Tuesday, May 28, 2013

From the Desk of Mrs. Clay: Casady YAC and Youth LEAD OKC at TIDE Conference in Stonehill College, Easton


The Teenage Identity and Diversity Education Conference
May 24-26, 2013
TIDE (Teen Identity and Diversity Education) Conference, Wave of Change seeks to bring global perspective to teens of all identities.  The conference is planned and facilitated by teens of Youth LEAD, Sharon, a program founded upon the notion of developing understanding of diversity through dialog, not debate. 

Teens from Sharon planned the 2013 Conference divided into teams with specific goals. 

The recruitment team brought participants from Mass, Rhode Island, Maine, New York, Arizona, California, Texas and Oklahoma. 

The logistics team developed the conference schedule, hired two awesome people for Saturday night's program and finalized the food and accomodations details with staff from Stonehill College. 

The facilitation team met every week since the winter to develop the Saturday workshops to have conversations about how participants can transform fear and misunderstanding in their communities.

The TIDE Experience 

In 2013 participants were divided into family groups, named after sea creatures.  The family groups aimed to promote relationship building, reflection, and took care of logistics and safety.

Friday activities aimed to unite and create a safe environment through ice breakers.  In 2013, the big icebreaker was a combination Holi and Capture the Flag, Hunger Games style.

On Saturday, teen facilitators from Sharon provide a full day of workshops.  In 2013, the workshops aimed to introduce  Youth LEAD's theory of change which is  to "transform fear, mistrust and polarization into social cohesion and collaborative problem-solving by inspiring and mobilizing youth leaders to reflect upon their beliefs, connect with others across difference, and act together to address local and global change.

Workshop 1: Reflect: Safe place and individual connections to the theory of change and feel comfortable voicing opinions on identity and personal fears. 

Workshop 2: Connect: Better listening skills using clarifying questions and other Youth LEAD core skills.  Additionally, participants learned what makes these skills difficult and useful.

Workshop 3: Act: Usage of skills learned to help eliminate personal fears with social cohesion

Workshop 4: Creating Change: Move participants to action.  Think about how to use these skills in their work to transform their own communities in affinity groups.

After a day of workshops, Marc Wayshak was the motivational speaker. Author of "Breaking all Barriers" shared a message of personal empowerment and self-responsibility. 

Then, participants were energized with traditional Mande music and dance by Joh Camara, dancer, choreographer and drummer.

Saturday evening after the family groups met, there was an incredible display of talent at an Open Mic event where participants shared their passion for music, poetry, and story telling.

On Sunday, participants attended workshops facilitated by Sharon teens and teens from all over the country. 

Youth LEAD OKC Mentors:
Carmen's workshops: Different People, one boat; How to combat teen bullying, Maddening Mentor Moments and We Love them
Geri's workshops: Different People, one boat; Maddening Mentor Moments and We Love them
Shannon's workshops: Overcoming Religious stereotypes and prejudices, How to combat teen bullying; Maddening Mentor Moments and We Love them

Youth LEAD OKC Teens
Andrew's workshops: Yoga and Meditation
Sidney's workshops: Gendercide, Behind Body Language
Su's workshops: Gendercide, Prejudices,


Evaluation:  The logistic team needs to consider asking Sodexo to bring more variety of foods.  If the cost is not prohibiting, cleaning of the bathrooms and clean towels could make the experience flawless.

Youth LEAD OKC Teens Thoughts: Forthcoming!!!