Providing physical spaces where young people feel valued and empowered is essential to positive youth development. Safe spaces for youth should be places where young people can come together to express themselves and engage in decision-making processes that impact their lives. Youth should have an active and on-going role in creating a youth-friendly space, including … Continue reading Youth cafés: creating youth-friendly spaces
Before I was fairly educated and passionate about social change, I was the almost-all-encompassing poster child for Canada's oppressed and marginalized group: A young, poor immigrant black girl living in one of Toronto's priority neighbourhoods. Fast forward a few years and post-secondary education, I was elated to have stumbled into the field of youth work. … Continue reading On youth work and bullshit jobs
Authentic youth engagement prepares and empowers youth to challenge their social position and ensure a better future, for themselves, their communities, and their nation. Achieving authentic youth engagement doesn't have to be difficult! Below is a short infographic I made highlighting four ways to achieve authentic youth engagement.
Youth engagement has gained momentum in many fields that work closely with young people, including youth programs and services, youth organizations, schools, and other institutions working to help young people thrive. Youth-focused organizations thrive to implement youth engagement practices that capture the voice of young people they serve. While it is important to recognize … Continue reading From tokenism to authentic youth engagement
A while ago, I was catching up with a good friend of mine, and during our mutual vent-session over the frustration we feel about the youth sector, she mentioned something I found puzzling. Some key youth organizations in the community were opposed to evaluation practices to assess their youth programs and services, even when the … Continue reading What gets measured, gets managed: Program evaluation for youth work
The field of youth work has lost much of its revolutionary potential as it has become diffused within the global capitalist framework. The article, Captured by Capital: Youth Work and the Loss of Revolutionary Potential, offers a critical analysis of the influence of global capitalism on the youth service sector. In a previous post, I discussed in … Continue reading What happened to radical youth work?
Youth engagement practices support young people's participation in shaping their communities and the decisions that affect their lives, as well as foster positive youth development. Meaningful youth engagement is an important factor in positive youth development that strengthen young people's civic commitment, extend their social capital, help them create meaningful relationships with adults, and foster … Continue reading Meaningful youth engagement: Multiple contexts, multiple realities, multiple approaches
On the surface, defining the term youth appears to be a very straight straightforward endeavor. A ‘youth' is a young person, right? A while back, I had the opportunity to attend a Critical Youth Work course, a professional development certificate offered to Ontario youth workers with the space to engage in critical dialogue and learn … Continue reading Defining ‘youth’