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5 Infrastructure and Supports for Youth Leadership and Engagement
Pages 63-76

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From page 63...
... PANELIST INTRODUCTIONS Jasmine Dellafosse introduced herself first. Stating that she is from Stockton, California, she acknowledged that the Yokuts and the Miwok peoples are two of the tribes indigenous to the Central Valley and northern California, and she emphasized that it is important to her to acknowledge this fact when she speaks in this space.
From page 64...
... (Yabut) • Youth representation uplifts youth voices alongside providing inspiration for activism among future generations.
From page 65...
... While this may not be a health issue explicitly, he said, the young people explained that this was a priority because "harsh school policies were criminalizing young people and particularly young people of color at a very early age." Ross referred to Williams's point from earlier in the workshop about how similar goals, such as defunding the police, were limited due to the political landscape in certain timeframes and said that these policies were a priority to these young leaders even as early as 2010. Ross explained that when the California Endowment completed further research following this recommendation, the data indicated "there had been an epidemic of school suspensions over the previous 10-year period in every state across the country, all disproportionately impacting young people of color." He said that the California Endowment began focusing on this issue through its support and investments and that the staff began to hear about this issue from all corners of the state of California.
From page 66...
... He noted this was in contrast to his work at the California Endowment up until that point, which focused on supporting mental health services in youth prisons. He said this was the first time he heard "No, no, no, you got it wrong, kids should not even be locked up," and that these young people told him, "It is nice that you are giving a grant to somebody to provide mental health services in a locked facility, but they should not even be in a locked facility in the first place .
From page 67...
... She said she was born in San Francisco, which she noted is acknowledged to be Ohlone Ramaytush land. Zhang discussed her experience in youth civic engagement and advocacy and highlighted her time as the chair of the San Francisco Youth Commission, where "we write policies, and we start campaigns that we believe are reflective of young people's priorities." She referred to Ross's earlier comments regarding the closure of youth prisons because one of the previous successful campaigns of the San Francisco Youth Commis sion was the closure of San Francisco Juvenile Hall.
From page 68...
... In framing his question, Garcel referred to the spoken word poet from earlier in the workshop who suggested, "Let us not just bring young people [and] let them become the junior version of whatever adult version council exists." Additionally, Garcel asked Ross to discuss how the inclusion of youth voices is "woven into [the California Endowment]
From page 69...
... Finally, he said that strengthening youth engagement efforts would be ongoing and that the California Endowment is working toward the future. Ross added that these efforts are "both illuminating and incredibly humbling at the same time." Speaking from the audience, Hanh Yu noted that Ross's prior com ments anticipated and answered her question about how to institution alize the inclusion of youth voices in decision making, pointing to "the commitment to deep, authentic relationship" as the answer.
From page 70...
... After Garcel thanked Yu and noted that her comments built on the prior discussion, Baxter reflected on the current efforts concerning voter suppression seen throughout the United States alongside the efforts of youth organizers "to really expand access to the vote and make it much easier to vote." He asked the panelists if any had experience with efforts to lower the voting age. Zhang responded.
From page 71...
... The longestlasting superintendent was in the position for 2 years, and there had been three superintendents in the preceding 3 months. According to Dellafosse, youth leaders advocated electing a young person to the school board, and the community pushback resulted in threats to the personal safety of the youth leaders.
From page 72...
... Dellafosse responded first and emphasized that exclusivity is a concern if youth councils are not developed with caution. She said that not all youth leaders come from traditional paths, such as youth leadership, and that a one-size-fits-all approach is not appropriate for forming youth councils.
From page 73...
... Galvis concluded his comments by saying that "students who have been pushed out of school, expelled from school, who have experienced harsh school disciplinary issues, all of those things -- those are the young people we should be inviting [to share] their thought leadership and their thought partnership in these discussions." Dellafosse suggested that "we also have to be mindful about ages," considering that many youth engagement organizations cap the age of their participants at 25, but there are individuals affected by youth incarceration who are excluded from the conversation because they are 26 or 27.
From page 74...
... And two, we are frying the planet." He then said that investments in young people have resulted in change to complex system issues and provided useful examples from California specifically. He referred to earlier discussions on youth prison and mentioned closures of youth prisons and the decreasing incarcerated juvenile justice population.
From page 75...
... She reviewed the panel's comments on developing grassroots infrastructure, building thoughtful and intentional youth councils, moving from tokenism to centering the voices of youth leaders, and "healing from the trauma that so many young people are experiencing even now." She also recognized the need to remember and make space for the fact that "even in this conversation of being post-COVID, a lot of people are not post-COVID yet." Garcel invited Yabut to provide her concluding remarks on "what is going to keep [her] hopeful for the next 5 years," noting that much work needs to happen in that time, and many people are "feeling that sense of urgency with our democracy here in our country." In response, Yabut introduced the concept of "inafa maolek," which is a Chamorro4 phrase that "loosely translates to reciprocity in English but really .
From page 76...
... In response, Yabut said, "I want to make Guam a place where people want to stay and want to live because there is so much beauty in how small this island is and there is so much beauty in looking at what can make a place like this great." She concluded by saying that groups like the Youth Congress and other youth organizations contribute to the beauty of Guam and that this is what has continued to drive her work. Garcel thanked Yabut for her remarks, apologized that there was not more time for in-depth comments, and provided the remaining panelists a chance to provide "just one word to close out [and]


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