OPS 3 - Youth Organizing: Expanding Possibilities for Youth Development

FCYO's Occasional Papers Series (OPS) is a series of papers aiming to capture and document growing knowledge around youth organizing, and address key issues and questions commonly posed by funders and practitioners about the work and field overall. There are 11 OPS installments, which explain the theories behind youth organizing as a strategy for transformative youth development and social change, track the history of youth organizing in different regions across the United States, and uplift the individual, community and societal impacts of youth organizing.

This first installment of the series (OPS 1-4) includes three articles and an annotated bibliography.

  • In OPS 1, “An Emerging Model for Working with Youth: Community Organizing + Youth Development = Youth Organizing,” LISTEN, Inc., a training and support organization, tackles the basics of youth organizing—origins, concepts, models, principles, and practices.
  • In OPS 2, “Youth and Community Organizing Today,” journalist Daniel HoSang traces the historical involvement of youth in social change efforts throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries and examines how the current phenomenon of youth organizing shapes community issues and community organizing.
  • In OPS 3, “Youth Organizing: Expanding Possibilities for Youth Development,” scholar-activist Shawn Ginwright looks at the nexus of youth development and youth organizing, tracing how youth organizing yields positive youth development and social change.

Although the papers reflect the different approaches, models, and variety of issues within youth organizing, they also reflect the common belief shared by all youth organizing efforts: that all young people have the inherent capacity to be active, contributing partners in their own individual development as well as in the development of their communities.