Tragedy is tragedy, and there is no solace in the senseless loss of life. And yet somehow, in the chaos of emotions following loss, we have the power to transform our anger into passion, isolation into solidarity, fear into hope. Over the past few weeks, the powerful surge in youth voice acting in solidarity in response to the tragedies in Parkland and injustices across the nation has given many of us hope. While the outcomes at the policy level may still be murky, the message is clear: the youth voice is rising, the youth voice matters, and youth want change.
One of the five VTLFF critical levers for affecting positive change in education and society is the emergence of authentic, powerful Youth-Adult Partnership. We recognize that it is our role as adults - parents, teachers, mentors, neighbors - to stand with our youth, to lean in and listen, to question and coach, nudge and support, and give strength in partnership with the voice of the future. This is education that matters.
If you haven't had a chance to see them, here are a few examples of empowerment, passion and partnership in action.
Me Next? - Manchester Journal. Tyler Jager, 12th grade
Youth testimony video in gun control legislation deliberation and media coverage here (Burlington Free Press: VT Students on Gun Reform), here (VT Digger: Protesters Call for Lawmakers to Act) and here (VT Digger: Scott Says: 'Everything's on the table')
Youth Lobby - Rally for the Planet organizing, Climate Change, Voting Age, and more.
National: ASCD Express: Amplifying Student Voice
If you want to get more involved, check out the Power2 Summit - bring a team and build the movement!