Here are some ways to promote successful youth/adult partnerships in your RJA:
- Evaluate the structure of the organization: Did youth or adults start the group? Who leads the group? Have both youth and adults always participated?
- Define the differences in leadership roles and set clear expectations for youth and adult leaders.
- Prioritize youth leadership and facilitation and focus on leadership training and skill-building for young people.
- Follow a specific process for planning events and projects in your RJA. Make sure responsibilities are clearly designated and expectations are well-defined.
- Frequently evaluate group dynamics: Do adult advisors and young leaders both feel supported? Do youth members feel they have power and control in the group?
- If adults tend to outnumber youth or dominate the RJA, consider forming a separate Racial Justice Teacher’s Alliance or a faculty support group.
- If adult advisors wish to be involved in setting meeting agendas (or are required to by school policy), make sure that a youth leader is also involved in the process.
- If adult advisors have concerns about a particular project, have them voice these by asking questions instead of handing down authoritative decisions.