Teen Town Hall

A Peacemaking Project by Larkin C.

What is the injustice we are solving?

Many teens don't have a chance to interact with their legislators. This event will help teens learn what their congresspeople are doing and also give time for the teens to ask questions and explain what issues are most important to them

Our Compassionate Solution:

To solve this injustice of young people not being brought in to engagment in political action.
we will address some young people not being aware of what is going on and not having access to hear directly about what's happening.
by Having an event exclusively for teens to learn about their legislators and ask them questions.

Our Project Plan:

Goals

  • Give teens a chance to hear from their legislators about what they're doing
  • Give legislators a chance to hear from teens about the issues they care about

We will increase my / our compassion by...

Learning from our representatives about the country we live in. Connecting with other youth groups in the area and understanding what they're fighting for.

How will you show courage?

By using our time and energy to plan an event, reaching out to representatives, businesses, and potential attendees.

How will you collaborate with others?

We are getting in touch with other youth groups to collaborate and help us advertise. We want social justice groups of many different kinds to be involved so we're engaging our entire community.

How will you know you are moving in the right direction? (What are specific ways you can measure your impact?)

When we've heard from many groups agreeing to spread the word and we know that a number of representative will be attending.

Key Steps

  • Reaching out to representatives
  • Securing a space
  • Getting funding to cover our costs
  • Connecting with other activism groups
  • Advertising the event

Reflection:

How did the project deepen your team's understanding of the injustice?

It showed us that young people are wanting to be involved, they just aren't given the space to be heard. When we gave them that room they had a lot of interesting, intelligent, thoughtful questions. It really highlights what we're missing by devaluing young people.

How did your community change as a result of your project?

We made a lot of connections to young activists and groups, and to elected representatives. We helped young people realize how much they had to say and fight to have their voices heard more than ever.

How many people were impacted by your project?

200

Explain how you came up with the number of people impacted by the project?

We calculated the number of the people at the event and estimated the number of people that read or heard about the event.

How did your team learn more about the people affected by the injustice?

That they have a lot to say and are passionate about political and social change.

What did your team learn?

We learned a lot about scheduling, sponsorship, publicity and how to work on your feet at a high stakes event.

What challenges did your team overcome?

Not getting responses from representatives, not having enough money, difficulty in publicity.

How have you involved others in designing, carrying out, or expanding this project?

We are now working together with other youth groups in the area to create a youth coalition. We did not previously have the connection to these groups.

What advice would you give to someone starting a peacemaking project?

Set clear goals and a timeline before you begin. Know clearly how you know when you've accomplished your goal. Make sure to celebrate but also talk about what you learned and how you could do better next time.

Our Updates:

Pictures of the event

Larkin C. 31 May 2018 15:13 The event went really well and we want to share some photos.

Comments:

Adrian B.
31 July 2018 16:08

Hi Larkin!

I wanted to check in and make sure that you knew about the first-ever Peace First Summit happening on September 16th in New York City. This event will lift up the stories of young people who are changing the world, right now.

We are flying out five young people who completed the Peace First Challenge to share their stories of change onstage, connect with Peace First fellows, get advice from a Brain Trust, and receive peer mentoring from a Peace First Fellow.

We want you (or a member of your team) to apply to be featured at the Summit! You can start your application right here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSd6X9fTrSTC6PoXjLpVUtNlJgZHbd5QdB6-hgxlC-d7DBlK_g/viewform You must submit your application by tomorrow, Wednesday, August 1st. If you have any questions, please let me know!

Warmly,
Adrian

Adrian B.
12 February 2018 17:01

Hi Larkin!

Thanks so much for posting this project! I love this idea--a teen town hall is a great way to involve teens more deeply in politics. This is so innovative!

As part of the process of completing peacemaking projects, Peace First staff give formal feedback on important steps of your project. One of those steps is the compassionate insight.

I love the insight that you have here, and the project ideas you have! I'm curious if you can clarify your insight some more. On your project dashboard, you talk about how this town hall can be beneficial to youth because politicians may take their concerns more seriously, and it may be beneficial to politicians because they will learn about youth experiences. In your insight, you say that young people are not aware of what's going on. Do you think that this is always true that youth are not aware of what's going on, or is this true for some youth and not for others?

