Bioneers Program Launch of Telling Our Stories: Re-Envisioning the Future

Bioneers and Mycelium Youth Network are offering a series of storytelling workshops for frontline youth called Telling Our Stories: Re-Envisioning the Future in the spring of 2021. Over the course of four months, youth from across the country will share their stories of resilience, resistance, regeneration and sovereignty. Skilled advisors will virtually support youth in creating pieces in the mediums of writing, video, podcasts, and social media that will be published to Bioneers, MYN and other environmental justice media outlets. This is an opportunity for youth to document what they see taking place in their communities and learn about parallel experiences of youth in different parts of the country. Youth will be given a stipend for each story they create in recognition of their labor, which sends a message that their voice is valued and deserves to be a part of our collective vision for a better future.

Bioneers aims to skill up future generations to use different forms of storytelling to amplify their work in environmental and social justice. This program connects youth working in their local communities into the network of activists, solutionaries and change makers that make up the Bioneers ecosystem.

Young people need more spaces where they feel supported, connected, and valued, perhaps now more than ever. Youth are facing a world with increasing fragmentation, instability and uncertainty.

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YOUTH PARTNER SITES

Telling Our Stories will specifically support youth in middle school and high school from the Navajo Reservation, Colorado, Kentucky and the Bay Area in addition to at least one other site in a different part of the country.

For this program, Mycelium Youth Network (MYN) is partnering with youth in the Bay Area from Mission High School, Leadership Academy and Met West High School. MYN uses a merger of indigenous environmental traditions that emphasize youth environmental stewardship and relationship building alongside a rigorous STEAM curriculum that focuses on practical hands-on skills for climate resilience and mitigation that youth create and implement in their homes and local communities.

Rez Refuge is youth leadership organization and a long time partner of Bioneers on Navajo Reservation that builds a community, welcome to all, with opportunities for young Navajo people to grow in reflection, cultural identity, work, and critical thinking.

The Earth and Spirit Center is a nonprofit, interfaith spirituality center devoted to teaching contemplative practices like mindfulness, meditation, and deep connection to the natural world in Louisville, KY. The Environmental Justice and Deep Ecology paid internship program out of the Center invites high school students from across the Louisville community to explore the intersection of environmental justice and spiritual ecology through a semester-long collaborative project to create videos that amplify their own voices and others in the community that are working towards a more just and sustainable future.

Telling Our Stories will be a safe container for frontline youth to learn concrete storytelling skills with peers across the country and culturally-representative mentors. Through out the program, youth will be supported to cultivate a deeper understanding of their own values, identities and capabilities while building relationships cross-culturally and understanding social issues as both intersectional and personal.

Youth actions for liberation become more interdependent and inclusive when youth have the emotional resilience, support system and platform to share their voice.

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