A Seat at the Dinner Table?

For a long time there has been a group of Youth Voice advocates in the U.S., Canada and around the world who call for young people to have a proverbial “seat at the table.” This has meant a whole lot, from being on boards of directors and having leadership roles in nonprofits to being able to raise issues in town halls and sitting on the editorial boards for newspapers. Well, as the holiday season bares down for me and my family I’m thinking about seats for children and youth at the dinner table. That may seem kind of blasé or passé to the sophisticates who read this blog; I guess this entry isn’t for you.

Why the Dinner Table

I believe the most significant road Youth Voice advocates can walk is the family way: the majority of any young person’s time, the depth of influence and the sustainability of instinct and behavior from the home setting cannot be matched anywhere else in society. If we can change the way parents treat children and youth, and transition the ways young people behave and believe, we can change the world. And the simple fact of the matter is that adultism informs the most basic of household decisions during holidays, from the ornaments on Christmas trees to the rules for playing the dreidel to the crafts made for Kwanzaa. Right now I want to consider that seat at the table.
Let’s think about what that looks like: Its a holiday meal anytime of year where a family gathers to share food, tell stories and connect as blood in the same brood and from the same genetic pool (generally). Its an important time that religion, culture, and popular media reaffirms as important to our society. Routinely that mealtime includes immediate and extended family, close friends, neighbors, workmates, and others who are in our hearts or minds, who matter to us in some way.
Why is it, then, that we routinely segregate children from the “main” dinner table with a specially-designated “kids table”? Whether the breakfast nook in the kitchen, a card table in the living room or a picnic in the family room, the simple reality behind this routine differentiation can seem more than convenient to young people: instead is can be demeaning and alienating, serving as an indictment of age. There are disguises and tricks families can use to lessen the blow of being sentenced to the kids table; however, none of these eases the perception of young people who are aware of this differentiation. You might cite some of the litany of reasons: “some peace and some time to catch up without constant interruptions,” “adult talk,” manners or tradition.

Four Types of Tables

One part of my family lives in rural Alberta, where they all gather annually for Christmas dinner. My mom says one regular phenomenom there is the “kids choosing to sit wherever they want, and they all sit at one table.” This is self-segregation, which can be seen as an expression of strongly internalized oppression, or conversely a strong statement of self-empowerment.
My friend Danny told me that some of her most fond memories are from family dinners with kids’ tables, where good times were had. She’s not alone, as this writer says, “I loved the sense of connection it gave me with my cousins, some of whom I only saw a few times a year.” Built into that were lessons about appropriate age relations (read: pecking order?) and other forms of familial bonding. There is a sense of relief from having to “act your age” that is tangible at many kids tables, as well.
Maternal-ish figures sitting correctly and men waiting to watch football and kids getting their fingers smacked for smooshing the whipped jello are a reality in many homes, too. These age-inclusive tables may be experienced as oppressive, too, as the young people sitting there may be expected to be “seen and not heard” or to behave like “little adults.”
There are other tables where children and youth are treated with respect. I can remember plenty of times in my own house when my brother and I shoveled the mashed potatoes higher than the tallest guests’ head at holiday dinner, and my parents permitting our age appropriate behavior within reason. And the adults at our table, parents and their friends included, were generally cool. That’s what I’m aiming for in this post: appropriately age-inclusive behaviors in an age-inclusive environment.
And there are clearly anonomolies and other oddities. It seems there is a “cultural lag from the 1950s” childless adults and singles are forced to sit at kids table. There are also a lot of stories about precocious youth who “earn” their ways to adult tables by talking “like a grown-up” or otherwise behaving differently than their peers.
Challenging Adultism at the Table

There is a quote from Malcolm X where, referring to the Civil Rights Movement, he says something to the effect of, “We don’t want just a seat at the counter – we want to own the counter.” I am a fan of this particular sentiment for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is the self-realization inherent in the idea: “we” could mean children and youth, and “the counter” could mean their lives. But I’m not calling for young people to take over the holiday dinner table. Instead, I’m asking that we reconsider and reconcieve of what form that place takes in our households.

