One of the many ways to facilitate positive transformations in young people who are gang affiliated is to guide them in seeing personal value in education.
A significant way this is accomplished is by maintaining cultural competency on every level of an educational program, not just to reducing gang violence to gross misconceptions of cultural pride.
There is a deeper level of understanding that needs to be addressed in order for the youth to see value in what is being facilitated.
Imagine being in any setting where the discussion is about everything and anything other than what relates to you.
Whether it’s a group at an after school program, a classroom, a discussion about politics, a counseling session or conversations in the work place—if you are unable to find your relationship to it, then it’s not without logic for you to think there is none.
If you can’t form a relationship, then there’s not going to be a value system developed. Unfortunately these are the types of non-relationship based interactions that our youth are part of every day.
It’s not difficult to understand why many youth ask, “What does this have to do with me?”
Well, what does it have to do with them? And if it doesn’t have anything to do with them, you have two choices: remain in a stagnate cycle of non-relationship based facilitation, which will produce no positive transformation, or get off your ass and learn with our youth.
- Bring in local people who are part of the youth’s culture and have them present.
- Make sure your library in your organization or school is filled with literature from all cultures, both ancient and contemporary.
- Facilitate bold discussions about external and self-imposed stereotypes.
- Learn and teach about the great contributions that all cultures have made towards the betterment of humankind.
- Facilitate discussions about atrocities that have happened, what we must learn from those tragedies, and solutions to ensure it won’t happen again.
- Learn and discuss core values, spiritual ethic, philosophy and guiding principles from all cultures represented within your group or classroom. Talk about and explore the sacred sites that exist throughout the globe.
- Discuss how terms such as “primitive” and “advanced” are reframed when we see that there are structures from all cultures built thousands of years ago still standing, yet a smart phone will only last a couple of years.
All cultures become beautiful when we live the beauty of our own.
All cultures become valuable when we value our own. When we live the value and beauty of our own cultures, we stop seeking things outside of our hearts, and begin to live from our hearts. We begin to live for others from within our sacred center. We see the truth that we’re all related, and humaneness replaces the falsehoods of inferiority and superiority.
The only way we can live for just ourselves is when we forget our ancestors and the future generations.
From a youth-centered focus the question is no longer what is the value of education with our youth, but, what is the value of our youth in education?
If we want our young people to see value in education, we must ensure they are valued within education.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Apprentice Editor: Cami Krueger / Editor: Emily Bartran