Youth Voice in Action at Arivva

Our colleagues at ConnCAT posted a great piece in their June newsletter about the importance of youth voice through after school and summer programs. Students were recently interviewed by a DC News reporter—who also happens to be a teaching artist at ConnCAT. They were invited to talk about race in America and how they view what is happening around them right now. Visit

According to the ConnCAT posting, “In a time where it is imperative to engage in conversations related to the social climate, social injustices, and mistreatment of African Americans, we find ourselves the most distant from our youth.”

Chris Knaus, UWT Professor, author of Shut Up and Listen, and friend of Arivva, asserts that at the core of community and systems transformation sits conscious youth voice necessary to navigate and resist the racism perpetuated in every aspect of society and schools. Youth must be encouraged to use their voices to transform the immediate world they live in into one where addressing social inequalities becomes the purpose of education.Even during the age of COVID-19, Arivva’s virtual capacity ceramics classes have been full to capacity. Youth voice has been active in conversations ranging from ceramic techniques and process to #BLM to students showing off their favorite pets! Troy, a high school student in the June class, commented that while he can’t wait until we can learn together in “real life” again, he’s happy to have this opportunity to connect with others online during these times. Join the conversations! Arivva’s no-cost July classes for high school youth are full, but spaces remain for our 3-week Surface Design classes in August. Watch for fall classes. Register at