New Conversation Guides Equip Young Leaders to Advance Equity and Inclusion

Posted June 15, 2018
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
New conversation guides help young leaders and partners discuss race equity and inclusion

The Casey Foun­da­tion has devel­oped a set of four guides with meet­ing mate­ri­als for lead­ers to hold facil­i­tat­ed con­ver­sa­tions about dis­man­tling racism with­in sys­tems that affect young people.

The Equi­ty Con­ver­sa­tion Guides for Young Lead­ers and Part­ners pro­vide step-by-step instruc­tions for facil­i­ta­tors to lead groups of young peo­ple in under­stand­ing the his­to­ry of struc­tur­al racism and how it oper­ates today. Groups will learn about impor­tant terms and con­cepts for dis­cussing racism and equi­ty, make group agree­ments that encour­age open and pro­duc­tive con­ver­sa­tion and learn how youth orga­niz­ing has pro­duced last­ing pos­i­tive change. The guides include inter­ac­tive activ­i­ties, hand­outs and posters appro­pri­ate for a data walk.

The only way we can tru­ly chart the course that will lead to last­ing improve­ments is to rec­og­nize and acknowl­edge racial bias and how it has influ­enced our pub­lic sys­tems,” says San­dra Gas­ca-Gon­za­lez, direc­tor of the Foundation’s Jim Casey Youth Oppor­tu­ni­ties Ini­tia­tive, which pro­duced the guides. Young peo­ple have always stood on the front lines of social and polit­i­cal change, and they can and will be pow­er­ful lead­ers in dis­man­tling the racist struc­tures that stand in the way of oppor­tu­ni­ty and suc­cess­ful adult­hood for all.”

Four guides make up the Equi­ty Con­ver­sa­tion Guides for Young Lead­ers and Part­ners series:

  • Under­stand­ing the Basics: Core Con­cepts and Terms
    This doc­u­ment intro­duces foun­da­tion­al knowl­edge about the rel­e­vant con­cepts for advanc­ing equi­ty and inclu­sion. Learn­ing these key con­cepts in peer groups facil­i­tates deep­er dis­cus­sion, intro­spec­tion and crit­i­cal think­ing, allow­ing lead­ers to apply their under­stand­ing of equi­ty from per­son­al expe­ri­ence in their work toward sys­temic change.
  • Dig­ging Deep: His­tor­i­cal Con­text of Child Wel­fare Systems
    This doc­u­ment takes a com­pre­hen­sive look at how race has oper­at­ed in the child wel­fare and youth jus­tice sys­tems from the 1600s through today. To engage in lead­er­ship and advo­ca­cy in mean­ing­ful ways, young peo­ple must under­stand the con­text of child wel­fare sys­tems and how var­i­ous poli­cies and prac­tices can affect chil­dren and fam­i­lies differently.
  • Dis­cov­er­ing Self: Iden­ti­ty and Culture
    Some young peo­ple who have been in fos­ter care might iden­ti­fy with sev­er­al cul­tures and com­mu­ni­ties, while some might not know where they come from. Estab­lish­ing one’s place and role in equi­ty and inclu­sion work must include a jour­ney of per­son­al under­stand­ing and reflec­tion. This guide is designed to enable adult facil­i­ta­tors to explore these com­plex themes in a strengths-based envi­ron­ment with young lead­ers and advo­cates who have expe­ri­enced fos­ter care.
  • Shar­ing Pow­er: His­to­ry and Con­tri­bu­tions of Orga­niz­ing in the Con­tin­u­um of Youth Engagement
    Under­stand­ing the his­tor­i­cal con­text of youth lead­er­ship and advo­ca­cy allows young peo­ple to ful­ly appre­ci­ate the influ­ence they can have and the polit­i­cal dynam­ics involved in advo­ca­cy. This con­ver­sa­tion pro­vides them with an oppor­tu­ni­ty to learn about the cen­tral role that young peo­ple have played in sys­tems change with an equi­ty and inclu­sion lens.

After intro­duc­ing the core con­cepts, facil­i­ta­tors are invit­ed to work through the guides in a way that makes sense for their group.

These are results-focused guides,” Gas­ca-Gon­za­lez says. We hope they will empow­er young peo­ple to move from under­stand­ing them­selves to build­ing rela­tion­ships to devel­op­ing tan­gi­ble solutions.”

Learn about the Foundation’s sev­en steps to equi­ty and inclusion

This post is related to:

Popular Posts

View all blog posts   |   Browse Topics

Youth with curly hair in pink shirt

blog   |   June 3, 2021

Defining LGBTQ Terms and Concepts

A mother and her child are standing outdoors, each with one arm wrapped around the other. They are looking at each other and smiling. The child has a basketball in hand.

blog   |   August 1, 2022

Child Well-Being in Single-Parent Families