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Modeling and Leading

We RC young people and young adults led many successful workshops and caucuses in Paris. We modeled using RC tools, being playful, and supporting each other in the face of young people’s oppression.

In the wide world, it is rare that adults trust young people and follow our thinking as much as Diane Shisk and Wytske Visser1 did. And their backing2 was in no way a discouraged sitting back and leaving it up to the “hopeful future generation.”

A highlight was assisting Janet Kabue and Jean Charles3 in a workshop on young people ending racism. They spoke about systemic racism and young people’s oppression. A young woman of the global majority started crying when Janet described her experiences of racism. Later the woman commented that the workshop was the first time she had talked about her own experiences of racism.

I loved the youth caucuses! Most days we ended up with twenty or thirty young people and young adults. We gave a brief introduction to Sustaining All Life and the tools of listening. We talked about young people’s oppression, played games, laughed, and did go-arounds and support groups with questions like “What is good and what is hard about being a young person at COP21?” and “What is good and hard about being a young climate activist?” Participants talked about the young people’s oppression that had led to young people not having a voice in the climate negotiations and not feeling heard or accepted at COP21. They loved the caucuses (as we did) and often stayed to talk to us at the end. Just before I got on the plane to leave Paris, I got an e-mail from a young person who had attended two of our caucuses. He said that he and others from his group of African American university students were going to hold another caucus without us!

Mari Piggott

International Liberation Reference Person for Young People

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Reprinted from the RC e-mail discussion list for leaders of young people

(Present Time 183, April 2016)


1 Diane Shisk (the Alternate International Reference Person for the RC Communities) and Wytske Visser (the International Commonality Reference Person for the Care of the Environment) were the leaders of the Sustaining All Life project in Paris.
2 “Backing” means support.
3 Janet Kabue is the Area Reference Person for Nairobi, Kenya. Jean Charles is an RC leader in Milton, Massachusetts, USA.


Last modified: 2021-06-01 12:29:59+00