Ultimately the question of where and how and who and why a households sit together for holidays have to be answered by each family for themselves. Culture, heritage, obligation and pride are powerful forces that each adult needs to recognize and acknowledge, as do young people. However, none of those should be used as a crutch to lean on when it comes to adultism. As other people have suggested, adultism may be a “base” form of oppression that is learned from our infanthood, internalized and perpetuated through the rest of our lives. Creating safe and supportive familial environments is elemental in challenging adultism, and any committed Youth Voice advocate may find these steps elemental to challenging adultism at the table:

Integrate young people one your collective terms. Everyone comes to the table to eat, celebrate, be observant or otherwise comingle. Young people should be taught the value of that from the youngest age, and encouraged to contribute to the tradition however they seat fit, as well as how adults see fit. If they suggest they make place settings like at school, or make a dish, or tell a few jokes, or simply participate in conversation about their favorite topics, then make it known to everyone at the table that is what and how and who your table is.

Identify why you want young people to have a seat at the dinner table. It can be enough to simply say, “Pull up a chair” and make a space for a young person at your table, if you have a small dinner and simple gathering. However, if you are seating for forty and looking at integrating every an adult among every third child then perhaps you should be more deliberate when introducing that integration to the rest of the family. Have a clear goal in mind, and before the meal starts share that reason with your dinner table. That way people cannot deride you for being tricky or dumb.

Sustain the seat. Don’t let integrated tables end at the holidays. Instead, work to make them a fixture at all large gatherings your family or community has every year. This can lead to powerful connections being made beyond holidays and throughout the rest of the lives of young people. In turn, this gets back to the necessity of having a seat at the dinner table: it reinforces the notion that young people are significant enough contributors to society to be acknowledged everyday.

These steps provide a start. Let’s go there, and please share your stories related to young people having a seat at the dinner table!

Written by Adam Fletcher, this article was originally posted to http://commonaction.blogspot.com. Learn more at adamfletcher.net!

Reclaiming Our Youth

“Critical reflection on practice is a requirement of the relationship between theory and practice. Otherwise theory becomes simply “blah, blah, blah,” and practice, pure activism.” – Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of Freedom 

In completing my bachelor’s degree in youth studies and critical pedagogy at The Evergreen State College I wrote a 190 page critical reflection on my then 9 years experience in the fields of youth development and community organizing. I called that document Reclaiming My Youth.  After spending several years lamenting the continued decimation of the roles of youth across the U.S. and studying writing by Henry Giroux, Mike Males, and other authors, I decided that there is at least an equally important challenge: reclaiming the futures of youth. After dozens of years of neoliberalism decimating public services for young people as public schools are sold and youth programs are privatized and parenting books and fee-for-service religious services and other ways of selling off the good of children and youth, we – young people and their adult allies – must stand up and reclaim the future of youth. 
How to reclaim the future of youth: Engage the distinct ideas, opinions, attitudes, knowledge, and actions of young people throughout our society. crisis of disconnection has led to this loss, as youth are disconnected in our communities, youth are disconnected from our public good, and youth are disconnected from their own futures. Youth are disconnected in our communities: at home, in school, during youth programs, across our neighborhoods, across our state and throughout our shared history. There is no decision-making for the public good, young people are not routinely engaged in creating positive effects on the whole community, and they are routinely forced to participate in poor community activities.
 
Youth are not being engaged in creating their future because of the perspectives of adults, the bias against youth, structures that disconnect them, and because young people themselves have internalized the messages broadcast to them.
The reason why the future of youth must be reclaimed is because of Hope. Our nation’s untold history of youth demonstrates that there are alternative roles of youth throughout society, and because they possess the energy, wisdom and strength adults need to successfully cocreate democratic societies that engage everyone as equal partners. The early common history of the nation, 1960s and 70s youth empowerment activities, 1980s and 90s community building orgs and 1990s and 00s youth voice programs are the greatest indicators we have of those new roles existing. 
 
There are new opportunities being created throughout society as new relationships, programs, positions and other avenues are being opened for young people throughout communities, actually creating “wrap-around” community engagement opportunties. As important in the current climate, powerful outcomes are being proven through research and evaluation that actually demostrate the meaning and depth of young people today.
 
I have a plan for the future of youth I want to write more about:
  • Point 1 – Promote community-wide accountability for the problems that affect the whole community
  • Point 2 – Engage every young person in every community as a powerful and purposeful partner
  • Point 3 – Encourage and educate every adult in every community about the potential of youth voice
  • Point 4 – Create safe and supportive opportunities for youth voice throughout every community in Washington State
  • Point 5 – Infuse youth voice throughout the structures that affect every young person everyday
Our only hope is to reclaim the future of youth. Once I saw Rachel Jackson, an organizer with Books Not Bars, speak at a rally in Oakland where she said, “Our youth are not failing the system; the system is failing our youth. Ironically, the very youth who are being treated the worst are the young people who are going to lead us out of this nightmare.”  
Our only hope is the future of youth. Let’s get to work. PS – You can see the original powerpoint from the speech I gave on this in November 2007 here.

