Books, projects, movies–what YMLP is engaging with and supporting.

The Heartbeat of the Youth Development Field: Professional Journeys of Growth, Connection, and Transformation, edited by Georgia Hall, Jan Gallagher, & Elizabeth Starr. Information Age Publishing, 2022.

Through research and personal essays, the book shines a light on the intricate connections between research and practice, touching upon both the vulnerability and triumph of youth development work. The passionate voices of youth workers in this volume lead to the inescapable conclusion that programs and policies for youth must be informed by these same voices and the values they express.

With this book, the editors aim to show OST workers, researchers, funders, and policymakers, as well as other education professionals, how youth workers’ lived experiences inspire their ability to build the relationships that are the foundation of positive and healthy youth development. From relationships comes engagement, and from engagement, transformation—centered in equity, inclusion, and belonging. No one is better able to advocate for these truths than the professionals who found themselves—by whatever means—working with young people to bring positive change to their lives, their communities, and our world.

At Our Best: Building Youth-Adult Partnerships in Out-of-School Time Settings, by Gretchen Brion-Meisels, Jessica Fei, & Deepa Vasudevan. Information Age Publishing, 2020.

At Our Best: Building Youth-Adult Partnerships in Out-of-School Time Settings brings together the voices of over 50 adults and youth to explore both the promises and challenges of intergenerational work in out-of-school time (OST) programs. Comprised of 14 chapters, this book features empirical research, conceptual essays, poetry, artwork, and engaged dialogue about the complexities of youth-adult partnerships in practice. At Our Best responds to key questions that practitioners, scholars, policymakers, and youth navigate in this work, such as: What role can (or should) adults play in supporting youth voice, learning, and activism? What approaches and strategies in youth-adult partnerships are effective in promoting positive youth development, individual and collective well-being, and setting-level change? What are the tensions and dilemmas that arise in the process of doing this work? And, how do we navigate youth-adult partnerships in the face of societal oppressions such as adultism, racism, and misogyny? Through highlighting contemporary cases of authentic youth-adult partnerships in youth programs, this fourth volume of the IAP series on OST aims to introduce, engage, and sharpen educators’ understandings of the power and promise of these relationships. Together, the authors in this volume suggest that both building youth-adult partnerships and actively reflecting on intergenerational work are foundational practices to achieving transformational change in our OST organizations, schools, neighborhoods, and communities.

WorldYMCA Youth-Led Solutions Initiative has selected 35 youth-led climate action projects in 20 countries for funding worth a total of some $175,000. The projects were first put forward at or soon after the Youth-Led Summit on Climate Action of October 2020. The top categories of the solutions selected for funding are waste management, advocacy and activism, food security, the green economy and employment, and conservation. Many of the youth-led solutions aim to partner with the YMCA, government, the private sector, or other community organizations. “The Youth-Led Solutions Summit Series’ guiding principles are underpinned by the fact that young people need to be leading the change.  It’s important that we give them the stage at a higher level and enable them to have greater visibility.”