FARMINGTON – Young people from western Maine are convening for a new youth-led conference called “Now is Our Time.” The conference, hosted by Healthy Community Coalition of greater Franklin County and Maine Youth Action Network, is taking place on Sunday, Aug. 29, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at Kineowatha Park in Wilton.
The event, which has been planned by a group of four local young people, will provide opportunities to explore and carry out restorative practices.
Restorative practices are a useful approach for schools and communities for the prevention of potential conflicts. Maine Youth Action Network utilizes restorative practices in partnership with young people to: 1) guide participants through the work of reestablishing relationships with one another and to their school and 2) support those participants to promote inclusive changes within their communities. Rooted in indigenous community traditions and philosophies, systems like criminal justice and education institutions are utilizing restorative models as an alternative to punitive systems.
During the event, youth will engage in small group activities that will strengthen their communication skills, guide them to explore root causes of the issues they experience, and create opportunities for connection and meaning. Throughout the day, participants can also engage in games and opportunities to meet other young people who are passionate about making change in their communities.
Any young person between the ages of 10 and 18 who lives in Oxford, Franklin, and Androscoggin Counties are welcome to attend. Healthy Community Coalition and Maine Youth Action Network will also organize transportation for participants to get to and from the conference.
To register for the conference, click here or visit https://maineyouthactionnetwork.formstack.com/forms/western_conference_registration. For more information, contact to Jason Labbe at firstname.lastname@example.org.