WEEK 6: Talking and Fundraising

Toby C -

Hi everyone!

Slow week! My main two highlights were the intergenerational roundtable and The Launch Pad’s Share the Love fundraiser.

The roundtable that I hosted in collaboration with Prescott Indivisible and The Launch Pad was very successful. At its core, it was just 4 teens and roughly 8 adults talked about political issues over lunch. The format of the discussion was that the teens would select a question for the older folks to answer, and each of them had 2 minutes to speak. Then the adults would choose a question for the youth to answer, each of whom had 2 minutes to speak, and so forth. This moderation allowed us to get several perspectives on different topics. Safety in schools, the housing crisis that our generation will likely inherit, and the Pledge of Allegiance were all covered, and excellent points were made. Especially from the older generation, several of them grew up during the Civil Rights Movement, the Cold War when the Pledge was changed, and Vietnam. One difference that really stood out to me was regarding education – communal connection as it relates to education and critical thinking seems to have shifted drastically, not just because of social media, but because of the way school is approached as a whole. To the older generation, even public schools felt closer to a family, whereas for us, school has become more of an impersonal institution.

Intergenerational Roundtable

The older generation certainly has a lot of wisdom to impart, and the youth have a unique perspective to share. Because of that, it looks like we may be hosting future roundtables, so I hope to have a more balanced age demographic – potentially 3 younger folks, and 3 older folks, or even 1-2 from each generation. I think that this would create a stronger dialogue where it feels like they can exchange discourse freely without the guardrails that we needed this time to ensure that everyone is heard. I’d prefer a debate style format, because I think it does a better job at contrasting the different ideas set forth by each generation, and gives the opportunity to build on top of each other. In the meantime, I’ll be working on editing the recorded footage from this roundtable, with the hopes of publishing it online – I’ll make the link available here once it’s been released!

Organizers and Guests of the roundtable.

The only other event of note this week was Share the Love! It’s The Launch Pad’s flagship fundraiser of the year, and it was exciting to see the chatter of hundreds of guests, the upbeat donation auction, and the emotional weight of seeing how far the teen center has come after 10 years. I was there as a volunteer, and gave out flyers for our Better Together civil discourse program, and it gave me an excuse to approach the guests and start a conversation; an excellent cold-calling/approach exercise. In my past interviews with political candidates who started their campaigns from the ground up, one thing they’ve all had in common is that they attend a lot of community events where they have to go up and introduce themselves. As someone terrible with faces and even worse with names, STL really put my memory to the test. It was a lively and successful night, and I’m grateful to have been a part of it!

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    It was a joy to be part of the roundtable conversation! I hope to see more of it in the future. How can we bring more teens to these roundtable discussions?
    What exactly is the purpose of Share The Love? Is it meant to bring awareness to what the launchpad is currently doing or to bring the community closer together?
    Toby Chang
    STL is The Launch Pad's biggest fundraiser towards their after school programs, student meals, and other initiatives. Since it was our 10 year anniversary, we got to reflect on where the teen center came from and where we hope to go! It was lovely interacting with all the community members there.
    Toby Chang
    With people getting on/off spring break, that weekend was just a bad time for students. I hope there's a more diverse age demographic next time; thank you so much for joining, Lena!
    Yajaira Garcia
    That seems very fun! Is there something else you would change for the roundtable? How are you spreading the word about the roundtable?

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