What Is Youth Engagement?

Youth engagement happens when young people have sustained connections anywhere in their life. Youth engagement can happen throughout the lives of children and youth, including within themselves, in the immediate world around them, throughout society in general, and across the entirety of the world. The sustained connections they make can be emotional, psychological, or cognitiveContinue reading “What Is Youth Engagement?”

Strategies for Social Change

Following are different strategies I have identified for social change led by and with young people. These strategies can be approached individually, but are often entwined as they show different aspects of social change. Note that these are broad strategic frameworks for understanding social change; they aren’t necessarily specific activities or methodologies. I might exploreContinue reading “Strategies for Social Change”

Ways Young People Change The World

There are many roles in democracy-building by youth. Following are several different opportunities for young people to take action. 23 Ways Young People Can Change the World Children and Youth as Facilitators. Knowledge comes from study, experience, and reflection. Engaging young people as teachers helps reinforce their commitment to learning and the subject they areContinue reading “Ways Young People Change The World”

The Youth Action Spiral

Youth workers and educators sometimes gather in meeting rooms to talk about what the work they do with young people. Discussing education, recreation, social activities, psychological counseling, and many other approaches to youth work, they sometimes discover that there are patterns that emerge within their work that affect all of the young people they workContinue reading “The Youth Action Spiral”

Generation Waking Up

I heavily, highly, and wholly support the work of my friends with Generation Waking Up. Their outstanding work to engage young people across the United States and around the world is transformative, revealing, and genuinely empowering. Their new video is inspiring:     Learn more about Generation Waking Up from their website, and please, please takeContinue reading “Generation Waking Up”

Stop Attacking Youth!

Another day, another article slamming young people for not being activists. This one comes from the Left, effectively making its author a fremeny to youth activists today. (He joins these hallowed ranks with Todd Gitlin, among others.) This well-meaning, but poorly informed narrative generally leaves readers with the following points: There isn’t any/enough youth activismContinue reading “Stop Attacking Youth!”

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”

GO TEAM YOUTH! Towards a Future Beyond Boosterism

This morning I read a story about a 14-year-old named Jacob Barnett who might be smarter than Einstein. As I watched it, I had the thought of sharing his story with others. However, I’m generally reluctant to do that. As I’ve written in the past about Michelle Obama and Taylor Wilson, I think adults who areContinue reading “GO TEAM YOUTH! Towards a Future Beyond Boosterism”

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?””

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!”