Wednesday, August 16, 2017

We Stand with Charlottesville

By Sam Piha

Like many of you, we were horrified and dismayed by the violent events in Charlottesville, VA. Many young people were also a witness to these events through the television and social media, and many will be participating in your youth programs.

We thought it important to address these events and offer resources that can help youth workers respond accordingly. We invited Jessica Donner, Executive Director, Every Hour Counts, to share her comments and some resources. Every Hour Counts is a national coalition of citywide organizations that increases access to learning opportunities, particularly for underserved students. Below are her comments. We also offer links to additional responses and resources. 

Lastly, we want to call your attention to an upcoming Speaker's Forum entitled "Growth Heartset": Establishing a Culture of Caring by Stu Semigran. This is very relevant and will be conducted in both Oakland and Los Angeles.

By Guest Blogger, Jessica Donner

Jessica Donner
Our hearts are heavy with the demonstration of violence, bigotry, hate, and racism in Charlottesville last weekend, and yet we are emboldened to deepen our commitment to fighting hatred and inequality as educators, systems builders, and youth workers. Our network of 23 communities reaching more than 500,000 young people works tirelessly to bring communities and different cultures and ethnicities together. We hold diversity—in cultures, gender, spoken languages, religion, race and ethnic backgrounds—as a treasure to be honored and celebrated in our communities.

Together, we will make sure that young people across the country feel safe and supported during this frightening time. We believe it is critical for all of us—youth leaders, expanded-learning front-line staff, and intermediary and city leaders—to understand the role these events play in the lives of so many young people with whom we work. We will work systemically and more explicitly to create safe and equitable spaces for young people to express their anger, fears, and hopes and dreams.

To help you navigate complex and difficult conversations and grow as advocates and educators, we’ve compiled a starting list of resources for program providers, parents, and educators:

  1. Ten Ways to Fight Hate: A Community Response Guide
  2. Crucial, Courageous Conversations: How to Talk to Kids About Racial Violence
  3. Resources for Educators to Use in the Wake of Charlottesville
  4. Diversity Toolkit: Cultural Competence for Educators
  5. An Equity Action Agenda for Youth Development Professionals
  6. Why the Myth of Meritocracy Hurts Kids of Color 
  7. How to talk to your kids about the violence in Charlottesville

Photo credit: Every Hour Counts

We’d love to know what resources you’re using to build a more equitable world for young people in the face of entrenched inequality. Let us know on Twitter using the hashtag #CharlottesvilleCurriculum.

Additional Resources: 

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