“The futures we inherit are not of our own making, but the futures we create for generations of young people who follow us arise out of our ability to imagine a better world, recognize our responsibility to others, and define the success of a society to the degree that it can address the needs of coming generations to live in a world in which the obligations of a global democracy and individual responsibility mutually inform each other.” – Henry Giroux, “Translating the Future and the Promise of Democracy

Written by Adam Fletcher, this article was originally posted to http://commonaction.blogspot.com. Learn more at adamfletcher.net!

Pigeonholing Youth

One of the saddest realities of us, the well-meaning adults in the lives of young people, is that we suffer the unfortunate tendency of pigeonholing youth.
I was just thinking of a lot of the friends I grew up with as a youth in North Omaha; we were transformers in our days, crossing borders to make sense of the different lives we were living. Tracy and Joe and Marlin, Bethany and Mary and Erin, Jimmy and Scott… these were the people who were my people, my tribe, mi gente. I don’t know any of them anymore. That’s okay, because that’s how life is. But the images I have of them are images I formed in my youth, and that have stagnated, frozen in some kind of time/space warp where people don’t grow older or have other life experiences, where we are all stuck in a moment that we can’t get out of.
That’s how I see a lot of people treating their notion of “youth“: as a concrete understanding that never flexes, changes or transforms with the times. Despite working with young people everyday and seeing and hearing them, oftentimes we can miss the cues they exude as they show us, demonstrate to us that they are different than we were. This dynamicism is at the heart of young people, and its a tricky thing because it leaves youth appearing to be unknowable. This “unknowingness” presents youth on a dycotomy with adults: because we’re older, we know each other; since they’re younger, they don’t know us and since they’re younger, we don’t know them. As any committed adult ally knows, that is not true.
It is the obligation of adult allies to keep a fluid understanding of young people in our hearts and minds. In some senses this is very easy, as consumerist media compells society to feel beholden to the latest (and so-called) youth trend – and with differing musical tastes, technical abilities, and recreational interests there can be a lot to keep up on. However, this idea of seeing youth in motion can also be very difficult: if, like me, you keep a stagnant perspective of your own experience in your mind and heart, it can be challenging to see the experience of youth as transforming (as oppposed to transformative, which is obvious). 
We can maintain our conscious awareness of youth in motion by deliberately connecting with young people on a personal level. Don’t do it for the sake of doing – do because you’re genuinely interested. In this way we can move past pigeonholing youth.
Written by Adam Fletcher, this article was originally posted to http://commonaction.blogspot.com. Learn more at adamfletcher.net!

Lessons Learned: Tell Your Stories

This is the last of four posts reflecting on my experience of starting a nonprofit. In 2004, after running The Freechild Project for three years and SoundOut for two, I called together a group of friends here in Olympia to help me form a 501c3 nonprofit organization called CommonAction. CommonAction’s mission was “to create uncommon solutions to common problems by engaging young people and adults together for democracy.” I summoned the creative energy I had put into Freechild and SoundOut in the previous years, and called forth all the resources I could muster to build a machine. It worked. In just three years we recieved thousands of hits on our dozens of publications; mustered almost 200 workshops with more than 3,000 participants; and formed strategic partnerships with just over 150 organizations across the U.S. I call that successful. In closing the organization CommonAction’s board of directors made the bold determination that our model of community organizing was destined to be inoperable. Today I agree.

Lesson Four: Tell Your Stories There are little-known tales scattered throughout the streets of Activism City, stories of greed and fraud, deceit and falibility. Those tales, as well as the success stories, all have something to teach us. Some of the lessons I have learned about include the ways that politics shape nonprofits, whether stated or not; the ways The State and Corporations co-opt community organizers; the difference between activists and careerists; and ways to sustain outside the norm. I’m still working on the latter.

But all told, we all have stories. These are the paths that make our journeys, and the paths that give us legitimacy, learning, and authenticity, all of which are of particular importance for those who work with young people. And if you aren’t prone to running a nonprofit, more power to you! Still tell your story! We need all the energy we can tap from the people who care enough to do this work, and the power of actions comes out through good words – sometimes. Let’s get your stories out here so we can learn from them, and thanks for the hard work you do.

