5 ways to make the movement youth friendly

  1. Meet us where we are. Don’t sit around and wonder why young people aren’t getting involved in your organization. We don’t know where you are. Make an Instagram or Twitter page. Not a lot of us are on Facebook anymore. Go to the county fair, the mall, and the beach and hand out your push cards to teenagers that pass by you. Show us the door, open it, and we will walk through (and likely bring our friends!).
  2. Make yourself youth friendly. Too often, groups limit themselves to adults. It may not be explicit when you sign up for alerts with a group, but it can be picked up on. If you’re talking about events that you do that take place on Tuesdays at noon or all of the pictures of you canvassing or tabling somewhere only show older folks, we take a hint and don’t feel invited.
  3. Scoot over and make space for us at the table. Once we’re in your groups and involved, we don’t want to just be there to check a box for your demographics. When organizations are coming up with ideas for volunteer recruitment or rallies, listen to the ideas that we have to offer. We could share a completely new way to do something that could really surprise you.
  4. Give us responsibility. Sometimes when youth are invited into spaces, we feel like we’re just there. Take us as seriously as any other prospective volunteer. Give us tasks that actually carry weight so that we can make a real impact. Don’t just ask us to bring markers for the sign making party. Ask us to lead a canvass. Ask us to lead a phonebank. Ask us to table at a volunteer recruitment event. And support us as we fail forward.
  5. Create spaces for us within that space. I attended the Power of Pink conference for Planned Parenthood volunteers in 2018. Towards the end of the conference, there was a time for “caucuses” to meet. There was a Black Caucus, an LGBTQ+ Caucus, an American Indian Caucus, and, to top it all off, a Youth Caucus. There weren’t many of us, but it was a fulfilling experience. We had spent most of the conference with around 2,000 people who, most of the time, were way older than us, so it was refreshing and exciting to be around other young people at this event with over 2,000 people in attendance. Some organizations have created Youth Advisory Councils that offer a young perspective on their actions and goals.

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Blue Future is building a diverse youth movement that will inspire, mobilize and invest in young people to organize for a brighter tomorrow.

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Blue Future

Blue Future

Blue Future is building a diverse youth movement that will inspire, mobilize and invest in young people to organize for a brighter tomorrow.

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