Older people should give space to young people and respect and support them as equal partners in change.  

Young people can take space and take charge even and especially  in places where they historically have been left out.

When conflicts arise between older and younger folks, openness and respect are paramount for all involved. In particular, older folks should examine their attitudes and actions for ageist assumptions, such as a belief that they are right because of having general “experience” (distinct from particular expertises, which anyone, younger or older, can have and which should be respected).  

Younger folks should encourage older folks in breaking down their internalized prejudices with compassion and not hesitate to correct problematic language or behaviors.  

Avoid using words like “kids” and “children” when referring to non-adult people as a whole, as some find them belittling.  Try “youth” or “young people” instead.  

Avoid romanticizing youth, such as thinking of it as a time of “innocence” or of being “carefree.”

Youth should not be sexualized or sexually exploited, by older people or by other youth. Youth should be empowered to make informed choices about their own bodies, to explore their identities and self-presentation such as in relation to gender and sexuality, and to independently seek and receive support and care in regards to body, identity, and relationships.  

Avoid equating “young people” with “students.” Some young people are not in school, perhaps instead unschooling or working a full-time job, and some older people are enrolled in educational institutions. All of us, however, are forever learners, always striving to grow into more socially aware, critically and creatively thinking persons.  

Ageism intersects with other forms of systemic oppression such as racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, classism, and xenophobia. Young people can be black, brown, & indigenous people of color (BIPOC), young people can be LGBTQIA, young people can be of various genders and of no gender, young people can be disabled, young people can be pregnant, young people can be poor, young people can be immigrants and migrants — just like older people. When we fight against ageism, we also commit to fight against oppression in general, for youth can only be fully liberated when ALL people(s) are liberated. 

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