with a number of young people in Olympia in informal settings, I recently discovered there is a desire for a youth leadership training for them. However, without money to attend, these “nontraditionally engaged” youth don’t feel like they can do it. So I’m going to pull together a one-day youth action training here inContinue reading “Olympia—Partners Needed for a Youth Event”

Characteristics of Successful Youth Engagement

Ideally, youth engagement happens throughout communities and across society. Youth programs and youth councils are good; but engaging youth at home and throughout regular community places is great. However, the space is not as important as the characteristics of the community. Working with more than 40 youth engagement practitioners throughout King County for our YouthContinue reading “Characteristics of Successful Youth Engagement”

Evolving Roles for Young People in Democracy

I originally wrote this for the spectacular Paul Roc’s local rag, The Journal of Natural Learning. “Education should not be the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a flame.” – William Butler Yates In the early 1800s it was common for non-enslaved Blacks in the United States to take the last name “Freeman” asContinue reading “Evolving Roles for Young People in Democracy”

The Privilege of a Month Off

I’ve been absent this last month. Somewhere between the middle of April and today I’ve traveled just about 15,000 miles, with flights to New York, Chicago and Denver and what seems like dozens of hour-long trips to and from Olympia to Seattle. CommonAction has put on workshops for just over 500 people in the lastContinue reading “The Privilege of a Month Off”

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”

Washington Student Engagement Plan

Greg and I swirl ideas back and forth like batter for pancakes. Since 2000, we have been in an ongoing – if sporadic – conversation about roles for young people throughout society, particularly in schools. A little history: Greg Williamson comes from a long-line of western Washingtonians, born and raised in the Tacoma-area. His evergreenContinue reading “Washington Student Engagement Plan”

SoundOut: Serving the School as Community

I wrote this article for the Spring 2006 edition of the ServiceLine Journal, a defunct newsletter originally published by Kate McPherson of Project Service Leadership, then published by Educational Service District 112 in Vancouver, Washington. The agenda of schools is routinely set by adults. “Educating the future workforce,” “Promoting a better tomorrow,” and even, “MakingContinue reading “SoundOut: Serving the School as Community”