Shakti Belway Calls Us to Re-Envision the Way We View Youth

Shakti Belway (’05), Executive Director at National Center for Youth Law, authored an article for Medium in preparation for the Ford Foundation Center for Justice’s global leader forum advocating for adopting legal frameworks that honor the rights and experiences of the young people, value their insight and center their needs (“Correcting Mistakes: Why We Must Evolve the Way We Think about Children,” May 31). “[W]e must reimagine and collectively correct the way we think about, regard, respect and interact with a critical group that is massively ‘othered’: children and youth. . . . [W]e have yet to afford children their deserved full human respect and dignity. Children and youth are a group still largely uninvited to the decision-making spaces that most impact their lives. . . . It’s only in partnership with children and youth that we’ll be able to truly achieve the more just future we all deserve.”