Course Requirements & Evaluation

  1. To engage voices of children and youth, especially those most impacted by systems of oppression  - this includes conference experiences but also concrete work to listen to and learn from children and youth in your community before you frame your final project (25% of grade)
  2. To engage the required texts through critical reflection.  For each of the 9 required books, please turn in a two page reflection paper by July 10th.  What surprised you?  Challenged you?  What did you find most helpful?  Disturbing?  Prophetic?  How does the reading push you to change, to work in new ways?  Bring your notes and books with you and be prepared to engage the class and speakers.  Be sure to familiarize yourself with the Children’s Defense Fund website and the assigned articles/video. (20% of grade)
  3. To develop and to present an Action Plan/project strategy – initial ideas will be presented during the Institute and final draft is due July 30th so that you can get feedback before completing your final project. (10% of grade)
  4. To produce a final project framed by the course core components, learning goals and objectives, questions we explore and discussions.  This can be a collaborative group project or individual.  Due August 15. (45% of grade) 

The emphasis must be on:

A. Listening to and learning from and with children and young people
B. Working/partnering with those struggling with oppression vs. programs for or to
C. Addressing systemic, structural oppression vs. individuals only
D. Engaging in justice rather than charity

Examples of past projects include:

  • Initiating a listening circle and restorative justice process, including a website, to deal with conflict around race/class bias against youth in neighborhood
  • Creating a triptych of paintings with a companion narrative exploring experiences of young people, structures of oppression and possibilities for hope as model for listening to young people and redefining youth ministry
  • Creating an ongoing listening circle process for transgender youth in partnership with a community youth center
  • Designing partnership for work around gardens, food culture, memories and art with young folks and their families near Latino community center
  • Creating booklist, training curriculum and support process for work with parents considering transracial adoptions through local adoption agency