June Update: As Family
This morning, I came across the latest update (with a video) from Kalani Souza, a visionary, teacher, and trickster who has been critical part of helping this network come into being. I’ve been deeply grateful for the generous guidance he’s offered me over the last three years, and there are many in the Youth Passageways (YPW) community that have been personally impacted by Kalani as well. A strong man with a tendency toward physical self-sacrifice, Kalani’s body has finally caught up with him and he’s very ill. Those close to him have stepped in, and mobilized a massive fundraising campaign to offset his personal and medical expenses.
I share this with you for a couple of reasons. First, because if you know Kalani I want to make sure you know what’s going on with him, and have the opportunity to offer your support to him, whatever that means for you.
Second, I share this because it reminds me that YPW is not just about building a “professional association” but is at its core about creating family, and it was Kalani that brought this idea to YPW. I start all my emails to you “Dear Family” because that’s what Kalani helped me, and many of our network, see that we are: a human family, supporting one another to raise our young people, in order to leave a healthier world for our future generations. In fact, one of YPW’s core values is Healthy Family (no need to replicate dysfunctional family dynamics here if we don’t have to!). And what does family do? We take care of each other. So thank you, Kalani, for sharing with us both what it looks like to be a warrior on behalf of our young people, and what it looks like to be an elder who lets his ohana care for him.
But this is just the start of what I want to share with you today. As we arrive here on the cusp of summer, there is lots moving and shaking at Youth Passageways!
Cross-Cultural Protocols in Rites of Passage
First of all, I am thrilled to announce the release of Cross-Cultural Protocols in Rites of Passage: Guiding Principles, Themes, and Inquiry. This living document, which will evolve and change as we learn and grow as a community, has been adopted by the Youth Passageways Stewardship Council to guide how we come together as a community. Even more important than this, it is offered as a resource and starting point for exploration and consideration for our partners and all interested parties. To learn more about the retreat held in September 2014 as one key piece in the drafting of the document, you can read Pat McCabe’s report.
The formulation of these principles has been part of the dream of how the Youth Passageways network can serve our collective efforts. Nine years ago, when I stepped in as Executive Director of one of our partners: Rite of Passage Journeys, something like this resource would have been invaluable to me, with the questions I, and my community, held. I know many have been anxiously awaiting its release; thanks for your patience!
Please spread this document widely—we want it to be a helpful resource to anyone exploring related topics. And like I said, this is a living document; we welcome (and need) your feedback, as well as your stories about how you make use of this document in your community. In the future, we imagine many other resources like this that can help serve and strengthen the work we do in our communities.
Deepest gratitude to the continuing CCP Working Group (Sharon “Shay” Sloan, Ramon Parish, Sobey Wing, and Pat McCabe), to the attendees and conveners of the September retreat, and to our major supporters in this effort: the Ojai Foundation, Kalliopeia Foundation, and the Kailo Fund.
2016 Gathering in Los Angeles, CA
In other news, after two recent trips to meet with local partners and explore the landscape, I am pleased to announce that Youth Passageways will be convening our next gathering in Los Angeles in April 2016. This gathering will be small and spaces will be quite limited. We envision this as a gathering that will create a positive impact for LA, for our partners from around the world, and for Youth Passageways as a community. You can expect to hear more in the coming months; if you’d like to get involved please email email@example.com
If you haven’t yet gotten a chance to spend some time on the Youth Passageways website in the last couple of weeks, please take a minute to check it out. The web team (Dane, Darin, Emily, Sobey, and many others) have a lot to be proud of in what they’ve created with this site. It feels like the ground work has been laid. Now we are ready to for individuals, organizations, and communities from around the world to build their searchable profiles, so it can truly be a resource for all the wider community: youth, parents, practitioners, school counselors, community activists—you name it–to connect with one another and the training, guidance, and experiences they need.
Please pass along the link to anyone you think may benefit from being listed, or anyone you think may benefit from being able to view and search all the incredible efforts that are out there.
OK, I think that’s enough for now. Deep gratitude to the vast network of support and enthusiasm from across the globe that has helped bring Youth Passageways into being. Please keep us posted with your thoughts, questions, hopes, dreams, concerns, as you continue your work on behalf of young people each day.
in gratitude & service,
Darcy Ottey, Coordinator