Activists train future activists at the Youth Activism Gathering in April.
By Mike Reynolds for Ability Maine
the weekend of April 16-18, 2011, dozens of activists, almost
all in their teens and twenties, gathered in Turner, Maine to skill
share, network and learn from each other at the Youth Activist
Gathering held at the Turner Grange. The event was sponsored
by Resources Organizing for Social Change and this was the 11th annual
gathering. The event wasn’t completely accessible, but the site was the
only available location, and after attending the gathering, there is no
doubt organizers would have done pretty much anything reasonable to
include anyone. Indeed there were a number of people who brought tents
to camp in and many sessions were held outside so accessibility was not
a huge barrier for folks to participate.
There was a diversity
of topics covered by a wide variety of Maine-based activists. Skills
such as ‘zine making, Bow Drill Firestarting, a Burlesque workshop that
addressed issues of gender andsexuality. And that was only what was
available on Saturday! The gathering really drew upon the skill set of
local activists and the topics were so varied that the Gathering did
offer something for a teen activist to get immersed in the world of
social justice, get some great information, and make some some great
The Youth Activism Gathering has become a treasured
ritual of Spring in certain circles of Maine Activism with good reason.
It is an excellent forum for younger activists to be exposed to great
organizers, passionate advocates and some effective initiatives, or
seed the skills for one to develop their own voice of advocacy/activism.