Messaging the importance of youth voice

At the #NYCEDU convening in June 2019, one of the breakout groups consisting of Tyler Rivera, Nelson Luna, Kyle Liao, and Jamie Lonie focused on how to develop messaging that can be effectively tailored to communicate to organizations about the importance of youth voices. We are working on word-smithing and packaging this, but we wanted to share the working document in progress here.

Stay tuned for more, and please message me if you would like to get involved! We are looking for people to contribute ideas, success stories, and skills such as packaging and graphic design so we can take this set of language from the page to the world.

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@kliao86 I am using this messaging the next time I have a conversation with people! Some thoughts:

(1) What do you think about titling this resource “How to message the importance of youth voice”?

(2) Are you up for me being involved by playing around with how learning resources like this one can be created via the forum? For example, I think you already have enough here for version one. You can edit your post to add the content you have in your working document and ask people to reply with their ideas, success stories, and skills. Your edited post could look something like…

Tailoring communication of the importance of youth voice to meet the org’s needs take a lot of effort, but having messaging like this can be a helpful resource. Here are some ways to message the importance of youth voice and youth agency to your stakeholders:

Heart messaging:

  • It’s the right thing to do, period. Incorporating youth voice in a meaningful and authentic way is something that they deserve. As the owners and experts of their own experience, youth are a constituency group that needs to shape work that has an impact on their lives. Look no further than organizations like Integrate NYC and Teens Take Charge to see that youth-led organizations can thrive, and groups like the Brooklyn Student Advisory Council show how meaningful youth-adult partnerships can lead to real change.

Mind messaging:

  • As an organization that wants to make an impact on youth, integrating the voices of those who are impacted by the service allows you to provide more effective services. Not integrating youth voice is a missed opportunity.

Challenges:

  • Sometimes there is tension when this is messaged. Sometimes adults have “age identity” and forget the feeling that they were once youth. Every adult was a youth at some point and felt frustrated that they weren’t listened to as adults.
  • Having students be the ones who present why youth voice is important but a challenge to bringing youth voice to new organizations is to do it meaningfully. Having youth do a cameo can lead to tokenization.
  • How can organizations reflect where they are on the youth engagement ladder and use that as a starting point for making progress?

Contribute to this resource:
At the #NYCEDU convening in June 2019, one of the breakout groups consisting of Tyler Rivera, Nelson Luna, Kyle Liao, and Jamie Lonie focused on how to develop messaging that can be effectively tailored to communicate to organizations about the importance of youth voices. Join us in word-smithing and packaging this!

  • Give feedback on the working document
  • Reply with ideas and success stories
  • Volunteer skills such as packaging and graphic design so we can take this set of language from the page to the world.

(3) Could you give everyone with the google document link commenting rights?

(4) Michael and I were thinking a future convening could include opportunities for leaders like you to break out and get people to continue hacking on projects like this in the convening itself! It’d be cool to create that continutation, inject new people and ideas, and build momentum. What do you think? How excited would you be if we had a mini-design thinking / un-conference where you could bring this out as an activity?