5 Ways You Can Help Youth This Holiday

Want to help youth this year? There are budget cuts all over the country, crime against youth is rising, youth joblessness is booming, youth homelessness is rising, more young people are dropping out of schools than ever before… Reality shows that young people have a ways to go towards equity and parity with adults. HereContinue reading “5 Ways You Can Help Youth This Holiday”

The Devestating Impact of Recession on Young People

There are too many ways to slice this pie, so I want to be brief here. The U.S. Recession of 2007-2008-? has had and will continue to have devestating impacts on children and youth. Here’s an accounting of those ways: Family and individual homelessness Health insurance coverage Larger classroom sizes [for naysayers] Fewer afterschool programsContinue reading “The Devestating Impact of Recession on Young People”

A Moral and Ethical Responsibility (for Jackie)

Today I received another spectacular question from Jackie, an executive director of a nonprofit focused on youth involvement in the Northeast. Reflecting on the Freechild Project Measure of Social Change Led By and With Young People, Jackie made an important point about this work: …[I]f our goal is “all community members equally make decisions, takeContinue reading “A Moral and Ethical Responsibility (for Jackie)”

Youth Rights Theory

There are murmurs out there about the lack of Youth Rights theory* *. I want to address that directly. I believe there is a misconception about what theory actually is, what it does, and who makes it. Let me begin with an explanation of what Youth Rights theory needs to be: Youth Rights theory shouldContinue reading “Youth Rights Theory”

Democracy Building in the United States

The institutions, culture and public policy that drive our society needs to be transformed so that adults and young people share roles more equitably within government, communities, workplaces, and families. With that assumption firmly intact, the development of new cultural and structural avenues to foster the active participation of children and youth takes a firmContinue reading “Democracy Building in the United States”

Interesting News Items

Here’s some interesting news items as I get ready to come back from my late spring hiatus. “Kids from higher income households just aren’t going into the labor market. They’re looking for things to put on résumés, and working at Dairy Queen or Wal-Mart just isn’t going to help you get into Wake Forest orContinue reading “Interesting News Items”

Why We Can’t Wait

In 2000 I was working as the Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction‘s Youth Ambassador position where I was responsible for coordinating the statewide essay contest for K-12 students focused on the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I also met Sasha Rabkin, who has worked for the Institute forContinue reading “Why We Can’t Wait”

No Country for Young People

The United States is a backwards democracy. Rather than distributing the power to all of its citizens, it throws it into the hands of the few. Instead of bringing opportunities to the under-resourced, it lavishes chances upon those who already have access. In this post, I am concerned most with the reality that instead ofContinue reading “No Country for Young People”

Whatever It Takes

Youth workers and teachers are often guilty of the same thing: They call on the kids who raise their hands. You know who I’m talking about, because just like me you’ve done it before. She’s the bright and articulate leader who knows the answer. He’s the quick and deft analyzer of information who holds theContinue reading “Whatever It Takes”

Why I Love the CRC

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is the most popularly accepted legal instrument affecting youth voice and involvement in the world today. Two countries haven’t ratified it: Somalia and the United States. Great company. Of course, the Campaign for US Ratification‘s model of youth involvement is poor itself, so there isContinue reading “Why I Love the CRC”