Voices of Youth

Help us to show here that youth voices are nothing to fear.

Youth voices matter. Youth provide a fresh look at the world and they serve as the conscience of a society. Excluding them from meaningful participation in decisions that affect them amounts to postponing the cultivation of true democratic citizenship. It’s not a recipe for a healthy democracy.

From the videos on this page, we can see that there is nothing to fear when youth feel respected and that their voices matter. Praja Tickoo, one of the youth in these videos, says that youth like him are not special. He believes that youth in general will reflect the same qualities when they feel respected and heard.

The first three short videos below are a series created by high school student Ferdous Sediqi. They contain highlights from youth meetings and presentations that have occurred during the process of building the Youth Rights Day movement.

Video 1: The Need for Youth Voices

Video 1: https://youtu.be/JMCZEiYLUto

Video 2: Youth Panel at
the AERO conference

Video 2: https://youtu.be/MQYD23T6oXw

Video 3: Youth Panel at
The Un/Learning Festival

Video 3: https://youtu.be/V5JENXNrfhQ

Youth Perspectives on Sociocracy is a video that stems from the three-day Child Friendly Community Conference that began on November 20th, 2020. Charlie Shread and Marianne Osório, who founded Wondering School and created the documentary film School Circles, gave a presentation on sociocracy at the conference.

Contribute your video here:
The above videos are just samples of youth behaving as respectful and responsible citizens. We invite youth from around the world to submit videos of their concerns and how they are working to have their voices heard. Submit your contributions to youthrighsday@gmail.com.

Looking for an idea for a video? Consider the following questions:

  1. The Ottawa branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association lists social justice and self-determination as core values. Do you think your school is doing enough to promote these values?
  2. John Gatto, a noted historian of education, said that the school model prevalent today was designed to keep people infantile and docile. Do you think there is any truth in what he says? To learn more about him, put his name in a Google search.
  3. Do you think a self-directed, democratic school within your community school is something that could work and that students in your school might want to try for a semester or more? See The CHIP Program for an example of one such school-within-a-school (SWS).
  4. What do you think about Yaacov Hecht’s vision of the community learning hub being considered for a neighbourhood in Tel Aviv? Does it give you ideas of how you might manage your own learning to take greater advantages of learning opportunities in your neighbourhood? Yaacov was the first person to call a school a democratic school and he is a founder of the annual conference known as IDEC.


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