Wednesday, 17. November 2010 12:01
As part of the Annual Grantmakers for Children, Youth and Family Conference in DC in October of this year, I attended a round-table post lunch led by the Funders’ Collaborative on Youth Organizing titled “The State of the Field of Youth Organizing: 2010 Field Scan Analysis and Funding Strategies.” The 2010 report shed light on the growth of the field, areas of focus and trends. It engaged 160 organizations through an on-line survey complimented by focus groups and interviews with more than 80 organizations nationally. This is the second scan, with the last comprehensive one completed in 2006.
I choose this session as two of our clients Oakland Kids First and RYSE Youth Center actively engage in youth organizing as a means to address social justice as well as education equity respectively. In addition, First 5 Marin which graciously sponsored my registration is engaged in a community mobilizing and organizing effort for all children in Marin as part of a cross-sectoral collaborative, MarinKids which will likely engage young people as well. The Field Scan is rich with information describing the state of the field as well as models of community organizing.
Following are 5 take-aways from the presentation by Pillal and Torres-Fleming:
- Social Justice-Youth organizing is becoming recognized as an important strategy for social justice as well as youth development.
- Intersectionality-Young people see and experience the “isms” simultaneously and their efforts to address tend to be integrated.
- Rise of Intergenerational Organizing-Young people and adult allies are working together and shaping organizing efforts as partners. This leads to a leadership pipeline as young people are mentored by adult allies and then positioned to assume their positions.
- Integration of Youth Development Supports-Greater interest and commitment from youth organizing groups to tend to the health and well-being of each other and advocating for health, mental health and other supports.
- Future of Youth Organizing-The future of youth organizing is an integration of physical health, college/career planning, academic support and mental/emotional health.