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Lessons Learned: Know When to Fold ‘Em

I was raised with the idioms, “work smarter not harder” and, “when the going gets tough the tough get going,” ringing through the air. The neighborhood where I spent my teen years was full of entreprenuers, some more legal than others, but all determined to get theirs in a difficult situation. All that is to say that the hustle comes easily to me. That’s why closing CommonAction was one of the most challenging things I have ever done. Faced with the option of continuing to dig an economic grave for myself and continuing to live a dream, I had to face the reality that sometimes the smarter thing to do is not to work harder, and sometimes getting going meant getting gone.
LESSON THREE: Know When to Fold ‘Em The legacy of a lifetime of serice has left my heart in a right place, full of the pulp of social justice and the vigor of righteous indignation. These are attitudes that put some people off and turn others on; they challenge the indifference pumped out in popular pedagogy by giving us a diverse narrative, one that isn’t reliant on consumerism or classism to determine relationships to power and authority. However, they also create a stubborn emphasis on fighting against aggressive failure, which hounds many of us who come from “challenging” backgrounds. What happened to CommonAction was neither aggressive nor swift; rather, it was a death of a thousand blows.

When the foundations who’d promised to materialize failed to in the early days of the organization I should have taken heed. When the contracts cleared and checks were sent but programs failed to sustain and adults lost interest, I should have noticed. When allies and colleagues who’d sounded determined failed to support I should have reacted. Instead I let the cards tilt and the machinations rust, allowing the house to tip and the machine to fall apart.

Nonprofit leaders have to know when to call the game, either for a failed program or a dieing organization. This is a grim reality that was ironically shadowed in my life, as I was watching the DVD collection for the HBO series Six Feet Under throughout the last year of CommonAction. I don’t regret folding, and I don’t regret starting the organization; however, these are lessons learned. This is the third of four postings.

Written by Adam Fletcher, this article was originally posted to http://commonaction.blogspot.com. Learn more at adamfletcher.net!

Lessons Learned: Small Things

Starting a nonprofit organization appealed to my grandest visionary tendencies. To begin CommonAction I brought a sweeping notion that was inspired by what I’d started with The Freechild Project and SoundOut a few years earlier: “Let’s engage all young people everywhere in as much as meaningfully as we can!” Working from that place I engaged my board of directors in a wide-range of sweeping concepts, calling forward the grandest, most far-out ideas I could think of! And while that was entertaining, it was grossly inappropriate. Nonprofits must think about the details and practicalities that affect them everyday. This is the second of four posts reflecting on my experience of starting a formal nonprofit organization.

LESSON TWO: GET THE SMALL THINGS RIGHT It’s not just money and economic policies that are important to nonprofits. I have worked in more than one organization that sought to balance the books at the expense of good programs, as they focused solely on federal funding or corporate funding and developed programs that only appealed to those funders. Consequently the young people they serve are inherently compromised as the programs they participate in – often a major educating force in their lives – reflect the political or economical considerations of the funders that support them. For government agencies these efforts are primarily prevention and intervention programs that view “high risk” youth as incomplete or broken and in need of adultist activities that primarily perpetuate classist/racist/homophobic/imperialist agendas. For corporations these efforts reflect a consumerist agenda that largely situates low-income youth as servants to upper class citizens, demeaning and deflating the value of active citizenship and cultural norms.

In her classic Art on My Mind: Visual Politics, bell hooks wrote that, “Yesterday I was thinking about the whole idea of genius and creative people, and the notion that if you create some magical art, somehow that exempts you from having to pay attention to the small things.” In this way the visionaries behind nonprofits have to be cautious as well, as the tendency to dream big, think big and do big often comes at the expense of the details. Lets see the forest and the trees.

Written by Adam Fletcher, this article was originally posted to http://commonaction.blogspot.com. Learn more at adamfletcher.net!

Lessons Learned: Money Matters

I find myself increasingly ready to openly reflect on my experience of starting a formal nonprofit organization and having to fold it after just three years. While CommonAction had a vibrant run, I still find myself a little bit stung; however, out of that sentiment comes some learning I want to share. This post is one of four with some of my lessons learned from starting a nonprofit.

