Equity and Liberation
Youth Collaboratory is committed to working towards equity and liberation in all facets of our work.
Youth Collaboratory harnesses the power of the youth services community to innovate, evaluate, and drive effective strategies that assure the safety and well-being of youth and young adults, unlocking their limitless potential.
The total power of authentic youth voice and vision cannot fully be harnessed until systems of oppression are completely dismantled. It is acts of overt and covert oppression that prevent youth and young adults from reaching their limitless potential.
What We Do About This
Youth Collaboratory works towards eliminating all oppression, building a culture of inclusion and liberation, and honoring the humanity of all individuals--most importantly those who have been traditionally marginalized.
To do this work well, we must be in authentic relationships with youth and young adults, leadership, staff, membership, consultants, and communities in efforts that bring about real change and liberation within individuals, families, systems, and communities. We center and value liberation, authentic relationships, fierce advocacy, and respect. We work within ourselves and systems, and we transform ourselves and our systems.
Youth Collaboratory works towards eliminating all oppression, building a culture of inclusion and liberation, and honoring the humanity of all individuals -- most importantly those who have been traditionally marginalized. We know the authentic potential, power, and voice of youth cannot be fully realized until systems of oppression that prevent youth and young adults from reaching their limitless potential are dismantled. We commit to:
- Lead where we are called to lead. We actively work with our colleagues and communities to advance a world where all youth and young adults are safe to pursue joy and reach their limitless potential, and use radical imagination to see that more is always possible. We challenge detractors and systems of oppression that prevent this pursuit; practices and systems that discriminate or cause harm based on a person’s race, ethnicity, sex, gender, sexual orientation, age, ability, class, marital status, citizenship, or religion.
- Actively creating change and not waiting for change to happen. Youth Collaboratory staff, Youth Catalyst Team, and Board of Directors are committed to continuously learning and deepening our understanding of our own personal stories and identities, and their impact on how we show up and are recognized in the world. We work within ourselves and systems, and we transform ourselves and the systems we work within.
- Building authentic relationships with one another. We seek to recognize folx through their many complex stories and identities, rather than through a single lens. It is only through a deeper understanding of one another can we build truly authentic relationships, and together advance the just and liberated world we strive towards.
- Taking the lead of youth and young adults in the pursuit of equity and liberation. We collaborate authentically with youth and young adults most impacted by the programs and systems our organizations and communities work within to achieve equitable change. We center and value liberation, authentic relationships, fierce advocacy, and respect. We imagine the future as a place where young people have what they need to thrive and reach their full potential. Having access to opportunities, networks, resources, and supports based on where they are and where they want to go.
- Ma'Khia Bryant, 4/23/21
- Statement on the Traumatic Shooting of Jacob Blake, 9/2/2020
- Letter to Fellow Executive Directors in the FIeld (specifically the white majority), 6/19/2020
- Statement on the Tragic Murder of George Floyd, 6/2/2020
Equity and Liberation Resources
Youth Collaboratory has curated resources for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color looking for self-care, healing, and peace practices, as well as resources for White Allies looking to deepen their understanding of equity and liberation work, and learn how to best build ally-ship.