Reduce Barriers. When planning meetings or events that desire youth participation, it is important to make sure that youth can access it easily, that it feels safe, and it is free from distractions. Each group of youth will have different needs. It works best when participating youth decide which days, times and locations work best for them. For example, having meetings after school on school property could work for one group where as another group might find it easier at the community centre on weekends.
Inclusive Language. What we say and how we say it has a powerful impact on shaping ideas, perceptions and attitudes. Language can be used in a positive way by promoting feelings of respect and equality between people, however it can also be used to express prejudice or discrimination. Demeaning, belittling, negative words not only create a barrier to understanding, they can be offensive or racist. Individuals must develop sensitivity to on-going changes in the appropriate use of language and adapt accordingly.
Discriminatory Language. Language can be used to express acceptance and inclusion, and it can be used to discriminate against others. Some of the ways language can be used to express discrimination include derogatory labelling, imposed labelling, stereotyping, undue emphasis on differences, invisibility, discriminatory humour, put-downs and self-deprecating comments.
Food, Music & Arts. When youth are part of any kind of workshop, presentation, etc., it is important that they are interested, engaged and well fed. Including food, even just snacks are also a great bonus youth look forward too. Including arts and a creative approach is a great way to make an initiative more interesting and engaging for youth.