In December, young people from around the world gathered virtually for the 2021 Global Opportunity Youth Network (GOYN) Youth Equity Summit. At this year’s event, young leaders and GOYN partners discussed how to create more structurally just and equitable livelihood and opportunity ecosystems for youth.
The GOYN is a multi-stakeholder initiative committed to creating place-based systems shifts for youth economic opportunity. YouthBuild International partnered with the Aspen Institute’s Forum for Community Solutions, Prudential Financial, Global Development Incubator, Accenture, and Catholic Relief Services to organize and facilitate the two-day virtual GOYN Youth Equity Summit.
On December 8, YouthBuild USA President and CEO John Valverde participated in a panel discussion about how GOYN global partners and allies can work together toward equity. Valverde shared insights on how YouthBuild USA collaborates with opportunity youth, YouthBuild program staff, and partners to promote equity across the globe. He also highlighted the importance of looking to young people for the solutions to global challenges.
“Young people are not just revolutionaries, they are solutionaries,” Valverde said.
The summit amplified stories of young leaders from nine GOYN communities across seven countries, including Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Senegal, Kenya, South Africa, and India. The two-day event addressed structural barriers to employment and economic opportunity, and also showed how trauma-sensitive approaches improve equity and structural justice for vulnerable communities.