As an IncludED Facilitator I feel strongly that empowering students to speak freely on their daily interactions and journey through a school culture/climate brings a powerful voice to confront the daily indignities that exist in our current education system.

In my full time work with Howard County Government, in Howard County Maryland, I have the honor of bringing student voice to the forefront through the #OneHoward initiative with the first installment of the 2ManyAdultsInTheRoom podcast. The students are part of a community created group called, “Youth in Conversation.”

Youth In Conversation is a student led group that focuses on empowering, connecting, and learning from/with their community. The group strives to breakdown the dynamics of school culture/climate from the perspective of students. They believe if you take the time to listen and learn from each other, we can find ways to be a more thriving and innovative community because of our diversity.

These student leaders feel that it is important to give genuine and transparent commentary on how students experience our spaces for learning and growth. The episode explores institutional, cultural, and individual factors that contribute to their experience and the experience of many students like them.

This episode also touches on the ways in which our inherent human value/worth is more connected to achievement, conformity, or performance in our educational institutions which undermines the dignity of all parties involved including teachers, faculty, and staff.

Listen to the students speak from personal experiences allowing their vulnerability to be the soil that will cultivate tangible change. Join the conversation!