For July’s RPE Spotlight, Jen Torres (she/her) from Center for a Nonviolent Community coordinated and facilitated a youth panel featuring youth organizers from Center for a Nonviolent Community in Sonora and Lumina Alliance in San Luis Obispo. Estrella (she/hers) and Annika (they/she) educated participants on the answers to several questions including what they’re excited about, what keeps them coming back to their prevention projects, and how adult educators can get out of the way and let young organizers take the lead.
In this 55-minute recording, the panelists featured the creative part of their work including a zine that Annika worked on (that was posted by the mayor!) and Estrella’s work on a series of well-produced videos about sexual harassment. One of the major takeaways that Annika and Estrella both drove home was that “youth know what youth want” which they say is a good balance of work, fun, meaningful inclusion, and feeling the impact in your community.
“Just being a part of conversations and discussions, I feel like is really big because I know I have been in meetings with only adults and it can be very intimidating. But just knowing that I can add something to the conversation and that I know what you’re talking about can be very calming and just the thought of being able to ask. So, I think just having more conversations, and including the youth into it, instead of going around the questions for the youth, I think that and also there being a representation of youth, if you ask them more questions like ‘what from your perspective do you think?’ is the best approach.”
“Sometimes we’ll do intergenerational meetings where we’ll just do icebreakers or talk to each other or get to know each other. And it kind of lets us all be on the same level when we have those icebreakers because there’s no separation. I think that’s important because although the ideas are separate, I want the community that I work in to a unit. Although we have different perspectives, I don’t want to be separated as a category. I don’t want to think of myself in the space as lesser or not as important”
If you missed the July RPE Spotlight, you can watch the recording HERE or follow up with Jen Torres at Jen@nonviolentcommunity.org