Group Statement on COVID-19, BLM, Youth Voice and Virtual Learning:

Our communities are deeply affected by escalating intersectional harms surrounding COVID-19, structural racism, and the increasingly devastating impacts of climate change.

We acknowledge that youth, particularly youth of color, those from low income families and those with historically marginalized identities, directly experience these growing adversities. These harms flow from deep historical, and often insidious inequities, which further compound preexisting harms to negatively impact the health, well being, and ecological balance of life on this planet as a whole.

In the face of unprecedented challenges, we reaffirm our commitment to amplifying youth voice, accommodating unique and diverse needs, and engaging youth as co-facilitators of their own learning and visioning processes, meaningfully integrating their input into initiatives aimed at improving mental and physical health. Youth voice brings with it unparalleled color, vivacity, joy and new opportunities.

It is a privilege to work with amazing and brilliant youth, educators and allies, a privilege we do not take lightly, and a privilege we do our best to earn. The YPAR Hub is now offering virtual resources to help elevate student voices, experiences, needs, and priorities. YPAR is an innovative approach to positive youth and community development in which young people are trained to conduct systematic research to improve their lives, their communities, and their institutions.