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Network for Peace through Dialogue

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2009 Confronting Concerns

2009 Confronting Concerns

Conference Overview

Conference Literature


Overview

The Harlem based teens who presented this session had been in a Leadership Institute of the Network for Peace through Dialogue for several years. In their workshops they interviewed over 150 peers asking about their concerns for themselves, their communities and their world. Then they developed workshops on the top-ranking topics: sex, drugs and violence and led workshops at teen centers in their neighborhood.

Another concern they had was the gap of communication between themselves and adults in their communities. They took action on this by preparing and presenting their workshop for the June conference. Participants at this workshop commented that they were enlightened to hear clearly what the young people thought and that in the discussion that followed the young people could give several examples to illustrate their statements. This is an example of training youth to analyze their issues, express their position, and give supporting examples thus giving them the tools for advocacy.


Committing

Leadership Institute, Session 1, January 13, 2009

Present: Brittany, Jahmala, Roshelle, Tene and Sister Kathleen (left early)

After a hiatus, the Leadership Institute reconvened to talk about the future of the program and possible upcoming opportunities. One of the main purposes of the meeting was to determine what commitment each of the members could make to the upcoming programs, specifically the Dialogue conference in June. All the students remained committed to the Leadership Institute, but were admittedly occupied with other responsibilities as well. Yet still, we all agreed to move forward with applying to the Dialogue conference and presenting a workshop at the Conference. We agreed to institute a phone tree, and that we would work even harder to respond to emails and calls so that we could stay in touch and know what everyone was able to contribute.

We also spent a bit of time brainstorming ideas for the proposal for the Dialogue Conference workshop. Since many of the conference participants will be adults, we decided to make the workshop informative for adults who want to do dialogue with youth. We figured that we could share what works and what doesn't work, along with different activities that will help youth to really dialogue with each other and with adults who work with them. We would also like to present the work of the Leadership Institute and Confronting Concerns, because we felt that it was important for adults to see examples of how youth can successfully create dialogues between each other.

Overall, we all agreed that the Conference will be our big project for this year's Leadership Institute, especially given that there are other academic responsibilities that are important this year. If any other opportunities came up, we would talk about them, but we were going to spend our time making sure that the workshop for the conference was as strong as possible.

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2009 Confronting Concerns - Feedback

Feedback

Leadership Institute, Session 2, February 1, 2009

Brittani, Mala, Erica, Jonathan, Roshelle, Kathleen, Andreas, Virginia Dorgan

After a hiatus, the Leadership Institute reconvened to talk about the future of the program and possible upcoming opportunities. One of the main purposes of the meeting was to determine what commitment each of the members could make to the upcoming programs, specifically the Dialogue conference in June. All the students remained committed to the Leadership Institute, but were admittedly occupied with other responsibilities as well. Yet still, we all agreed to move forward with applying to the Dialogue conference and presenting a workshop at the Conference. We agreed to institute a phone tree, and that we would work even harder to respond to emails and calls so that we could stay in touch and know what everyone was able to contribute.

We also spent a bit of time brainstorming ideas for the proposal for the Dialogue Conference workshop. Since many of the conference participants will be adults, we decided to make the workshop informative for adults who want to do dialogue with youth. We figured that we could share what works and what doesn't work, along with different activities that will help youth to really dialogue with each other and with adults who work with them. We would also like to present the work of the Leadership Institute and Confronting Concerns, because we felt that it was important for adults to see examples of how youth can successfully create dialogues between each other.

Overall, we all agreed that the Conference will be our big project for this year's Leadership Institute, especially given that there are other academic responsibilities that are important this year. If any other opportunities came up, we would talk about them, but we were going to spend our time making sure that the workshop for the conference was as strong as possible.

Jonathan Ramme, a 15 year old son of colleagues of Network for Peace was visiting in New York City with his father for a few days late January. He wanted to meet the young women of the Leadership Institute and to talk to them about their lives and what their concerns are. He and his father made up some questions that he and the girls could talk about.

  • Please tell us something about your life? Where do you live, how do you live and tell us something about your family?
  • What are your plans for the future? What business do you want to do? Do you like New York? Do you want to stay or do you plan to go to another place to live?
  • What do you do, when you are not at school? What are your hobbies?
  • How do you come to the program of Kathleen? What do you learn there?
  • What are the conflicts, that you want help for?
  • Are there no boys or are the boys most of the time the problem?

He and his father, Andreas met at All Saints with the Director, Kathleen Kanet and attended the Liturgy. After that he met the girls and they started to chat over coffee and donuts and shared personal information. Then they went for a walk on 125th together.

