Saturday, December 13, 2014

BLACK LIVES MATTER!: Tips to Support Teens joining in the Streets & Other Ways to support this moment in time (besides street protests)

Chalk (outside our workshop) by Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie, Image by JW Gutsche

This list of tips to help work w/ teenagers in your movements (whose parents may be hesitant to let them join in) & other ways to be involved besides street demos (since many different people for various reasons may not be able to join in) - was brainstormed @ Don't Leave Your Friends Behind discussion in NYC, 12/11

Tips to explore/ for bringing teens to the street
  • Provide information/connection from past civil rights movements and this one
  • Build trust with parents over time, that they trust you to take a group of teenagers somewhere
  • Give youth a video camera to document the experience /something to do and also safer
  • Explore the reasons parents would not want teens to demonstrate including immigration status, special needs, fear of arrest and social services, etc. 
  • Understand the demands of time upon overburdened parents in this current oppressive system
  • Understand that we can have different cultural expectations/ that many youth live in two worlds, at home and outside of the house. 
  • To respect youth and parents, both.
  • Its essential to support youth
  • Its essential to support parents
  • Have conversations to address caregivers' concerns: find out by asking
  • Teach In - for parents, with dinner and toys for younger children to create access, as well as teach youth who can talk with their parents & other youth for parents who can't attend
  • Safety issues. Children have been harmed in protests before, and even while not in protests but by being near protests (such as being pepper sprayed in the face) and parents are the ones that are blamed. While at the same time participation is a valuable intergenerational experience.
  • Structure: buddy system, bottom liner, back up, where do you meet if you are separated, etc.
  • Back-up/documentation: temporary custody
  • Group legal representation/bail
  • Family friendly contingency for protests

Tips for involvement outside of street demonstrations for teens & others:
  • Point person not at the march / answer phones BE THERE and not doing something else
  • Twitter
  • Model - that doing something else besides street actions is just as important. There are many different ways to take care of ourselves, each other, and foment change. We do not all have to do the same things in the same ways at the same time.
  • Volunteer your skills
  • Join a public forum that is not "in the streets" but some kind of planned advocacy like outside of city hall w/ community organizations.

"Chalk is not illegal, yet, as far as I know. Would you like a piece?" - Ekere

Additional Resources (updating this list as they come in) :


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