Youth/Adult Leadership

Here are some ways to promote successful youth/adult partnerships in your RJA:

  1. Evaluate the structure of the organization: Did youth or adults start the group? Who leads the group? Have both youth and adults always participated?
  2. Define the differences in leadership roles and set clear expectations for youth and adult leaders.
  3. Prioritize youth leadership and facilitation and focus on leadership training and skill-building for young people.
  4. Follow a specific process for planning events and projects in your RJA. Make sure responsibilities are clearly designated and expectations are well-defined.
  5. Frequently evaluate group dynamics: Do adult advisors and young leaders both feel supported? Do youth members feel they have power and control in the group?
  6. If adults tend to outnumber youth or dominate the RJA, consider forming a separate Racial Justice Teacher’s Alliance or a faculty support group.
  7. If adult advisors wish to be involved in setting meeting agendas (or are required to by school policy), make sure that a youth leader is also involved in the process.
  8. If adult advisors have concerns about a particular project, have them voice these by asking questions instead of handing down authoritative decisions.