Youth talked. WAVAW listened.
Raise It Up was created with youth in mind. We took direction from youth to construct a curriculum that engages with issues that impact their lives every day. The curriculum is specially designed around youth feedback on what they want to learn about violence and oppression.
This i what our Youth Advisory Committee had to say:
The things I would want my peers to know about violence/oppression are…
- How violence is started/provoked
- Where violence originates from
- What it feels like to be a victim (what being a victim/perpetrator looks like, breaking down stereotypes) where we find violence
- That it is much more widespread than we think (statistics)
- Jokes/ what you say can be interpreted differently depending on individuals’ backgrounds
- How to identify violence (signs)
- Identifying violence in media/tv
- What violence and oppression is and how it affects everyone regardless of gender, race, class, orientation etc.
- Varying levels of violence, verbal, sexual, physical, unconscious sometimes
- Racism, prejudice, sexism, oppression- definitions, identification and acknowledging that they affect everyone
The best way to discuss these issues is…
- To have students look reflexively into their own lives and notice how violence and oppression operate, think about times they have been oppressed and times they have oppressed others.
- To have past victims share stories, personal anecdotes
- Relate them to current events, identify in media, news etc.
- Statistics, shocking stories
- Reading ‘The Five Faces of Oppression’ by Iris Marion Young, to understand background and varieties of violence
- To address factors and consequences of oppression
- Through YouTube clips and incorporation of different media
- With multiple forms of lessons, small groups, readings, movies, face-to-face etc., to ensure everyone understands
I want to learn more about…
- Other people’s experiences, points of view
- Why people resort to violence and discrimination
- Where prejudices come from
- Organizations and resources on oppression and violence
- Ways to get kids thinking about the world around them and how their thoughts and actions impact the world around them
- How oppression affects everyone
- The ways to recognize violence (signs)
- How to go about changing people’s oppressive tendencies and open their eyes to it (solutions)
- How to talk about these issues with others
- The biology/psychology behind it all, are there biological factors in gender stereotypes?
- How to take control
- How the justice system addresses violence
- How cultural beliefs shape ideas of what is right and wrong and how to address this.