The Essential Need to Center Diverse Youth Voices While Advocating for Their Safety and Inclusion

by HRC Staff

This week, HRC Foundation celebrated International Youth Day, and our Youth Well-Being Program and Youth Ambassadors have a few words to impart on the importance of centering diverse youth voices and ensuring youth from multiple identities are invited to discussions that involve how to best serve and support them.

From Black Lives Matter to reproductive justice, from climate change advocacy to immigrant rights, youth bring energy, power, and urgency to all movements. Below are our top three recommendations for youth-serving professionals as they work to create safe, affirming and equitable environments for young people to thrive.

Dr. Vincent "Vinnie" Pompei and an LGBTQ+ youth

Why is Youth Voice Critical?

Nothing About us Without us: Invite Diverse Youth to the Table

When developing programs or policies that will impact youth, it is essential to have diverse youth at the table to ensure decisions meet their most urgent and emerging needs. Take a look at this panel discussion with HRC Foundation’s Youth Ambassadors at HRC Foundation’s last Time to THRIVE conference in February 2021 discussing how youth-serving professionals can best support transgender and non-binary youth.

Elevate Diverse Youth Voices

Are you planning a staff training, a conference or event that will address the needs of youth? If so, ensure there are opportunities for diverse youth to speak about their experiences, challenges and how youth-serving professionals can address their most urgent needs. Take a look at HRC’s Time to THRIVE conference in February 2021 to hear various speeches from HRC Foundation’s Youth Ambassadors.

Youth are our Present and Future Leaders

Not only should diverse youth be a part of solutions and problem-solving, but youth-serving professionals should provide opportunities for diverse youth to play leadership roles in the direction of the work. During HRC Foundation’s Time to THRIVE February 2021 conference, HRC Foundation Youth Ambassador Ve’ondre Mitchell (she/her) said, “We need to build the power and experience of our youth today and set them up for success.”

To learn more about HRC Foundation’s Youth Well-Being Program, including HRC Foundation’s Youth Ambassador Initiative and the annual Time to THRIVE conference, click here.

LGBTQ+ Youth