Empower Youth Voices: Deliberative Democracy

As the first Nor’easter of the season rained down upon us, a cohort of Upper School students braved the limits of busy lives to connect with peers from across the nation for the Empower Youth Voices: Deliberative Democracy workshop facilitated by the Close Up Foundation in Washington, DC. A collaborative effort between Close Up and the Malone Schools Network, the six-session workshop will lead students through a series of modules designed to explore the formation of political values, teach the skills of deliberative discourse through facilitated conversations, and provide students with a framework for facilitating conversations in their own school communities. 

The registration fee for seven Waynflete students is supported by Third Thought Initiatives for Civic Engagement at Waynflete. Third Thought develops programming and opportunities for Upper School students to engage with their communities in a variety of ways that promote responsible citizenship, perspective taking, student leadership, and dialogue across a range of differences.

“The Empower Youth Voices program works in tandem with initiatives like The Can We? Project, The New England Youth Identity Summit, and the Perspective Project that we run here on campus,” says Third Thought Director John Holdridge. “All of our initiatives encourage students to engage with people and viewpoints that may be different from their own, and the Close Up workshop has similar objectives. It makes sense that we would support the attendance of a select group of student leaders with the hope that they’ll develop new skills and perspectives they can share with us. I look forward to supporting them when they prepare to facilitate conversations here on campus as their final project for the workshop.”

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