Youth Advocacy Board | 10/13/2022

I’m still processing all the incredible dialog that happened in this meeting! Thank you to all the members so much for your amazing contributions! Our Announcements were:

1. November is youth homelessness awareness month and I am hoping the YAB can do something to honor that so we will be brainstorming ideas soon!

2. Next weeks meeting (10/20/22) will be 2 hours long so we will end at 6:15pm. We will be getting an awesome training from the Transgender Resource Center of NM

3. This Saturday there is a “Toas Tacos for Kids” Event (attached is the invite)

I touched base with the group about my plan for upcoming meetings. I’ve spoken before about my plan for education for the group. I want to give us a chance to obtain new members before starting that so that will most likely start mid November. In order to get new members we need to get these flyers out! We finalized the design for the flier.

My favorite part of this meeting was the open floor segment!! Forrest brought an incredible opportunity to our attention, He will be speaking at a Community of Practice Meeting and has reached out to the facilitator about the possibility of YAB being involved . He will keep us posted and we will begin preparing ASAP. Ariana also joined us with super exciting news! Public libraries are facilitating an initiative to help people of all ages obtain their high school diploma! There will be a section in the resource area of the YAB website with more information or check out your local public library. Hannah requested our input on a think piece she is writing about the stigma that surrounds homelessness. We discussed how the stigma around mental health and substance abuse perpetuate the bias against the unhoused. The word homeless is derogatory because the term is used to group people who have nothing in common into the same category. However the only trait they share is the experience of not having a house. We advocated for changing the way we talk about those experiencing homelessness so from now on whenever possible the YAB will be utilizing the term unhoused rather than homeless.YAB has talked about people first language alot and the concept was really highlighted in yesterday's conversation so I want to remind everyone of the importance of not defining someone by their experience. For example instead of saying “a homeless person” lets try to say “someone who is experiencing being unhoused”. Another important part of the conversation was around flying a sign (when someone is asking for help from the public by holding a sign saying “anything helps” or similar statements). It became clear that there is some misinformation and confusion surrounding this topic. I think it is important for us to address this so I will be creating a post for our social media about this and will be recruiting your inputs and assistance. We talked about the lack of opportunity for unhoused populations to earn money in ways other than flying a sign. Forrest shared an initiative called street papers with us. I think YAB could and should advocate for similar programs in NM .We gave Hannah a lot of important insights for her essay and she will keep us posted as she progresses. If you have any questions or comments or anything please don't hesitate to contact me.

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