I'm also wondering if there's a way to think about how to frame the injustice more clearly. "Civil engagement" is a general topic, but not an injustice. Were you thinking about youth being left out of civic engagement as an injustice? Or perhaps that politicians don't prioritize youth concerns? Let me know if that's what you were thinking about, or if there is another injustice you'd like to identify for this project.

One thing that we suggest to do as you're starting your plan is to deepen your knowledge about this injustice. It can be helpful to talk to people who experience this injustice, people who cause this injustice, and people who are already working to solve this injustice. I would encourage you to do interviews with each of those groups--it will enrich your project in lots of ways! Here are some resources on how to do that: https://www.peacefirst.org/understand-through-compassion

I'd also encourage you to connect with other projects in the Peace First community which are working on these issues. Here are a few of them:

https://www.peacefirst.org/projects/your-vote-your-voice-teen-voices-must-be-heard
https://www.peacefirst.org/projects/epidemic-silence-plaguing-students
https://www.peacefirst.org/projects/civic-engagement-post-millennial-age
https://www.peacefirst.org/projects/civic-engagement-asian-americans
https://www.peacefirst.org/projects/promotion-peace-and-youth-civic-engagement-burkina-faso

I hope this is useful! Please let us know how we can support this important work. Thanks again, and I'm excited to see where this project goes!

Best,
Adrian

Kelsey T.
16 February 2018 14:51

Congratulations! Your project has been selected to receive a Peace First Challenge mini-grant. We will be in touch soon with details about this payment.

The mini-grant process is also a space for you to get feedback on your peacemaking project. We hope you will use this feedback to further strengthen your project. Please see the feedback on your mini-grant below.

Strengths:
Wow, what a great project idea! You've done a wonderful job of re-framing your insight and it now feels like a really strong base for your to build on with your project-- wonderful work! Your event idea will directly address the root cause you've identified and will be a wonderful way for young people and legislators and decision makers to learn from one another! I see collaboration at the core of your project idea -- and in the way that you are working, it is great that you are reaching out to other youth groups and want to engage the full community-- inclusion is such an important part of promoting civic engagement.

Things to Consider:
One thing to consider is how you will measure your impact. You seem to have some good plans for how you will know you're heading in the right direction with your event planning -- but what can you do do find out if your event helps you go in the right direction in terms of addressing the root cause you are focusing on? How can you find out what impact the event makes on the people who attend? I'm also curious about if you've already thought about how you want to facilitate the conversation on the day to ensure that it is a space grounded in compassion and collaboration and that folks can learn from one another in a healthy environment. Feel free to reach out to us if you want any help thinking through ideas!
Another thing you might want to consider is how you can partner with businesses in the community who might be open to donating refreshments for your event, which will create a warmer atmosphere! It would be a nice way for them to contribute to this wonderful project.

Congratulations and best of luck with your project!

RaulPF C.
30 May 2018 16:05

Thanks for sharing your reflection! It is great to hear that young people want to be involved more. Do you have any photos that you would be able to share through an update?

Adrian B.
6 June 2018 16:03

Hi Larkin!

Congratulations on finishing your peacemaking project! I’m on the Peace First team and wanted to say thank you for your amazing work and for taking time to share about your work.

Below you will find some feedback based on your Reflection, which we hope will help you to celebrate your incredible accomplishment and reflect on how to grow and develop your project in the future:

Strengths:

Wow--I'm impressed at how you overcame politicians' indifference and publicity struggles to create a truly powerful event. It sounds like you found ways to engage young people in your communities and demonstrated the power of youth perspectives and voices. I hope that the politicians noticed how important youth leadership is, too! I'm excited that you're now working to build a coalition, and look forward to hearing more about that.

Things to consider:

I'd love to know more about what you're hoping to do next. Your voice is clear and your leadership around this issue is compelling. Could there be another Teen Town Hall? What are you hoping the coalition will be like? How can young people deepen their political engagement--and how can you support them in making this happen? I'm happy to think more with you about what that might look like!

We hope you will stay in touch and keep us up to date as you continue your work to create change!

Best,
Adrian