• Stewardship: (etymology “caring” & “house”) Stewardship expands the notion of leadership to include actions that arise from the caring for our collective home and restoring the balance and integrity of our natural and cultural communities. Stewardship is about having shared power among others rather than dominance over others. Stewards of youth equity see their accountability in both the quality of their own educational experience as well as the academic success of others.
• Soulful Space: Most critical to the Youth equity stewardship is creating a shared learning environment that is soulful, inspired, brave, and inclusive - one in which people feel empowered, cared for, and encouraged to tell their stories and grow as individuals and as a collective. The comprehensive integration of creative modalities such as music, visual art and movement, the formation of community agreements and a commitment to a collaborative spirit all facilitate the journey to ensuring deepened relationships across the spectrum of human differences.
• Creative Expression / Creative Resistance: Social change rooted in the nuanced needs of diverse communities requires us to simultaneously engage on the head and heart level. Creative expression opens both the cognitive and emotional pathways that allow participants to engage their peers and others in the realm of ideas and feelings, bringing a soulfulness and much-needed energy to school improvement efforts. Creative Resistance is both a perspective and a set of tools for people to use when witnessing or experiencing the impact of either relational or systemic oppression.
• Inclusion, Equity, and Excellence: The work of truly transforming schools into inspired centers of learning for all will require the collaboration of students and educators. Youth perspective and student voices are central to the task of making sure our educational spaces are places where young people feel welcomed, seen, respected, understood, and cared for. The inter-generational partnership is essential to the work of reducing and eliminating educational disparities based on race, economics and other dimensions of difference. Deeply equitable and inclusive collaboration is vital to the work of an expectation of excellence. This value reaches well-beyond test scores toward life preparation, reflective citizenship, the preservation of identity, language and culture, and ensuring that substance, depth, and critical thinking are a part of the educational experience.
• Diversity: Diversity is a critical dimension of the YES! process expanding the notion of the term across multiple dimensions of difference that exist within individuals and between groups. Within the context of our society, diversity is often centered around race at the expense of other aspects of identity. Our framing of diversity includes (but is not limited to) gender, class, religion, sexual orientation, beliefsystem, family structure, ethnicity, language and ability. Our humanity is a complex combination of our many diversities and, as in an ecosystem, our commitment to diversity is vital to a community’s health.
• Restorative Practice: Restorative practice is an indigenous-based commitment to community balance that is expanding into a world-wide social movement of repairing harm from conflict. This sensibility of “bringing community back to health” is ensuring human rights through compassionate inclusion and cultural empowerment. Restorative practices embrace the idea of our profound inter-connectedness and taking action to transform and heal our local & global human condition.
INSPIRE STUDENTS & STAFF TO BE YOUTH EQUITY STEWARDS
The Youth Equity Stewardship (YES!) program engages youth and adults through an experiential, arts-based process to build soulful, inspired, brave & inclusive learning environments. Participants gain lifelong skills as they are energized by forming deeper relationships across differences, nurturing their creative expression and cultivating their powerful stewardship qualities on a journey toward community uplift and equity.
Bring YES! to your school or district to:
* Gain youth perspective and a wider diversity lens for recognizing and eliminating educational disparities.
* Gain advanced skill building for active stewardship of inclusive school and community climate.
* Foster multi-generational collaboration to support authentic school improvement efforts.
* Energize educational environments with creative expression and celebrate the storytelling and wisdom of young people.
youth Equity Stewardship
Youth Equity Stewardship is about
the soulful and courageous work
of shaping inspired learning spaces together.
it is taking Inter-generational action
with artful expression and Creative resistance
to remove inequitable disparities
across differences within our school communities.
"We were challenged to listen
for the truth, the unheard voices,
and then do something positive
and be visibly active in our response.
YES! allowed us to move forward
in one of the most politically and religiously diverse districts
in the country."
Anoka-Hennepin School District