Following is a description of the panel session being hosted by Zineb Mouhyi at the 2021 AERO conference.
The Generation We Have Been Waiting For
Youth Rights Day Panel
June 24, 2021
The Youth Rights Day is about much more than youth rights. It is inspired by youth saying, “We are the generation we have been waiting for.” It is ultimately about the leadership needed to put the world on a far better course.
A major reason why youth and their supporters have not made more progress getting major injustices addressed is that they have remained too disconnected. The Youth Rights Day is created to change this. By rallying for one
grand show of solidarity on November 20th, the day the United Nations celebrates its Convention on the Rights of the Child, a much higher level of public awareness and support for youth efforts can be achieved.
The Youth Rights Day is conceived as a meeting place, not an organization. It is creating a space for youth and advocating for social, environmental and learning justice. By bringing them together under one umbrella, they can better see how to build the alliances that will further their particular causes. Education is over-riding. As the documentary film Schooling the World conveys, if you want to change a culture in a single generation, you have to change how it educates its children. We need for young people to have learning environments that allow them to use their time learning about what matters to them, and respect their right to participate as equals in decisions that affect them.
There is still the general perception that young people are to be seen and not heard, or that they are too irresponsible and inexperienced to be given an equal say. The Youth Rights Day Movement will help to dispel this misconception by dramatically increasing the opportunities for the public to meet young people who they not only need not fear, but who they need to hear.
This session will introduce participants to youth from four corners of the globe: India, the UK, Canada east, and the US west. They will tell their stories about how they got involved and the work they are doing. The session serves as one example of a possible Youth Rights Day event. Panels of local youth activists could be hosted by community associations to build awareness of how youth are valuable citizens when treated with respect.
After hearing from the panelist, specifics about the Youth Rights Day and how youth and their supporters can take advantage of it will be covered. A question period will end the session. To receive updates on the Youth Rights Day, please register at: https://youthrightsday.com/contact/.
Following are brief bios of the people who will be speaking at this session.
Kyrstin is a passionate and caring young woman and proud band member of the Algonquins of Kitigan Zibi. She is an awardee for her dedication to the indigenous community, she has taken part in sacred walks to protect the water, spoken on Parliament Hill about climate justice and human rights, created cultural art tutorials during covid for indigenous youth to stay connected to their cultures as well as continuously raised money for the moose moratorium and low income families during the COVID-19 pandemic. She has worked with schools, organizations and churches such as OCDSB, CAS, the child welfare league, UNICEF Canada, the Kitchissippi church as well as the Woodroffe church and while she is currently completing her high school education at Urban Aboriginal she works as a strong role model for other students who have fallen through the cracks of mainstream colonial education systems. She is an advocate, an aspiring future social worker, and a mentor to her family and community alike.
Yumna is a student advocate and campaigner, elected as the Member of the UK Youth Parliament for Birmingham and Chair of Birmingham Aspiring Youth Council, representing 200,000+ young people in the UK Youth Parliament. She is also a Bite Back Youth Leader, which is an organisation which aims to revolutionise the food system and place young people’s health first. An avid writer, public speaker and co-author to the fiction book ‘Struggles of War’, she is keen on using creative approaches to explore social justice issues. Currently, she is launching RESILIENCE – a youth-led organisation, with the mission of elevating key systems in humanity and in particular, envisioning the future of our education system.
Zineb is the co-founder of YouthxYouth, a global community of youth education activists and adults dedicated to the reimagination and transformation of education for collective liberation. She is also one of the co-founders of the Weaving Lab, an international NGO and network of weavers, i.e. social change-makers pioneering new approaches to collaboration and ecosystemic transformation. Prior to that, she was the Policy & Partnership Development officer at WISE (World Innovation Summit for Education), at the Qatar Foundation in Doha, where she mainly worked on education development, policy research and implementation, and on bringing together education stakeholders to collectively advocate for changes in education.
I walked out of the conventional education system that was preparing millions of people for so called mainstream careers ultimately to fall into the never ending exploitative, consumerist culture. I realized that these careers just add up to the modern problems that we are facing instead of providing any solution to it. It was then, I began to question everything and the alarming need to reimagine education. I am deeply interested in indigenous knowledge practices and decolonising education. My search for alternative approaches to learning has led me to have conversations with educationalists around the globe. I am now an active member of Ecoversities Alliance. I am also one of the youth signatories of the initial letter launching the Youth Rights Day movement and I’m committed to uniting youth in their effort to put the world on a better course.
Richard is a supporter of youth. He co-founded Uniting for Children and Youth and The Ottawa Public Education Remake Initiative (OPERI). Along with members of Unschooling School, he organized the three-day Child Friendly Community Conference that started on November 20th, 2020. He is retired from teaching and has presented at previous AERO conferences.