As a diverse, intergenerational network of partners supporting youth in becoming healthy adults, rooted in belonging and connected to their gifts, the Youth Passageways community is experiencing the impacts of COVID-19 across much of the spectrum of what is being experienced in broader society today.
Many are suffering at this time. This suffering is disproportionately experienced by those in the Global South; BIPOC members of our communities, the poor and working-class, our elders and olders, and those with chronic illnesses and disabilities. Much of this disparity is due to the ongoing impact of centuries of cultural destruction, genocide, and historical injustice.
Some of the issues that our partners and their people are facing right now include:
- Sickness of self/family members, death and loss
- Struggling to meet basic needs like food, water, shelter, seeds, and protective equipment
- Youth and adults being incarcerated in the COVID-19 pandemic, without family, unsafe, without access to physical distancing or adequate medical care
- Facing threats to civil liberties and basic safety
- Lack of meaningful engagement for young people who are out of school
- Dealing with the financial impacts of loss of livelihood
- Unable to gather to mark important individual and community transitions
- Struggling with anxiety, depression, and social isolation; nervous system overwhelm
- Needing support in making meaning and understanding what is happening on a mythological, cultural, emotional, and spiritual level.
As a network, we center decolonization, reconciliation, reparations, and cultural reclamation as essential components of restoring healthy passages into adulthood. In this time of global transformation, we offer prayers to our ancestors that they be close to us in this time, that we remember them, and receive from them their guidance as those who know the terrain of pandemics and cultural and economic transformation. We call upon our partners, allies, and the broader community to hold tight to each other while maintaining spacious solidarity and doing all that we can to protect one another’s safety, support those most vulnerable and disenfranchised among us, and take bold steps toward the future we wish to offer to our descendants.
At Youth Passageways we know that when we create pathways of wholeness, love, and liberation for all youth, we ensure that we don’t criminalize, isolate, or abandon anyone. Now is a moment to live this truth with all of our hearts.