Erin Huang-Schaffer—The International Liberation Reference Person for Young Adults

When I spend time with my young adult friends, we sometimes talk about what we’re trying to figure out in our lives. We mostly listen to each other. We encourage each other. We might offer our thinking if asked to. We can build that kind of support for ourselves in RC—where we have access to counseling and discharge—and wherever we can in our lives.

We need support as we continue to think about what we want for ourselves and our society. Young adults’ oppression tells us that we need to figure things out alone. The oppression also says, “That is just the way things are. That is just the way the world works.” We don’t have to accept that.

We get to ask for help and encouragement. We can push for it and remind people that it’s crucial to our liberation as young adults. We’re not looking for “advice.” We have smart minds that will always figure things out. We need allies who will listen to us and stay close with us.

Older adults and elders can act out their early discouragements at us young adults. They look at us and remember how hard young adults’ oppression was for them. They may have feelings about the way our lives look. They get reminded of how limited they were made to feel when they were young adults. We need to not be confused by this.

We have the opportunity in RC to build relationships with adults who want to know what it’s like for us. They will make mistakes. I’m not concerned about that. The goal is for us to keep trying in each other’s direction. We can also recruit adults who don’t yet see themselves as our allies. We can build groups of young adults around us. We can be allies to young people. We can build a coalition with elders. We can have more and more people figuring things out together with us.

We are intelligent, capable, and powerful as young adults. We get to like who we are, be proud of what we’ve tried, and appreciate what we’ve figured out. We have important ideas to share. We are good at making things happen. We are a little more hopeful than many adults. We are a strong force against the oppressions in our society! We have many strengths to offer.

Young adults’ oppression restimulates our early discouragements and defeats. It does this to train us to accept the distresses that dominate our society.

While we struggle with societal conditions (society’s collapse, capitalism, the climate crisis, racism, sexism, class oppression, LGBTQ+ oppression, antisemitism, a global pandemic, and so on), we are told that our lives are unstable, unformed, or unpalatable. The reality is that what we’ve figured out in our lives is good. We are good, and we get to continue working toward our goals for ourselves and our society.

We need each other and our allies. Together, we can decide again and again that we won’t give up on our goals. We can be leaders, and adults can decide to support our leadership, no matter what the circumstances of our lives are. We don’t have to wait until we reach our thirties or older, when we are no longer targeted by young adults’ oppression, to be considered “ready” to lead and make decisions. We are, and always have been, just fine as we are.

We young adults make a big difference to our society, as every human being does. We need people to listen to us, encourage us, have full confidence in us, and, most important, stay close by our side.

Our society needs young adults well supported. And we need every person of every age working together with us toward our hopes, dreams, and goals.

Erin Huang-Schaffer

International Liberation Reference
Person for Young Adults

Brooklyn, New York, USA

(Present Time 212, July 2023)


Last modified: 2023-07-20 03:55:56+00