There is a lot of chatter out there about listening to youth, engaging young people, and promoting meaningful youth involvement. But sometimes it is hard to find resources that value what you think and feel as someone committed to young people and social change.
Following are the Top 10 Youth Voice publications I have found through December 2006. They come from across the spectrum of youth voice, and each values diversity, transformation, and community. I have included a separate list of my own publications at the bottom for your use, and indicates free download. I’ll update this list again soon – Let me know what you think I should add!
10 Creating Better Cities With Children and Youth by David Driskell. This UNESCO publications provides examples and activities that can help young people become engaged throughout their communities. It gives youth participation a global perspective by contextualizing young peoples’ engagement within an international movement for citizen engagement. The tools within this booklet cover a variety of topics, and can be useful across the board.
5 What Works in Youth Participation? Case Studies from around the world by Sylvia Golombeck. This report asks a variety of interesting questions that contextualize youth voice in the global setting. By reaching across interest areas, this shares “what works” in many different areas, in many different ways. It is also written by authors of different ages – something most publications can’t claim.
4 Future 500: Youth Organizing and Activism in the United States by J. Kim, M. de Dios, P. Caraballo, et al. Features analysis of the modern youth movement, interviews with 25 young people changing the world, and profiles of 500 of the most important youth-led organizations across the country. It also includes statistics on youth organizations, listings of youth-friendly foundations and national networks, and amazing art from the movement.
3 Knock-Your-Socks-Off: Training Teens to be Successful Activists by Wendy Lesko. A great introduction to training for youth voice. Comprehensive, easy, and approachable in a way that a lot of manuals dream of being.
1 Youth Voice Begins With You! by Jennifer Kurkoski, Karla Markendorf And Norma Straw for the Washington Youth Voice Project. Provides a far-reaching introduction to youth voice & involvement, including useful tips and trainings. This is the original framework that a lot of organizations adapted in their own programs and publications. Unfortunately, the Washington Youth Voice Project is defunct, and this manual is now unavailable – but do not despair! The Freechild Project worked with our local partners to recreate this fine work as the Washington Youth Voice Handbook!