cRITICALLY CONSCIOUS YOUTH DEVELOPMENT
Critical Consciousness is the ability to recognize and analyze systems of inequality and develop a critical lens to navigate and challenge these systems. This is a core component of the way youth organizing is approached yet it is a core competency missing in many youth development programs. We see this as a long-term process that plays a fundamental (though seldom recognized) role in supporting youth’s meaningful growth, development and success.
To be eligible for this grant funding organizations must meet the following guidelines and criteria:
- Youth are validated and supported in their decision-making processes; youth analyze concepts of power and systemic oppression through engaging and relevant programming.
- Youth develop a deeper understanding of their identities and the connections to systems of power and oppression. Youth explore and embrace their unique lived experiences and layers of identity as assets.
- Youth envision themselves as leaders and develop relationships with adults as allies and mentors; youth voice is centered in the decision making process and all stakeholders view this as a necessary and core component of institutional practice.
- Staff demonstrates a commitment to continuous learning and implementation of a racial justice lens..
- Youth value community engagement and commit to supporting social justice efforts.
- Staff develops an analysis of critical consciousness and operationalizes the concept into youth work and organizational culture; staff critically unpacks the advantages of youth development with a critical consciousness lens versus traditional youth development practices.
- Institutional leadership, staff and board are reflective of the communities they serve and operate through a racial justice and equity lens.