This morning I was invited to facilitate a live online discussion for Partners for Youth Empowerment’s Third Thursday Assembly “ the facebook group where creative youth workers, arts facilitators and social artists come together once a month to swap ideas, collaborate and find inspiration. An international network that welcomes contributions and participants from around the world.”
We discussed strategies for creating safe, equitable and inclusive group spaces. The conversation got really ‘juicy’ and was filled with insights, challenges and resource sharing. It felt like we could have gone on all day sharing and exploring this broad and important topic.
One thing that is clear to me (and is central to PYE’s Creative Community Model) is that when we truly create safe space, we create an even greater invitation to step into that enlivened space of creative risk, making space for others to truly step into their power and tap into the experience of what it can feel like to co-create in a healthy, equitable and inclusive community. Simultaneously, on the flip side, as facilitators we also need to feel safe to play outside our comfort zones to really grow in this work and achieve our big dreams of inclusivity and social change.
Leaving me to reflect on words of David Bowie.
“If you feel safe in the area you’re working in, you’re not working in the right area. Always go a little further into the water than you feel you’re capable of being in. Go a little bit out of your depth. And when you don’t feel that your feet are quite touching the bottom, you’re just about in the right place to do something exciting.”