Written on the margins of the International Civil Society Week, as a part of a side event discussion on youth resourcing in early March 2019…
I am sure you know my struggles; you have established your strategy, conducted your research and engaged your skakeholders.
Do any of these people (consultant, participants, managers, program officers and suppliers) you engaged in either of those three things look/ speak/ work/ use language/ attend convenings/ use tools like you?
I think you have a big problem.
If you have said yes to any of those for a particular partner/ consortium / grantee/ activist/ than you have a shortcoming. There aren’t enough voices to challenge, reshape, and strengthen the work that you do. Privilege, Power and Patriarchy (PPP) are so entrenched in the politics, personal and professional aspect of our work and we do not realize it.
I would like to highlight that PPP are not the shark, but the water. PPP are the practices, discourses and decisions you make/ are involved in.
If none of us are aware of PPP and their manifestations, they then will continue to exclude the unconnected, underserved, underrepresented and undresources. PPP are viewed as systems/socializations of oppression and impediment in our human rights work. We call them out and act against them in various ways directed at our government and private sector, why is it not mentally and economically safe to do the same with ourselves (INGOs, development partners, grantees, celebrity activists, civil society, researchers, funders etc.)?
We need to open up the space and build each other. You can have conversations, find new ways to work within your limited capacity, your processes, your eligibility, your long-standing relationships , and your operating model. These are all components of the ‘water’; of PPP exercised (actively and passively).
All it takes is kindness and consciousness to actively include and seek out young activists and their work!
With queer love,