Promoted by the County Council, Osona Youth Group is a space to encourage the active participation of young people with an inclusive vision and an intercultural perspective. The idea arose during the collaboration between the Youth Service and the Reception and Integration Service of the Osona County Council for the elaboration of the County Youth Plan. This initiative encourages young people to work together with public administration for the benefit of all young people in the region. The aim is to address difficulties with stereotypes and labels, improve coexistence and generate synergies to act in the face of possible discriminatory situations.
The group is currently made up of twelve young people between the ages of 15 and 24. They meet monthly and work on the cohesion of the group, the recognition of diversity and the promotion of small actions that may have an impact at the county level.
It is an open group - any young person can join it. The group aims to become a space for participation and work of its own, independent of the administration, with the capacity to contribute and influence the policies regarding youth.
How does it work?
The Osona regional government wanted to develop the Regional Youth Plan based on the timely participation of a group of young people. Youth workers decided to create a working group with an intersectional vision to give the plan an inclusive look. The group was formed and started to participate in the Regional Youth Plan and continues to collaborate in the development of public youth policies.
They organize seminars and workshops about antiracism, LGBTQ+ movement with some leisure time and non-formal activities that they propose. In the future, they want to work on creating a group independent of the administration. The consolidation of this group will give young people in the region the opportunity to be able to act with their own voice to create new youth policies.
- Video about Osona Diverse Group
- Device for showing a video
- Flipchart paper
- Participants analyse how differences in privilege are reflected in decision making in their groups.
- Participants increase self knowledge.
- Participants identify the role that they have within their class/ group.
- Participants analyse their influence/position within the group.
- Participants create ideas on how they can ensure more equal participation in their group.
1. Introduction (5 min.)
Tell participants that today you will discuss how different people in a group can have different positions that reflect their privilege. You will try to find solutions to these issues in your group.
Have the group come up with a few examples where different positions reflect privilege in society.
2. Video (15 min.)
Tell participants that you will watch a video about Osona Diverse Group. This group includes people from different backgrounds. Together they discuss important topics and can give their suggestions to the City Council of Osona.
After watching the video, say that inspired by this group, you will together talk about how you can ensure that people of different backgrounds can have equal opportunities in your group/class.
3. Our group (30 min.)
Divide participants into smaller groups. Give each group a set of questions:
- What are the aims of our group?
- What are the benefits that we get from being together?
- Do we see any obstacles for participating actively in the group? If so, what are they?
If participants have issues with understanding questions/coming up with ideas, you can give them more detailed questions:
- Aims of the group (what do you do together: learn? take action? discuss topics?)
- Benefits (what is most important in this group for you? how do you know that time in this group is not wasted?)
- Obstacles (does every person participate equally in our activities? If not, why? Maybe age difference, language barriers, personality differences?).
Summarise the answers in the group. If people have different perspectives, you can say that the next exercise can help them understand the root of it.
4. Take a step forward (40 min.)
Tell participants that now they will receive a description of a “fake identity”. Their task is to analyse it and imagine they are this person. Give them printed descriptions (1 per person). If there are more people, many people can receive the same description [Appendix 1]. Give participants a few minutes to read and analyse their descriptions.
Ask participants to stand next to each other in a line. You will read them sentences [Appendix 2]- if the sentence is reflecting the person in their “fake identity”, they should step forward. Say that if they are not sure about whether they should take a step, they should decide however they think their “fake personality” would feel.
After you read the last sentence, ask people that have made it to first place in this “race” to look back.
Say that even though the personalities were not real, they reflect how people in different groups (including yours) have different starting points in life. The differences between participants show that it is not enough to give everybody equal rights to participate, we need to give them equal opportunities as well.
Ask participants to come back to their seats and ask them:
- How did you feel after the “race” was over?
- How did you feel seeing different positions people were standing on at the end?
- Would you like to make a change, to give people in your group equal opportunities? Say that their next task will be creating solutions for possible inequalities in their group.
5. Solutions for our group (1 hour)
Divide participants into pairs. Tell them to answer the following two questions:
- What rules can we make in our group that would provide equal opportunities for every member?
- What solutions would we propose to give every person equal opportunity to speak their mind and make decisions with us?
If participants have problems with creating solutions, you can give them categories to choose from:
- language barriers
- access to the internet and digital tools
- background in low-income families
- different ethnic backgrounds
- sexual minorities
- gender inequalities
- Introverts / extroverts
After 15 minutes of working in pairs, ask participants to create small groups (6-8 people) and discuss their solutions. Give groups 15 minutes for exchanging their ideas. After that time ask each group to read their ideas.
Ask if everybody agrees with all ideas. If not, give participants an opportunity to exchange their thoughts. Together create an “Equal Opportunities Act” on a flipchart or online. Write down all the rules and solutions that the group created.
6. Summary (15 min.)
Congratulate all the participants on their hard work. Ask students to take a paper and a pen and finish following sentences:
- The most important thing I have learned today is that…
- I am happy that we…
- I wonder…
Tell participants that from now, you will together be responsible for making sure every person in your group has the same opportunities.