Assistant Professors Christy Byrd, Crystal Chen Lee Develop Webinar to Help Educators Learn to Promote Youth Voices
NC State College of Education Assistant Professor Christy Byrd, Ph.D., believes that young people are among those most affected by issues related to hot topics like health care, the economy and the environment and therefore deserve a say in the decisions that will shape the world around them.
For that reason, she and colleagues developed the #PasstheMicYouth podcast to amplify the voices of young people by sharing their lived experiences and stories of activism. Earlier this month, Byrd partnered with Assistant Professor Crystal Chen Lee, Ed.D., founding director of the Literacy and Community Initiative (LCI), which is a collaboration between the College of Education, its Friday Institute for Educational Innovation and community-based organizations that aims to examine and empower youth voices.
Together, Byrd and Lee drew from their experiences with these initiatives to produce a webinar entitled “Activating Youth Voices: Promoting Activism and Advocacy in Teens and Young Adults.”
“Youth have incredible voices that the world must pay attention to. We must ask ourselves, ‘What can we learn from students?’” Lee said. “I believe that youth have the words and actions to lead us here, now and in the future. Youth are not afraid to speak out against racism; they are not afraid to speak up for those who are marginalized. We cannot underestimate the power of our youth, especially in our current world climate.”
The 35-minute “Activating Youth Voices” webinar examines what it means for youth to take action in their communities and uses examples from #PasstheMicYouth and the Literacy and Community Initiative to teach five practical steps on how to promote youth voices.
The webinar is geared toward teachers, educators and community leaders who are interested in fostering youth civic engagement and action.
“I hope that the viewers will learn some very practical ways that they can encourage activism in the youth they work with, but most of all I hope they feel hopeful and excited about the young people who are in their community,” Byrd said. “The contributors and participants in #PasstheMicYouth and the Literacy and Community Initiative are not unique. They are examples of amazingness that is just waiting for an opportunity to shine.”