In honor of International Youth Day 2018 let’s discuss the importance of safe spaces for youth political agency and participation. Safe spaces can mean formal or informal spaces in which young people feel emotionally and physically safe, and can exist without discrimination for who they are or what they believe. While these spaces are formed for a variety of reasons, creating safe civic and political spaces can help young people securely participate in political processes, interact with political institutions and engage more meaningfully with decision-makers.
Rachel E. Mims is a program officer for youth political participation at the National Democratic Institute. Rachel has 10 years of experience as a youth development professional, both domestically and internationally. Prior to NDI, she worked on programs that increased youth inclusion and promoted social justice, advocacy and education.