This year’s Youth Programming at the National Bioneers Conference promises to be another year full of learning, leadership development, alliance building and networking among youth and young educators. Below, you’ll find an update of some of the Youth Programming for the 2013 Bioneers Conference. We’ll have more updates as programming develops over the next couple of months. (Event programming is subject to change without notice.)
Peaceful Warrior, with Rashidi Omari, and student teachers Jahslyn Chensee and Dorianna Bllitt. and the Destiny Arts team. An interactive activity-based conflict resolution workshop designed to deepen the dialogue and awareness of the challenges of prejudice and violence faced by youth. The workshop will involve team-building games in conjunction with movement exercises and discussion circles. Participants will learn how to resolve conflicts nonviolently and effectively communicate and collaborate with instructors, peers, their families, and people different than themselves.
Generation Waking Up: Building A Movement For Systemic Change
Join us for an interactive, multimedia program exploring the gamechanging role of today's young generation and connecting the dots between the issues of environmental sustainability, social justice, and human thriving. Participants will walk away with a deeper sense of individual and collective purpose as we work across movements to create systemic change.
Poetry Slam: Hosted by poet activist, Josh Healy, winner of the Mario Savio Free Speech Award. Bioneers Poetry Slam showcases youth talent and brings youth voices to the center of the conversation on social change. Featuring over $600 in ecofriendly prizes donated by green businesses and Bay Area artists! If you would like to compete please contact youth (at) bioneers.com to reserve your place in the slam.
Brower Youth Award Winners: Meet this year’s BYA winners in their first public appearance. The BYA winners are young activists who have shown outstanding leadership in creating positive environmental and social impact. Hear their inspiring stories and have the opportunity to connect and speak directly to these young activists from all over North America. Presented by New Leaders Initiative at Earth Island Institute.
Youth Leadership: Recognizing The Rights of Nature with Debra Weistar of Finding the Good and Synergia Learning Ventures. This interactive/experiential workshop for youth and educators (which includes the documentary film Soul Migration about some students’ journey to the calving lagoons of the once endangered Gray Whale in Mexico) comes with a study guide for teachers. It is designed to help youth discover how to join the global movement to recognize and legally uphold the Rights of Nature and be part of a cultural shift toward a reverent and sustainable future.
Bioneers Youth Leadership: A Community of Mentors:
The young are often prime movers of social change and leaders in innovation. The values and skills they gain in their formative years impact the rest of their lives and society’s future. It’s crucial to nurture, mentor and support the education and leadership of our youth as they carry forward the long struggle for peace, justice and a green civilization. Although our central work with youth revolves around the conference, the Community of Mentors program continues on a modest basis year-round.
Bioneers’ rich, eclectic network of seasoned leaders and innovators is an extraordinary mentoring resource for intergenerational exchange. The Community of Mentors (CoM) program, initiated in 2012, offers aspiring youth activists and established young leaders small-group mentoring sessions with Bioneers presenters. They share their life experience as innovators and change-makers with the express purpose of providing insight to help youth overcome challenges and advance their sustainability and social justice work.
There are two components to the CoM program:
Office Hours (OH) for aspiring youth activists. These sessions, with a limit of 10 youth per session, provide aspiring young activists a one-time opportunity to address questions about their personal leadership development directly to a seasoned leader. These sessions are geared toward youth and students seeking guidance on how best to engage their interests and passions.
Youth Leader Mentoring (YLM) for accomplished young leaders. These sessions connect accomplished young leaders actively working on social and environmental change with Bioneers presenter-mentors for a mentoring session at the conference as the first step of an ongoing 12-month mentoring relationship to help address specific challenges at the project and personal leadership level. These highly concentrated sessions (3-4 youth to 1 mentor) give youth leaders guidance on specific issues and challenges with their projects, and seed what may become an ongoing relationship.
We partner with the six Brower Youth Award winners, recognized each year by Earth Island Institute as accomplished young leaders from all over the US, ages 13-22. And, in 2103 we will be adding other forms of mentoring opportunities by collaborating with Weaving Earth, a nature-based mentoring program, to connect experienced mentors with youth as thinking partners to meet throughout the conference to exchange ideas, help process the Bioneers’ experience and to optimize and deepen the learning.
In 2013, we are replicating the format from 2012 while conducting ongoing strategic planning. As CoM enters it second year of implementation, we are focused on gathering the learning from the process to help direct and optimize future program design. Included in the conversation of program development are collaborators Earth Island Institute and mentor Dr. Antwi Akom of San Francisco State. Areas of exploration will be ongoing mentorships, connecting mentees to internships in their fields of interest, nurturing youth leadership networks, and effective expansion of the program.
Other Youth Activities:
Trashion Show: High fashion collides artistically with recycling. Youth designers using their creative talents, humor and refuse from a throw away society to fashion a message of environmental responsibility. Produced by Truckee High School’s Envirolution Club.
Singing Tree Collective Mural Project: Share your artistic expression and network with other youth in a collective mural project facilitated by artist Laurie Marshall with homeless youth artists. Drop by anytime, the mural is on-going throughout the conference.
Digital Storytelling: Synergia Learning Ventures’ Finding the Good Program brings their Mobile Interactive Classroom providing a space in which youth can blog about their Bioneers experience in the computer lab, conduct and film interviews with speakers and participate in the ‘Eyes of the Future’ Project.
Wiser Together Café: Partnering Across Generations. We are all one generation waking up to the urgent need to come together for what we believe in. How can we join forces to redevelop wholeness and community? Join us for a series of participant-driven intergenerational conversations about how we can collaborate to shape the future by synergizing the unique gifts of all generations. Share your wisdom, ideas and questions about nurturing community, democracy and planetary and personal sustainability. Hosted by Dave Shaw.
Just Us for Food Justice: partnering with Rooted In Community, Bioneers organizes a one-day intensive of Bay Area youth activists to develop leadership skills and raise awareness of the youth’s participation in a larger moment.
Youth Orientation: All youth welcome. Make connections, meet other youth attending Bioneers, engage in interactive activities, share a meal and participate in a council process to help set your intentions and optimize your experience at Bioneers.
Bioneers sincerely thanks the many generous donors who made the Youth Program possible in 2012. If you'd like to make a donation to support the 2013 Bioneers Conference Scholarship Fund, please donate here.
Photo credit: Jan Mangan