[Love] Letter, Part II: Making the Invisible Visible
A significant part of this work–doing work about, and more importantly with, court-involved youth–is the commitment to raise awareness and start conversations about the juvenile justice system, about family court, and the realities of court-involved youth, youth in the foster care system, what happens to young people when they age our of the system. About the power and potential of exploring young people’s experiences with them through multimodal play and media-making; about collaboratively working with court-involved young people to engage in and strengthen meaning-making processes. To hear them. And to shift from a stance of witness to one of with-ness.
There is a public blog for Youth, Media & Educational Justice: www.ymej.org. We as members of the course blog about current issues, conversations, and events happening around the topic of court-involved youth. We are also on Twitter, @YMediaJustice and Dr. Lalitha Vasudevan and Dr. Tiffany DeJaynes just released their latest book on the intersections of Arts, Media and Justice: Multimodal Explorations with Youth (all proceeds for book go to one of the afterschool programs for court-involved young people featured in the book). Blurb:
In Arts, Media, and Justice, the aesthetic contours of literacies and communication are explored through a collection of chapters authored by educators, emerging and established researchers, youth researchers, and teaching artists whose lives intersect with those of young people inside and outside of formal institutional settings. At the heart of the varied research and curricular projects – ranging from writing workshops and photography walks to a theater elective at an alternative to incarceration program – represented in this volume is the pursuit of play, imagination, multimodal expression. The authors share their experiences working with court-involved youth to explore issues related to justice, community, identity, and representation through engagement with multiple media and modes – including photography, theater, writing, painting, and video.
So please, share this post, check out our blog to find out more. Engage, raise your own awareness, and help us spark and continue conversation.
Tuesday, December 17, 2013 – Update:
My mentee wasn’t present tonight, they’re not sure where she is. During our mentoring session tonight we each got a small paper bag with our name written on it and a stack of small, white pieces of paper that we folded in half like cards. Everyone, mentors and mentees, passed their bag to the left and the receiver had one minute to write well-wishes, a compliment, some advice, etc. we passed the bags until everyone wrote a note for each bag. Below are the two best notes I received from young women at the group home. Finding and the celebrating the beams of light amidst the shadows and blurry lines.