At Universities and High Schools, there's usually enough life experience and opinions to get some critical thinking and dialogue going. You never know what really lands in between glances at cell phone screens. I've observed that at that middle school age though, everything you love and said you would do and be either flourishes, or gets hidden away appeasing or succumbing to the doubts and likings of peers, parents, educators, and community. I know this time is fragile and important. I've been here before, but never like this!
I was very nervous, and honored to be asked to work with a group of elementary and middle school aged young ladies this summer. As a relatively new parent of children not yet at that age, it gives me the opportunity to really think about the messaging given to young girls, and what I hope and demand of the world for my own family. I have much more experience working in programs and residencies, than parenting, but I know there is a fine balance of support and empowerment at the dinner table and through community support and enrichment.
My hope via Patreon and other supporters of #teamCWCM is to share much of my work and lessons with other artists, organizers, and edutainers, (and Families) so that these prompts and exercises can take place without me always being present, as well as inspire others to add on with their own insight and experience.
In this time of children being jailed, murdered at the hands of police brutality, demanded they choose and proclaim a gender identity, and still are discerning what consent is and isn't, Self Advocacy, Set-Esteem, and a high self-concept are crucial. This coupled with some fundamental martial arts and awareness techniques are very integral to all children, but especially our young ladies.
With the Youth Transformed For Life R.O.S.E.S program based in Asheville, North Carolina ( http://ytltraining.org/programs/girls/ ) we have been exploring what it means to Love and Respect ourselves, identity our own personal magic and genius, as well as identify who has trailblazed in our families and ancestry, and what is the legacy we would like to leave. These are a few of the prompts along with daily mirror work "I AM" Affirmations and Martial movements and Awareness.
It's the best I can offer of the skills and mentorships I have gathered over the years for what I see that is essential and complimentary to what is offered in many home and learning environments. I look forward to learning more and being able to share. The biggest hope with the curriculum is that it offers a way to follow and support our youth through various periods of development, regardless of where on the planet and who is facilitating.
I'm learning so much! I can't hardly imagine what it is to be an adolescent girl navigating so much. I pray my own family is supported in this way when it's their turn, and so I and other youth workers sow sincerely! It does mean a lot that ..every once in a while, they ask me to sing too :)
Thanks for your support #teamCWCM ! In the Spirit of Wangari Maathai and the story of the Hummingbird, "I'm doing the best that I can"!
I'm Changing the World, by Changing Me!