Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Youth speak, organize

I recently returned from Chicago, where I attended the national counter-recruitment conference, "It's our world - change it!" organized by the National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth and hosted by the Chicago office of the American Friends Service Committee.
The conference was exceptional, partly because of the large contingent of youth participation and leadership in the workshops. I learned a lot. Here is an article about the conference posted by one of the leading scholars on the subject of youth and militarism, Jorge Mariscal, who was a conference panelist.

Another highlight was joining a group of youth and adult allies to hear the Brave New Voices youth slam finals that were coincidentally taking place in Chicago not far from our conference site. The team from Guam performed a poem about their homeland that had us on our feet. I can't find it on you-tube, but here is another poem from a Guam team member that riffs on the same themes of identity and colonialism.

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