by Paulina Piña Garcia, CCEJ Development Assistant

(Spanish version below. Versión en español abajo.)

For many years, CCEJ has been empowering and educating youth to help them thrive in their families, school and life.  Our Restorative Youth Diversion program has kept hundreds of youth out of the juvenile justice system, and we’ve heard from many parents that our support has strengthened their families and made them more resilient to challenges.  At the end of a Restorative Justice Circle process, parents would frequently ask for additional parenting education and tools to support them and their children.

In response to this demand, CCEJ created the Raising FUTURES (Families United in Thriving & Understanding Restorative Environments) program, which offers free workshops to parents and caregivers. In April, I attended a Raising FUTURES workshop to experience the program in action.

The workshop had us address difficult and, for some, taboo subject matter as we learned strategies and communication tools for raising sexually healthy youth. I admit: this was a hard conversation. It was hard to be vulnerable and to speak about issues that make us uncomfortable. As parents, it is often instinctive to do what we’ve learned from our own parents; instead of having an open conversation about such difficult topics with our children, it’s easier to refer them to books or other adults. But what made this work so hard is also what made it so promising. It was also meaningful to build connections and a sense of community with other parents participating in the workshop. CCEJ’s facilitators were very supportive and helped myself and the other participants  challenge our own misconceptions and broaden our understanding of sexuality and gender identities in order to develop more empathetic relationships with the youth in our lives.

Beyond this particular topic, Raising FUTUREs workshops provide caregivers with tools and resources to develop trusting relationships with youth, to create communication lines with them, and to be better equipped to advocate for young people. As a parent, I have faith that this work is truly creating more just and inclusive environments for all youth.

Raising FUTUREs workshops are available in both English and Spanish and are held at various locations in Long Beach and Los Angeles. Time and location details will be provided to registered participants.

Workshop topics include:
Restorative Practices in the Home
Supporting Youth’s Healthy Coping Mechanisms
Navigating & Advocating Within Governmental Systems
Communication for Raising Sexually Healthy Youth

To register for a workshop, visit: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/RaisingFUTUREs

Por varios años, CCEJ ha estado empoderando y educando a jóvenes para ayudarlos a prosperar en sus familias, la escuela, y la vida. Nuestro programa de Desviación Restaurativa de Jóvenes ha mantenido a cientos de jóvenes fuera del sistema de justicia de menores, y hemos escuchado de los padres que nuestro apoyo ha fortalecido sus familias y las ha hecho más resistentes a retos. Al final del proceso de un Círculo de Justicia Restaurativa, padres frecuentemente pedían recursos para apoyar a ellos y a sus hijxs.

En respuesta a esta necesidad, CCEJ creó el programa Cultivando Futuros, el cual ofrece talleres gratis a padres y cuidadores. En abril, yo atendí uno de estos talleres para ver el programa en acción.

El taller nos obligó a hablar sobre temas difíciles y, para algunos, tabú mientras aprendíamos estrategias y formas de comunicación para criar jóvenes con un entendimiento sexual sano. Tengo que admitir: fue una conversación difícil. Fue difícil ser vulnerable y tener que hablar sobre cosas que nos incomodan. Como padres, es instintivo hacer lo que aprendimos de nuestros propios padres; en lugar de hablar claramente con nustros hijxs sobre estos temas difíciles , es más fácil referirlos a un libro o a otros adultos. Pero lo que hizo a esta labor tan difícil es también lo que la hizo tan prometedora.  También fue valioso crear un sentido de comunidad con otros padres en el taller. Los facilitadores de CCEJ nos dieron mucho apoyo y ayudaron a las otras participantes y a mi combatir nuestras ideas falsas y ampliar nuestro entendimiento sobre sexualidad e identidades de género para poder desarrollar relaciones más empáticas con los jóvenes en nuestras vidas.

Aparte de este tema, los talleres de Cultivando Futuros ofrecen recursos a padres y cuidadores para poder desarrollar relaciones de confianza con los jóvenes, crear líneas de comunicación, y estar equipados para abogar por ellos. Como madre, tengo fe que esta obra verdaderamente está creando ambientes más justos e inclusivos para toda la juventud.

Los talleres de Cultivando Futuros son disponibles en inglés y español y se llevan a cabo en diversas partes de Long Beach y Los Ángeles. Se proporcionarán todos los detalles a participantes registrados.

Los temas de talleres incluyen:

Prácticas restaurativas para manejar el conflicto en el hogar
Apoyar a la juventud en manejar las emociones saludablemente
Navegación de las escuelas y otros sistemas complejos
Comunicación para criar jóvenes sexualmente sanos

Para registrarse en un taller, visite https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/RaisingFUTUREs

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