Healing, Support, and Transformation: Supporting Young People's Needs While Organizing

One of the great challenges of youth organizing is figuring our how to support young people's holistic needs while at the same time organizing powerful campaigns. In the past, some organizers have stayed away from providing supports to young people because they saw service as less radical than organizing.

Today, more and more youth organizing groups recognize that the young people involved in organizing are suffering the effects of the very systems of oppression they are trying to change, and that in order to support these young leaders' development, there is a need to support their emotional, spiritual, and other basic needs. Models of organizing are being developed that combine personal and societal transformation, include college access and employment support, and incorporate cultural healing and wellness practices. These models have many powerful impacts including ensuring more young people have the stable lives they need to take leadership in their communities, creating sustainable organizing cultures that prevent burnout, and even in a few cases opening up new revenue sources for organizing groups.

While a number of different models have been developed, finding the time and resources to support young people and lead effective campaigns is never easy. On this webinar, two youth organizing groups will share their approaches to supporting young people, and we will review Movement Strategy Center's 2005 report Bringing it Together which includes tools, case studies, and recommendations for organizing groups supporting young people's holistic needs. A list of tools and resources will be shared - including the Healing-Centered Youth Organizing framework from Urban Peace Movement - and participants are also encouraged to share any tools that have been useful in their work.

Moderator: Eric Braxton, FCYO