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?””

No Ms. Smith, There’s No Such Thing As Troubled Youth

Dear Ms. Smith, I recently read your blog the other day about “troubled youth”, and felt compelled to respond. I know you meant well, but the way you framed the problem was diminutive and belittling of the teens you are talking about. Unfortunately, most writers do it this way, because that’s the way mainstream societyContinue reading “No Ms. Smith, There’s No Such Thing As Troubled Youth”

21st Century Community Learning Centers

This week I’m facilitating two sessions at Washington State’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers conference. Its an annual event held in different locations across the state, with it being in Ellensburg this year. I have presented at several states’ conferences in the past, and I’m excited to be here again this year, too. My twoContinue reading “21st Century Community Learning Centers”

Adults Fighting Adultism Part Four

Adultism is pervasive throughout society. The bias towards adults happens everywhere, all the time, from our families to our institutions; our economies to our cultures. This isn’t inherently bad; it simply is. The Roots of Adultism The social roots of adultism are supported by the belief that society exists in order to promote overconsumption, theContinue reading “Adults Fighting Adultism Part Four”

Coming May 2013: “Inconvenient Youth” by Adam Fletcher

CommonAction is proud to announce Coming May 2013 “Inconvenient Youth: A Guide to Discrimination Against Young People”  by Adam Fletcher, founder of The Freechild Project. Contact us for information, including author booking and appearances, orders, and more. Email info@commonaction.org Phone (360) 489-9680

7 Steps to ConnectYoung People And Social Change

You can take action and connect young people with social change right now! 1. Engage Young People in Social Change Who better to work with children and youth than their peers? Learn how to empower young people to change the world by building engaged neighborhoods, schools and communities. START EMPOWERING YOUNG PEOPLE 2. Connect Young PeopleContinue reading “7 Steps to ConnectYoung People And Social Change”

Keeping Youth Programs Relevant

The National League of Cities is an organization that works across the country to “help city leaders build better communities”. One of their initiatives is called the Institute for Youth, Education, and Families, or YEF. In a recent publication, YEF proposed there are four primary ways youth programs can ensure their relevancy in cities: Coordinate systemsContinue reading “Keeping Youth Programs Relevant”

Elements of Successful Community Engagement

The nature of community programs continues to evolve. More than ever, nonprofits, government agencies, and other programs are being challenged to transform their goals, activities, assessments, and resources in order to motivate, educate, and engage people beyond simple participation. In a time when many communities are stuck in a malaise, community programs require a realignment to growContinue reading “Elements of Successful Community Engagement”

Safe Spaces for Young People

When adults speak about safety, we’re often referring to the scourge of physical violence that is redefining the lives of all children and youth across the United States today. With the horrors of school shootings, the terror of gang violence, and the rage of bullying tearing apart families and communities everyday, the presence of physicalContinue reading “Safe Spaces for Young People”

Differences Between YDP and Traditional Youth Programs

As long as community work specifically focused on youth has existed, adults have been designing, facilitating, and evaluating it. However, over the last twenty-some years, many nonprofits, schools, and government agencies have discovered the reward of fostering youth voice throughout throughout their operations affecting youth. Years of research and best practice have led to theContinue reading “Differences Between YDP and Traditional Youth Programs”