CIDRN Youth Activist Speaker Series

We have recently witnessed how the weight of history, and the current cascade of environmental and global health crises has systematically eroded the conditions in which collective hope – for equality and a better future – can thrive and flourish. These latest events will have deep and long-lasting implications for young people, causing individual and social suffering, both of which compromise wellbeing and stifle agency. However, social suffering can also give way to radical reimaginings of the future and transformative action. Through a range of research and action endeavours over the few years we have witnessed young people who care deeply about their futures and have been carving spaces and ways to voice their concerns, resist racialised and other forms of violence and make lives under the weight of these crises.

This speaker series will centre the voices and experiences of young people and those who work alongside them to create spaces, connections, moments and resources that can work through the tensions and the rage and isolation that arises for those caught in the crosshairs of structural oppression. We seek to create an inclusive and democratic space in which different knowledges can come together in ways that can inspire, heal and help us work in deeper ways for change.

This series will feature formats (i.e., panel discussions, short talks, creative modalities) that can facilitate connection and dialogue across powerlines drawn between institutions, organisations and grassroots collectives.

Through this series we will discuss the synergies and possibilities to consider how these small-scale efforts of activism can inform systemic resilience that can restore hope and forge solidarities in our current context of uncertainty.

YouthCAN - Building the activist capacities of young people through social justice campaigns

Speakers: Jasmeet Sohantay (YouthCAN Project Coordinator, Institute for Strategic Dialogue, UK)

Wednesday the 8th December 4pm – 5:30pm

A presentation and conversation

Register here

YouthCAN is a program that aims to build the capacities of young activists working in small teams to create change through social justice campaigns.  These youth-led campaigns creatively carve out collective visions of change in response to amplifying inequalities that disproportionately affect young people in the context of global crises. YouthCAN is a program developed by the London-based Institute for Strategic Dialogue, delivered in partnership with Victoria University in Melbourne Australia as part of the Centre for Resilient and  Inclusive Societies (CRIS).

Together, these four youth-led campaigns form a communal movement, flowing from soft ripples of change into larger waves of resistance and change. YouthCAN has become a community of young activists creating supportive networks and building relationships towards a collective visioning of a future to be made possible.

In this panel we will discuss how the YouthCAN program in Melbourne was developed and adapted in response to rapidly changing COVID-19 restrictions. We will also hear from young people from each team showcasing their campaigns and reflecting on their activist journeys together.  In this panel we hope to open up a space for dialogue about how we can work together across generational and institutional divides to centre and support young people’s voices and capacities for change.