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”

Engage, Involve, Inspire, Motivate, and Activate Youth!

Do you want to engage, involve, inspire, motivate, or activate young people? Then order my book, The Freechild Project Youth-Driven Programming Guide! Packed with useful activities, deep insights, practical tips, and other information and resources your need to move youth voice, youth engagement, youth leadership, and youth empowerment to the FRONT of your work withContinue reading “Engage, Involve, Inspire, Motivate, and Activate Youth!”

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”

Expanding Children’s Rights in the US

Bound up in this ongoing conversation about youth engagement is the question of who has the right to be heard. In the United States, there are two distinct conversations that happen regarding the rights of children and youth; one is protective (Children’s Defense Fund) and the other is liberatory (National Youth Rights Association). Children’s OmbudsmanContinue reading “Expanding Children’s Rights in the US”

New Tips on Youth Engagement

A lot is being written about youth engagement these days. However, a lot of it is retreaded from older writing. I decided to bring together some tips for young people and adults that I’ve accumulated over the years from my own experience, things that may never have been written before. Comment and let me knowContinue reading “New Tips on Youth Engagement”

Empowerment and Engagement

My friend Lori works with youth in the Midwest. She recently asked me, “In the scheme of things, how do we motivate the youth to be empowered rather than entitled?” Dangerously, I’ll suggest that motivation comes through our own experience and example more than anything else. We have to actively demonstrate to young people ourContinue reading “Empowerment and Engagement”

Rethinking Youth Empowerment

So many adults say they want to empower youth. When they say this to me, I’ve learned to simply hear them, because its usually those adults who most want to be empowered. So, before you strive to empower a young person, I want you to consider that you might want to be empowered yourself. RightContinue reading “Rethinking Youth Empowerment”

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!”

Youth Work on AutoPilot

Thinking can feel like a luxury. In times when we’re deep in the work we do and the ways we get it done, it can be nearly impossible to take care of ourselves. We are so busy meeting the needs of the kids, filling out forms for our bosses, or writing up the report forContinue reading “Youth Work on AutoPilot”

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”