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Allies to Young People

I attended the East Coast and Midwest USA, and Caribbean, Allies to Young People Workshop. I’d had an RC relationship with Jenny Sazama,1 the leader of the workshop, when I was a young person (and she was an adult). I love still being close to her and thinking and discharging with her about being allies to young people now that we are both adults. I trust her deeply as a leader because I know from personal experience that “she puts her money where her mouth is”2 as an ally to young people.

She pushed us to be passionate and full in our use of RC, including in every session. She said something like, “How can we expect young people to discharge the heavy things we want them to unless we adults are at war with our own distresses?”

I appreciated a story about some young children playing at a funeral after a sudden death in their family. Most of the adults around assumed that the young people didn’t understand what had happened. When hard or tragic things happen, adults often assume that being despairing or somber is the appropriate response. The children’s response—discharging heavily when there was time and attention and then living fully in between—seemed to me the epitome of RC theory. In sessions I cried saying, “Those children were right,” and “Harvey3 was right.”

Both of my parents and my sister attended the workshop. We are all in this work together. I also loved being there with Charlie Tebbets,4 who was a steadfast ally to me when I was a young person. He and I had sessions almost every week from when I was thirteen to when I moved away from my hometown at eighteen. Despite lots of awkwardness as two Protestant white guys, we built a committed, caring relationship. I grew up in an RC family, and having him, from outside the family, in my life made a big difference in my developing my own relationship with RC and interest in leading RC.

Andy Vernon-Jones
Brooklyn, New York, USA
Reprinted from the e-mail discussion
list for RC Community members

1 Jenny Sazama is the International Liberation Reference Person for Allies to Young People.
2 “She puts her money where her mouth is” means the things she talks about she actually does.
3 Harvey Jackins
4 Charlie Tebbets is a Co-Counselor in Amherst, Massachusetts, USA.


Last modified: 2022-12-25 10:17:04+00