Too many times adults tell youth what’s important instead of listening to the young people adults believe they’re helping. This top down approach often leaves youth feeling unheard and can lead to disengagement.
Several community organizations are collaborating together to turn this approach on its head with Tru Dialogue Part 3: A Youth-Led Forum. Bloom Project Inc., Central Indiana Community Foundation, Don’t Sleep, Fay Biccard Glick Neighborhood Center and Tru Colors will bring legislators, law enforcement, youth mentors and youth speakers under one roof to discuss issues that impact youth such as unfair treatment and discrimination toward youth from noon to 2:30 p.m. Feb. 9.
“We want to know about youth violence, school bullying, family engagement, etc. let's talk to them about their needs and wants,” said Arnetta Scruggs, founder and executive director of Bloom Project Inc. “It's all about communication. They are the experts at what youth go through. We have to allow them to teach us. Tru Dialogue provides an opportunity for our youth to show their leadership skills as they are the moderators, the panelists and the table captains.”
Six panelists, ages 12-19 years old, led by two youth moderators, will answer pre-submitted questions during the discussion session. Afterward, the audience will be able to ask questions of the youth panelists. The youth will also devise a plan to tackle the issues they outline.
“This forum is an intentional event that will demonstrate that addressing root problems are the only way to reach real solutions,” Dominic Dorsey, an activist with Don't Sleep, said.