Young People and Young Adults at the World Conference

The 2013 World Conference was a super-intense and amazing experience for me. It was so cool to be there with that many experienced RCers from all over the world. I loved having us all, with our very different experiences, put our minds on the goals, the Guidelines,1 and how to move the RC Communities forward. I loved being led by Tim,2 with Diane3 backing4 him and doing so much behind-the-scenes work. I feel pleased that we have a new goal on the environment and am looking forward to seeing what it can push us to do together. 

My highlight of the conference was definitely the young people and young adults who were there. We were connected, visible, and powerful. Even though it was hard to be at a conference with that many adults, we stayed close as a group and fought against the internalized oppression that makes us go silent and invisible, and makes it hard to be connected with each other and for young people and young adults to have each other. 

We were able to show a full picture of the intelligence and strengths of young people and young adults. We were fun and creative about connecting with others and made things go better for everyone by modeling playing. This is something that young people are often able to model in RC and that is often appreciated. 

What doesn’t always happen, because the oppression makes it too hard, is young people getting to show our full intelligence in many other areas. The young people and young adults at the conference decided to take on5 and take part in the thinking about the Guidelines and the goals. Many of us spoke up about them.

The fact that we spoke up was a huge accomplishment and a contradiction to young people’s and young adults’ oppression. It was also clear that our thoughts were useful and important. I think the conference was able to see the truth about young people and young adults, which is that right now (not when we are older, wiser, more knowledgeable, and so on) we are a hugely valuable part of moving RC forward.

Mari Piggott
International Liberation 
Reference Person for Young People
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


Young adults played key leadership roles throughout the World Conference. 

Emily Bloch6 led a dinner table for people under forty in which we thought about the RC Guidelines regarding Co-Counselors’ use of social media. Many of us said that we found social media both useful and confusing in our Co-Counseling relationships. The entire group shared thinking very collaboratively, and several of our suggestions were incorporated into the final version of the Guidelines. It was  powerful to see this group of young adults think so well together. 

On Saturday everyone, as a large group, went through the proposed changes to the Guidelines. Numerous young people and young adults stood up and shared their thinking. 

I spoke about what I and three other younger people had thought about regarding the electronic communications section of the no-socializing policy.7 An adult Co-Counselor had said we should not use social-media web sites in Co-Counseling relationships because it would violate the no-socializing policy. (The Guidelines currently say that social-media sites can be used thoughtfully within RC relationships.) I said that banning social-media sites entirely would make RC less accessible to young people, and that it was important not to over-regulate their use because they had helped many younger people sustain contact in their Co-Counseling relationships. I also said that our Guidelines were a starting point for thinking and discharge, not a document that regulated every specific aspect of Co-Counseling, and that they should function in this way in regard to social media.

Young people and young adults played a good role in bringing play to the conference. Before class one morning, Emily Bloch gathered the young adults and had us play a game that involved a lot of contact and laughing. We encouraged the adults to come play, and soon a large group of Co-Counselors was playing and getting physically close on the mats. It was clear that the leadership of younger people, and our ability to remember the importance of playfulness, made this conference go better.

Alana Eichner
Somerville, Massachusetts, USA


1 The Guidelines for the Re-evaluation Counseling Communities — the policies for the RC Communities
2 Tim Jackins
3 Diane Shisk
4 “Backing” means supporting.
5 “Take on” means undertake.
6 Emily Bloch is the International Liberation Reference Person for Young Adults.
7 The no-socializing policy of the RC Communities states that Co-Counselors should not set up any relationships, other than Co-Counseling, with other Co-Counselors or with people whom they first meet in a Co-Counseling context.

 


Last modified: 2017-05-06 23:35:41-07