Youth voice is a powerful thing

Yesterday, I had a great opportunity to participate in a phone conversation with my friend Amira, an Egyptian-American living in NYC and a group of incarcerated teens at a local jail who have been watching the news unfold for over two weeks about the Middle Eastern country of Egypt.

Through the Global Kids organization in NYC, Amira has done digital projects virtually with teens at the jail near me, so she is not new collaborating with us in that sense. The guys had been following events in Egypt such as the recent PBS Frontline episode, Revolution in Cairo, BBC news coverage, and social media such as Facebook and Twitter to look at how it was being leveraged to create the movement that many of us are familiar with seeing.

The teens came to the conversation with an amazing foundation fostered by the Librarian at the jail. Before being exposed to this media, some of the questions the guys had were on the order of, “where in the world is Egypt?” which changed to learning about how they as youth were capable of creating change in their own communities, neighborhoods, and situations, just like the youth they had seen and read about in the news.

As a follow-up to the phone conference, we plan to engage the young men with what local issues they are interested in tackling. I can share that in a blog post next week.

Published by

Kelly Czarnecki

Kelly Czarnecki is a Teen Librarian at ImaginOn with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. She is a member of the YALSA blog advisory board.