We’re ALL IN: inclusive youth work in Europe

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Inclusion. We talk about it a lot in the youth work sector but what does it actually mean? I embarked on the task of trying to define inclusion as part of a new project YouthLink Scotland are taking part in, ALL IN.

ALL IN is a strategic partnership project funded by Erasmus+ with partners from Austria, Spain, Italy, Bulgaria, Belgium, Slovenia and Scotland. The project aims to develop and test training for youth work practitioners, youth leaders, project coordinators and other people involved in youth work on making youth work inclusive.

The eight partner organisations came to the table with different understanding and interpretations of inclusion, each with their own nuance and emphasis. A core element common to our understanding was intersectionality.

Intersection-what now?

Intersectionality has only existed as a word since the late 1980s, coined by academic Kimberlé Crenshaw. However, the concept is not new. Intersectionality describes the connected and inseparable nature of oppression (like sexism, racism, homophobia, ableism, etc). In its most basic form it reminds us that people are not one-dimensional. If we aren’t conscious of it, our own biases can make us forget that people are multidimensional and have multiple important parts of their identity.

For example, you may have overlooked that young people of colour may also define as LGBT+. Or that young offenders may have disabilities. Using an intersectional approach means constantly challenging our own assumptions and stereotypes to ensure we think holistically about the elements in young people’s lives. This short video gives applicable examples of intersectionality.

ALL IN shared definition of inclusion:

Inclusion is the conscious and purposeful creation of an intersectional environment in which every person is valued, connected and engaged. People have control of their own support and making their own decisions. That means everybody gets the support they need in the way they want it. When people choose to participate, they do so without experiencing restrictions or limitations of any kind, including prejudice and discrimination.

To achieve inclusion, we must consistently disrupt traditionally accepted constructions. This means being open and willing to challenge and change our own behaviours and views, as well as the spaces and organisations around us.

Right now, we're speaking to the youth work sector about the type of training they would like us to develop on inclusive youth work. If you're a youth work practitioner, working directly with young people, or manage a youth work organisation, you can tell us your thoughts through this survey.

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

This post was originally writted by Youthlink Scothland - You can visit the original post in their webpage visiting this link

 

[This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.]