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Defning Goals

Leadership Institute, Session 3, March 18, 2009

Present at the meeting: Mala, Brittany, Sister Kathleen, Tene

The purpose of this meeting was to reconnect after a long absence and have all members of the Leadership Institute get an update about the programs that were upcoming. First, we all checked in and shared what had been going on recently in our lives. All of the girls are preparing for the SAT's and college, so that has been occupying a lot of their time. Though Erica and Roshelle were not there, Brittany and Mala shared what they had been up to. After the check in, we spent quite a bit of time talking about the upcoming Confronting Concerns Conference and the workshop that we would be doing. It was decided previously that the workshop, entitled "Ten Tactics for having Talks with Teens", would focus on the strategies that are necessary for adults to use when they are working with teenagers to have dialogues. We brainstormed the important tactics that we wanted to focus on during the workshop and they were: Listening, Patience, Respect, Involvement, Persistence, Incentives, Trust, Honesty, Courage, Diligence, Modeling, Forgiveness, and Non-Judgment. We decided that we would boil these down to ten essential tactics and that for each tactic there would be an explanation/definition and an activity that could be used in order to further that tactic. We decided that at our next meeting, with everyone present, we would focus more on the structure of the workshop and brainstorming activities for each tactic.

The latter part of our meeting we spent using the 'Talking Stick' strategy to brainstorm ideas for a youth conference on dialogue that the Network for Peace is submitting a proposal for. The conference is to be held next year and will hopefully bring 100 youth together to share the work that they do around social change in their communities, and to also teach dialogue skills to youth as well. The Talking Stick activity enabled us to think more specifically about the name of the 2010 Youth Conference. Some of the ideas that the girls brought up are that it is a new time for youth, especially with the election of Barack Obama, who has inspired many youth to become politically active. They thought that incorporating the ideas about youth power and youth being the future should be incorporated into the title and themes of the conference.

Further thoughts on what was said:

Elements to be part of our workshop

  • For youth Adults invited to participate also
  • Be about empowerment
  • Learning that dialogue can make change
  • We have colleagues
  • We are delighted about Obama
  • Get the boys out
  • Community Building
  • Show the skills we need

Talk to other young people who want change

  • We are youth teaching
  • Break down barriers and make a new path
  • Everybody talks
  • Open eyes to the new age
  • What is the new age for change?
  • Sexy-Interesting
  • Volunteering
  • Youth in Service
  • Advertize there

Ideas for a Title

  • Developing for Change
  • Welcome to the New Age
  • Welcome to the Youth age!
  • Dialoguing for Change
  • Age of Youth

Are Youth more mobilize today

  • More involved
  • Want to learn more
  • Unique
  • Mobilized
  • More youth are looking to be involved
  • Searching for way of involvement
  • Understanding more
  • Sensitive about their parents and their own future

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Communication

What do you bring to the table when you talk with teens?

Leadership Institute, Session 4, April 30, 2009

Present: Mala Cornelius, Brittani Anderson, Tene Howard and Kathleen Kanet

Tene began by asking getting them to think about what they want to accomplish in the session and what would be their goals. She asked the question. "What do you bring to the table when you talk with teens?"

These are some of the things they brainstormed:

  • The adults should try to feel comfortable with talking with the teens.
  • Themes adults should be comfortable are the concerns of youth
  • Adults need to be open to change
  • Adults need to Listen, communicate and talk with one another and to the youth
  • Adults to listen to experience of the Leadership Group
  • Adults can learn how to create a program like ours
  • Adults can learn about the challenges, the success
  • Adults will see how important communication as been
  • Adults will see how space is very important in planning
  • Adults will see how active the youth have to be in planning

The Leadership institute began to talk about how to structure the session, how to set it up

  • Circle is important
  • Begin with warm-ups maybe two
  • Need to model what we want the adults to learn
  • Ask "How do you feel?" "What can you use in the future?"
  • Write a role plan
  • Look at different ways of role play
  • Use poems, a literary piece---Create movement among them
  • Give them something when they leave.

Next meeting we need to set the schedule and give out roles to the members of the Leadership Institute so they can prepare.

Kathleen will make arrangements for having the meeting at All Saints on Sunday May 17 at 12:00 after Sunday liturgy. We will save May 31, as another day to prepare.

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Reflections

Leadership Institute, Session 5, May 5, 2009

Tene began by asking getting them to think about what they want to accomplish in the session and what would be their goals. She asked the question. "What do you bring to the table when you talk with teens?"

Some reflections at the May 5, 2009 session from the Leadership Institute team on what they have learned in their first years work as a team:

  • Felt they were able to advise others
  • Had a positive effect on a younger sister
  • Grew in sensitivity to one another
  • Grew in knowledge and understanding the five issues, especial the one on violence
  • More willing to give in on a conflict
  • Not always trying to get my own way

Some specific reflection on the meeting of August 14 when they had done a lot f outreach and then no one was coming because it was raining and the other youth said they were tired. What did they do to get 18 youth to come that afternoon? They felt they were able to do this because:

  • They had flyers to present before in the neighborhood
  • They tried to attract attention by talking about it with friends
  • They had to have good reasons on their tongues
  • They had to nag, make many invitations
  • They asked people to spread the information out to others
  • Some other things they learned
  • How to evaluation after an event
  • Being on time
  • Calling in when they couldn't make it

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