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Youth Engagement: Beyond Adultism and Tokenism – Involving Youth Authentically in Coalitions
Effective community coalition work requires involvement of youth at all levels, from leadership to strategy implementation. Yet we live in a society that has consistently marginalized and disenfranchised young people. Our shared challenge today is to engage young people in ways that honor and respect their unique gifts and perspectives, while still operating strategically and effectively. It can be done. In this workshop, we will discuss ways not only to bring youth to the table, but to redesign the table specifically for young people. We will hear from coalitions who are achieving success in their authentic youth involvement, and learn how to improve our skills in partnering with young people.
At the end of this session, participants will be able to recognize how adultism and youth tokenism (usually unintended and unconscious) limits coalition effectiveness, understand ways to overcome the “one speaks for all” dynamic in youth involvement, use ten specific ways to stop tokenizing youth, and have an understanding of “adultism” and how it limits effective community coalition work.