The Power of Youth

2021-05-20T17:41:21-04:00July 22nd, 2020|

by Clare Wildhack-Nolan Whenever I am fortunate enough to be facilitating a  group of young people, I first connect to them by acknowledging and lifting up their power as leaders, not in the future, but now. They are and can be leaders for peace. I  ask them to raise their hands if they believe that adults have created a problem-free world for them. I have had one younger child raise their hand, out of hundreds. I then ask them if they think adults have created problems that now they have to solve. Hands fly up. Then I let them know that I am sorry, and many of us are trying our best to solve them, but that we really need them. As my coworker Naeemah Jackson always points out, youth are the tip of the spear. They carry insights into the current times I often miss, and the energy, passion, and power to challenge the adults and innovate. Each generation has. Getting to facilitate Social Justice based conversations with youth always gives me hope. The narrative that teens are off on their screens, wrapped up just in themselves, is a false one. Their deep care for their families, communities, and faith is always at the center of their conversation and work. And they have a keen awareness of where injustice may be taking place. My/Our approach to supporting youth leaders is in offering critical thinking practice, an opportunity to