Youth – Led Facilitation
September 16, 2015
Facilitators: SMART Youth!

SMART youth reviewed the Agenda and introduced themselves.
The SMART team works on advocacy, organizing, and invests in high school youth who have been working on language justice and education reform in DC.
They began the skillshare with a Name Exercise. Everyone wrote their name on a piece of paper and then shared the meaning of the name. If participant didn’t know the meaning of their name, they shared what their name meant to them.

The Agenda for the meeting included:

1) Introduction
 Name Game
2) Agreements
3) Creating a safe space/meetings
 Worst Case Scenario
 Do’s & Don’ts
4) Facilitating Youth-Led Movements
 4 Corners Activity
5) Closing
 Summary
 One word take away

• One mic
• Be respectful (respectfully disagreeing, ask questions, respecting pronouns)
• Confidentiality
• “I” perspective
• Step up step back
• Listen to what the person says and what the person says stays here. Assume good intentions
• Have fun
• Safe Space
• No judging
• Stay on task
• Don’t be on your phone
• Individuals can add agreements throughout the training
• Assume good intention when people make comments /pan
After agreements, everyone was broken into 4 groups. The groups were determined by the different color index cards that were attached to the back of the chair for each participant. A handout was given with the scenario of youth attending a poorly led/ facilitated workshop.
Some Do’s and Don’t for best practices regarding youth spaces

1) Safe space 
3) Welcoming members 
5) Pay attention to the quiet ones 
7) Providing agenda goals outcomes
9) Friendly signs in different languages
10) Know your audience
11) Providing translation and interpretation
12) Opportunities for feedback and interactions
13) Validate and appreciate others’ opinions


1) No classroom-like set up
2) Don’t be passive during the training. Step Up if something isn’t going well
3) Don’t pity others

Other general feedback for the worst case scenario –
1) No one-on-one follow- up
2) Signs in other languages
3) Late start - “cool kid effect”
4) No insider knowledge
5) Not everyone was included
6) No inclusion among the other students
7) Discourage from ELL students to attend
8) No follow-up with information on rights or allowing for individuals to hold them accountable
9) No purpose
10) Agenda
11) Good Intention
12) Identify others like the ELL students

Facilitating – Youth Let Spaces – 4 Corners Activity
The activity looked at what are good practices regarding making an agenda, facilitating a space, activities, and follow-up. During the 4 corners activity, there was movement in the room. The four corners included agendas, activities, follow-up, communication and follow-up.
AGENDAS – best practices:
1) Time sequences
2) Building in breaks
3) Responsive to the audience (meet their needs)
 Contingency plans (options)
4) Different learning styles
5) Going over ground rules
6) Structure
7) Introduction
8) Content
9) Always have agenda accessible (either passed out to all or large)
10) Small groups
11) Realistic agenda – not too much and not too little
12) Goals
13) Intentional about who facilitators are
14) Evaluate agenda post-meeting (adaptable)

ACTIVITIES: best practices
1) Introduction
2) Four corners writing ideas
3) Ice breakers
4) Telling stories
5) A collective closing activities
6) Trust building
7) Interactive role-playing
8) Appeal to different learning styles
9) Fishbowls
10) Reflection time (writing, verbal, visual)
11) Food!
12) Humor
13) Group expectations
14) Low-barrier mandatory sharing opportunities

COMMUNICATION: best practices
15) Interpretation and translation (flyers + meeting)
16) Clear signs
17) Sign up sheets
18) Meeting goal clears
19) Space for everyone to speak
20) Different voices
21) Flyers (visual aids)
22) Social media
23) Adjusting energy levels (matching)
24) Be transparent about changes
25) Welcoming and clear start
26) Implementing feedback from evaluations
27) Observing the audience to keep talks energized
28) Giving equal attention
29) Repetition by participants
30) Role play! Organize conversations

FOLLOW UP: best practices
1) Contact info, best way, and time of contacting them
2) Tell time of next meeting and location
3) Summarize/minutes (send out notes)
4) Schedule a one-on-on meeting on the spot with new people
5) Opportunity for feedback
6) Collect evaluations/feedback
 Group one-on-one feedback
7) Provide info on ways to follow-up
 Websites, resources, contact info
8) Ways to stay connected
9) More meetings
10) Making retention by making it simple to get involved


Other Questions:

1) How do you do facilitation w/youth? SMART rotates facilitators and leaders. All of SMART youth have gone through an intensive summer organizing institute. Every single summer they learn and mostly build out of their team.

2) FOR Smart, they always have an agenda, and they show members that they are going to plan on doing things.
- Have food and music
- Have a goal
- Have activities that match the goal
- Affirm people when they share hard things
- Do a conclusion at the end of the meeting summarizing points
- Let youth lead
- Youth are nice!
- Importance of youth-led spaces
- Attention to interest/engagement
- Follow-up
- How many different types of skills does one need for facilitating the space
- Having multiple facilitators
- Youth Leadership
- Respecting Time/energy for youth
- Moving around and being active in h space
- You don't have to be old to be wise
- Show v. rather than tell
- Courage to lead other

Contact Information:
- MLOV -
3166 Mt Pleasant St NW, Washington, DC 20010
(202) 621-0001

- Contact Sapna Pandya – Executive Director –
- Contact Maria Baltuano – Education Organizer –