If we are as passionate about justice as we are about our ideas, then we need to seriously invest in and support those who are coming into this work. We have to foster new and developing leadership. We need a way to provide people who may not think of themselves as leaders or even as activists, with the right support at the right time, so that they might connect what they care most deeply about with what they are good at and what their communities need, and figure out where to place their energies around those issues for maximum impact.
This fall marks the 10th anniversary of the Next Up program (a project the CCPA proudly supports). It's a dynamic, progressive leadership program whose grads have gone on to form a network of people doing social and environmental justice work across Canada, in different levels of leadership; people who are working boldly, strategically, and with intention, at times working together to lean into larger moments of opportunity and to create moments of opportunity.
The summer 2016 issue of Our Schools/Our Selves is a celebration of new ideas and young leaders, and a tribute to the power of people and what they can change. We hope you'll read through this issue—co-edited with Next Up graduate Shea Sinnott—and feel inspired by everything this program and these young leaders have accomplished, and excited by what is still to come.
Learn more about Next Up, visit www.nextup.ca.