How can we be true allies in social change?
Che Guevara believed, “Solidarity means running the same risks,” but how do educators embody that belief? Professor Barry Checkoway from the University of Michigan’s School of Social Work has written an article entitled, “Adults as Allies,” that is perfect for youth educators and practitioners.
In the introduction, Dr. Checkoway explains, “This workbook is for adults who are, or who want to become allies of young people creating community change.–If only a fraction of adults viewed young people as resources and served as allies in community change, the results would be extraordinary.”
What are the main ideas expressed in the article?
1. Young people are creating change.
2. There are so many benefits associated with youth creating change including personal development, organizational development, and community development.
3. Adults can empower young people and foster the learning process.
4. Young people can learn lessons that last a lifetime.
What can youth do?
“There is virtually no limit to what young people can do, no social need that they cannot at least do something about. With a broad enough perspective, it’s hard to think of a positive social role teenagers have not at some point filled: from leading crusades, commanding armies, advising kings–being kings–to making scientific discoveries, composing symphonies, and imposing injustices. What youth can do is limited more by social and political convention than by capacity, energy, or willingness.” (Conrad &Hedin, 1991).
Read the full article here, “Adults as Allies.”