Check Your Head: the Youth Global Education Network (CYH) is a youth-driven not-for-profit organization founded in 1999 and based in Vancouver, British Columbia, on unceeded Coast Salish territories.
Our mission is to educate, activate and empower young people to engage in social, environmental and economic justice movements and to create a more equitable, democratic and sustainable future.
We provide education, resources, training and support for youth to live as engaged, independent and active citizens within our local and global communities. Our main activities include workshops, training, supporting youth-led actions, and engaging youth volunteers.
Our peer-led popular education workshops provide participants with a greater understanding of key issues facing our society and planet, empowering youth to link global issues to local realities. In almost two decades of educating, engaging and empowering youth, we have facilitated over 2,400 workshops and worked with over 70,000 young people in the Lower Mainland and throughout B.C.
All of Check Your Head’s work aims to create opportunities for young people to develop critical analysis, hope and tools for action on issues such as democracy, poverty and inequality, climate change, food sovereignty, gender equity and more.
Youth are leading and active in social, economic and environmental justice movements.
OUR VALUE FRAMEWORK
We strive to learn and grow through our work, approaching our youth engagement and education through an Anti-Oppression framework. We facilitate the examination of institutional structures and cultural narratives that reinforce and maintain power imbalances at all levels. We aim to take an intersectional approach to our work, examining how power impacts and intersects with race, abilities, gender, sexuality, class, citizenship status, and ongoing colonialism in our lived experiences, relationships, communities, environments and societies.
We recognize that ‘Anti-Oppression’ is a broad framework that is inclusive of many different perspectives, values, and principles. We are committed to working in solidarity and allyship with individuals, organizations, and communities striving for environmental, social, and economic justice.
We thank our partners and allies (listed below), for allowing us to use their wisdom and helping us define these principles in relation to our work.
- Accessible: We strive to be accessible in our work by meeting the access needs of community members, removing or reducing barriers to services and opportunities, and promoting equity, dignity, and respect. (1)
- Intersectional: We strive to be intentional in understanding and highlighting that inequities are never the result of single, distinct factors. Rather, they result from the intersections of different social locations, power relations and experiences. (2)
- Peer-Based: We work to create groups where leadership is a shared responsibility and all members are valued equally. Group members are the decision-makers and they work together to provide direction. (3)
- Youth-Driven: We work to build opportunities, programs, initiatives where youth lead planning, decision-making, facilitation, reflection, and evaluation on issues that matter to them, using actions and methods of their choice. (4)
- Action-Oriented: We are committed to bridging knowledge with consistent and conscious actions that work towards systemic change. (5)
- Popular Education-Based: We strive to facilitate learning opportunities where youth educate one another, acknowledge power and hierarchy, and organize together for social change. (6)
- Adapted from SPARC BC’s “Making Space for Everyone”
- Adapted from The Institute for Intersectionality Research & Policy, SFU “Intersectionality 101”
- Adapted from Peernet BC “About Us”
- Adapted from the Freechild Project “Youth Action Project “
- Adapted from The Centre for Story Based Strategy “Anti-Oppression Principles”
- Adapted from the Girls Action Foundation “What is Popular Education”