LESSON ONE: MONEY MATTERS As Adrian Sargeant and Elaine Jay argue in their book Fundraising Management: Analysis, Planning and Practice, the single biggest cause of nonprofits failing is that organizations let their money matters fall apart. In the case of CommonAction the money never really came together. The best policies new nonprofit organizers can adopt are those that have clear economic goals, including funding sources and revenue replacement.

In 2007 a group called Incite! wrote a pivotal book about the nonprofit world called The Revolution Will Not be Funded: Beyond the Non-profit Industrial Complex. In it they make a sound a clarion call demanding that community organizers grow aware and averse to the demands of the negative funding cycles that are perpetuated by the American-oriented nonprofit-industrial complex. Anyone wanting to learn more about the truth behind the economic realities facing nonprofits should refer to that book for more.

The worse parts of funding a nonprofit organization are writing grants and reporting to funders. Both of these two items caused me undue anxiety, as I am a perfectionist when it comes to grant applications, and I feel morally obligated to be accountable for how I spend others’ money. In three years of constant funding-raising for CommonAction I wrote more than 50 requests for funding. I found myself constantly translating the vision and mission to funders who weren’t necessarily suited for funding radical youth engagement; however, their main foci, either in education, research, policy-making or technology, aligned with our mission indirectly. That didn’t seem to work: we only recieved 4 grants. As for reporting, the dilemma became finding time to compile the evaluations, aggregate the data, and identify measurements that effectively quantified the investments made in the organization. Where I wasn’t particularly successful in securing grant funding I made up for in fee-for-service contracts, and those contracts regularly required reports that called for this type of analysis. I rose to the task, but not easily; I challenge anyone considering starting a nonprofit to think about this component particularly.

This is my first post on this topic; I’ll put out three more. However, I might consider this the most important point. The reality that I face in this work, unfortunate or otherwise, is that I have little room for economic disparity in my own life. That leads me to work hard and diligently for my money, and demands that I take my labors seriously enough to give money the attention it deserves. Nonprofits require cash, and money matters

Written by Adam Fletcher, this article was originally posted to http://commonaction.blogspot.com. Learn more at adamfletcher.net!

Not Drastic, But Significant

I stumbled onto this analogy wrote in 2002. Its simple, and I think still illustrates its point well.

Once there was a revolution. It wasn’t a drastic one, but it was a significant one.

It started one day when a young woman was walking down the street, pulling a small cart behind her to the market. She came upon a man sitting on a curb, holding his head in his hands. Instead of hustling past him, she stopped and talked with him.

While she was talking to him a little boy rode by on his bicycle. The little boy rode past the two and their conversation again and again. Then he stopped and stood still on his bike, openly eavesdropping. For a moment he was mesmerized, frozen in place.

Suddenly his eyes followed from the girl and the man toward a car’s tire rolling by beside them. s if in slow motion the boy saw a squirrel dart underneath the tire, and as it was run over the boy winced painfully. He quickly set his bicycle down by the side of the road, and without looking up or down the street he hustled to the squirrel’s lifeless body.

The boy scooped up the carcass with big-mittened hands. The mittens, far too big for the boy, looked like a pillow under the squirrel. The young woman and the man walked over to the boy, and without prompting the boy set the dead squirrel into her basket. When another car came rushing upon the three, the man began waving the driver aside.

The three walked slowly without talking, heading to a park across the street. Again, without prompting, the man pulled a small spade from a his knapsack he had with him. Holding trembling hands out the girl took the spade and dug a small hole. After a few moments the boy set the squirrel inside.

When they were finished, the boy whispered an alms, the young woman a prayer, and the man a secret poem. As they were walking away the boy handed his too-big mittens to the man. Then he got on his bike, cranked the wheels, and rolled away. The girl dusted out her cart, set it on the sidewalk, and pulled it down the road. The man got into his car and slowly pulled away.

It wasn’t a drastic revolution that day, but a significant one.

Written by Adam Fletcher, this article was originally posted to http://commonaction.blogspot.com. Learn more at adamfletcher.net!

A Moral and Ethical Responsibility (for Jackie)

Today I received another spectacular question from Jackie, an executive director of a nonprofit focused on youth involvement in the Northeast. Reflecting on the Freechild Project Measure of Social Change Led By and With Young People, Jackie made an important point about this work:

…[I]f our goal is “all community members equally make decisions, take action” can it come from an effort initiated by an adult, like what I’m trying to do? I like the quote from Lilla Watson, “If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up in mine, then let us work together.” I’m afraid maybe what I’ve organized is trying to “help” youth. Do you have time to share any thoughts?

