By Ejemen Iyayi
Coming in as a guest blogger on the Check Your Head blog site, I became aware of how grateful I was for the opportunity given to Dialogues Youth to participate with other bloggers on a platform where youth have the opportunity to respectfully share their thoughts and opinions while being exposed to those of others. Platforms such as this enable exchanges of driving points for critical discussion and, in doing so, foster an environment for dialogue. As a result, the notion of sharing stands out to me as a key part of the process of dialogue and a search for understanding between groups.
When we share, we give something of ourselves and tend to gain a connection in the process. When we share our stories respectfully in safe spaces, not only are we heard, but we contribute to an atmosphere that encourages others to do the same.
Consequently, the sharing and exchanging of thoughts, opinions, ideas and so on which form a dialogue seems to me as something that is rooted in the recognition of a shared desire to understand and be understood.
This is why dialogue is so key to the Dialogues Youth initiative. We want youth to tell us what is on their minds so that they and others may recognize common interests they may already have and so that deeper understanding – and a legacy of this – can be built between diverse communities in Vancouver.
Dialogues Youth wants youth to participate now! We want to hear what sorts of thoughts and discourses contribute to conversations about relations between First Nations, urban Aboriginal and immigrant/non-Aboriginal communities. We want to know what youth want to talk about at the upcoming Dialogues Youth Sessions and Youth Conference. We want to know what Vancouver youth want to take action for (or against) in their communities.
Read my Check Your Head blog post as a reminder of what Dialogues Youth aims to achieve and why your participation is important to this project.
Go ahead… Start sharing in the dialogue!