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YPW Collaborations – Updates from the Field

Over this past couple of years, Youth Passageways has found itself serendipitously situated to work together with partners and allies. Here is a current list of our emerging and ongoing collaborations as well as some of the ways those have begun taking shape alongside some of the truly wonderful folks we’re honored to work with and support.


So many things are happening in the world of the Ever Forward Club! We are pleased to announce the launch of the #MillionMaskMovement Peer Mentoring Program! The Peer Mentoring Program trains students to bring the Million Mask Movement into their schools and communities. As the local team says, there is #strengthinnumbers ? 

And Inspired by the courage, strength and resilience exhibited by the students who submitted over 50,000 masks for our Million Mask Movement, we brought to life: Ever Forward Club: The Adventure Game! We have created something completely new and different to our community and the Card Game Space. Combining our 15+ years of experience working with thousands of kids, we took our deep understanding of social emotional learning and turned it into a Universe that kids themselves can become part of – maybe even a character in our future expansion packs! We aim to introduce kids worldwide to the social emotional universe of the Ever Forward Club by equipping every teacher with their own deck and providing more youth with the the ability to identify their feelings and express them in healthy ways.

And finally, The Ever Forward Club is preparing to present at SXSW EDU in 2022 to share with educators the work that we have been doing to help improve education for all students, especially for those students who enjoy school the least.

Now we are making these resources available to educators throughout the world to use them in order to build healthier relationships between students, teachers and schools. To learn more or get involved, head HERE!

In early July, The Ojai Foundation and Youth Passageways marked the completion of the inaugural year of our collaborative project, The FIRE Fellowship. Launching a pilot program in a pandemic year was a journey worth taking, and stretched all of us into creative solutions to unforeseen challenges. Our situation is not unique, as people around the world are finding new ways to live, do business and, perhaps most importantly, to relate. While we longed for the kind of togetherness that deep retreat can afford, we made the most of what was possible in the time that we had and emphasized incorporation of key practices from day one. We look forward to what will unfold for all of our alumni, and for the relationships that were seeded and watered through the Fellowship. We are in a redesign process for future FIRE programming. Stay tuned.

Additionally, Re-Calling Our Ancestors, an exploration in ancestral recovery, truth-telling, truth-seeking, and collective repair is in development right now! Course details will be announced soon. Stay tuned.

After many months of listening and “waiting and seeing” about how Covid would play out for the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, our cross-cultural organizing team decided to move forward with plans for a small focused work party at the Buffalo Visions land in August. On the eve of the arrival day, evacuation orders were given for most of the Northern Cheyenne Reservation due to a large wildfire that had rapidly grown to threaten the main town of Lame Deer. Through a few hours of dialogue, it was decided that the 20+ people planning to travel for the work party would stay home. Thanks to firefighters and first responders, the 170k acre Richard Spring fire did relatively little damage. Please send healing prayers for Sharon and Hubert Blackwolf, as they undergo and heal from major surgeries this summer, and their community rebuilds after a deadly winter of Covid and summer of wildfire damage and smoke. Though it has been disappointing to not gather in 2021, relationships have continued to strengthen this year, and ideas and inspiration for 2022 are abundant.


YPW recently began a research collaboration with faculty at University of San Francisco (School of Nursing Public Health Department and Environmental Studies Department), Dominican University of California (Global Public Health Department), and Naropa University (Interdisciplinary Studies). We will be looking at how rites of passage impact the immediate and long term health and wellbeing of participants, communities and society, and developing a long-term research strategy that serves partners and informs policy and funding priorities. 

Our intentions are that this research:

  • Collects and interprets data on the individual, community and societal benefits of rites of passage 
  • Identifies benefits and gaps in individual rite of passage initiatives, as well as in rite of passage work as a whole
  • Emphasizes community-determined metrics of success, moving quickly towards decolonized research methodology, 
  • Is grounded in the multiplicity of language, values, and approaches which make up our diverse network

In the first phase of the project, we will be synthesizing existing literature and research from interdisciplinary sources and collecting information from partners and participants. Interested in getting involved or want to be kept in the loop? Please reach out to Darcy or Sobey <link>. 

Welcome to Queer Nature and Fierce Allies’ Centering Justice Project, two of our newest fiscall sponsees. Stay tuned for more information on the important, visionary work these partners are bringing forward into the world. Read more in the YPW Collaborations section.

Youth Passageways Blog

Welcome to the Blog. Here you will find current and archived versions of our ENewsletters, Updates, and posts from partners, and guests.

Interested in contributing to our blog? Contact us at: dane@youthpassageways.org

Youth Passageways is thrilled to provide a platform in which a wide breadth of perspectives can commingle and paint as comprehensive a picture of our partner base as possible. As such, the views and opinions expressed in individual letters, posts, or media content of any kind do not necessarily reflect or represent the Youth Passageways network as an organization, or collective.

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