I had to mull this over all afternoon, and honestly I’m not fully satisfied with my resolution – I think there’s more here. But here’s how I replied:

All adults have a moral and ethical responsibility to engage young people throughout the communities we co-occupy. It is true that we mostly fail to live up to that standard; however, that does not make it okay or right. We live in an adultcentric society that is reliant on the ideas, knowledge, and actions of adults to make the world turn; by deliberately setting about engaging children and youth in equitable and sustainable roles we can begin to rectify the disengagement we so regularly thrust upon them.

In consideration to Lilla’s quote, we must measure our responses in a responsible fashion. When I first read it a long time ago I internalized it, thinking that my inability to bring actual students into the state education agency I worked in was a failure to students and myself. However, I have come to understand that systemic change requires that adult allies assume responsibility for advocacy in the absence of youth themselves. I learned to talk with students directly by traveling around the state and going to schools and having safe and supported conversations with them about school improvement. I then took their words – directly, without my interpretation – back to the agency in their absence. When space was created within the agency for young people I had students I could go directly to, who I knew were informed and engaged in the lives of their schools as well as the language of school improvement. This led to their self-representation being a sophisticated contribution to these opportunities rather than bringing under-informed, under-prepared and frankly, disingenuous student voice into the room.

I say this at the risk of sounding as if I’m trying to rationalize away the selective inclusion of youth; however, I think that there are appropriately varying responses that need to be considered according to particular circumstances. By “selective” I do not mean WHO; I mean HOW. We don’t give 16 year olds the keys to the car and expect them to teach themselves how to drive; we shouldn’t do that with Youth Voice. This is particularly true when we consider the implications of youth involvement: its about efficacy as much as rights. We know that children’s rights and youth rights conversations generally don’t carry a lot of water in organizations and agencies today; however, we also know that school improvement and program efficacy are important throughout our communities. So let’s qualify and quantify youth involvement, if that is what is going to get young people at the table. In order to deliver on that, though, we must be very intentional and deliberate.

It is alsincredibly important to acknowledge that the nature of the quote has to do with the difference between sympathy and empathy. By differentiating ourselves from the young people we serve by dissing our actions we are merely perpetuating the “otherness” of youth. Unfortunately, I am convinced this is the silent messaging of a lot of programs that promote the perception that young people have the program within them. Ironically, this further strengthens the segregation of youth, which in turn enforces the alienation a lot of young people feel from adults, effectively undoing any notion of civic engagement and community building we thought we were encouraging through that approach in the first place. Now, please don’t get me wrong – there is a place for young people to run their own activities. However, I think that is a compromised position, at best, particularly when the work is in context of improving our whole communities and not singularly the lives of children and youth. If we are to address community problems what is a more effective, equitable approach than engaging all members of that community as partners? That includes children, youth and adults.

I guess to sum it up Jackie, at the end of the day I am a proponent of a radical democracy that sees the youngest among us as the logical engines, advocates and allies – just the same as everyone else. Full support, full opportunity and full inclusion are the only outcomes that I will accept; however, I know that the road from here to there is bumpy, unscripted, and sometimes isn’t a road at all. That’s why your work is so important.

I would love to hear anyone else’s response to Jackie’s question or my response.

Written by Adam Fletcher, this article was originally posted to http://commonaction.blogspot.com. Learn more at adamfletcher.net!

Wikipedia Articles

After spending three years and 100s of hours on the cause I am wrapping up my time served as a-lot-of-time Wikipedia editor. Contributing as “Freechild” and a few anonymous IP addresses, I have created more than 400 articles, including dozens about the issues I originally explored on the Freechild Project website. Following are some of those topics listed for your easy reference and contributions. Please make Wikipedia better by getting in there and monkey-wrenching around yourselves – and don’t be shy! Want to know how to write a good article, defeat an “article for deletion” proposal or find references about obscure topics related to young people? Respond to this post!

Here’s a list of some of the articles I created on Wikipedia about topics focused on young people:

Issues

Organizations

Individuals

Other stuff

This list is almost complete. Also, please understand that Wikipedia is a constantly moving target, and I cannot be held responsible for the content of the articles beyond the last time I edited them.

Please let me know what you think, and again, please let me know how I can support YOU contributing to Wikipedia!

Written by Adam Fletcher, this article was originally posted to http://commonaction.blogspot.com. Learn more at adamfletcher.net!