The PlayGarden is committed to elevating youth voices and empowering youth with the skills they need to be confident, compassionate and social-justice oriented leaders in our community.
Our goal is to grow a network of vibrant young leaders who are committed to creating a greater sense of belonging, empowerment, solidarity for youth with and without disabilities, across diverse racial, cultural and socio-economic backgrounds in King County.
Context: We know that when young people are given opportunities for leadership, they can become incredible catalysts for change in our communities. We support their efforts as our nation, and the world, grapples with identifying and dismantling longstanding systems of inequity.
Through youth leadership development, ongoing mentorship and support of our Youth Leadership program the PlayGarden seeks to…
“We are diverse youth that Move in Solidarity across race, culture & issue to align, build, heal, dream & organize for transformative change.”
In January 2022, the PlayGarden was invited to join 10 other youth-serving organizations in the participation of a youth-led Moving in Solidarity Coalition supported by Seattle & King County Public Health, Communities of Opportunity grants. The PlayGarden recruited four young adults to participate-
Leiney Gamache, Annie Jones, Josie Barker and Ella Mae MacPherson-George
One of the first projects the council participated in was participating in the youth-led Moving in Solidarity Coalition supported by Seattle & King County Public Health, Communities of Opportunity grants. In this coalition, the youth worked together with other youth ages 14-24 from 10 different organizations across king county.
Together the youth dove deep into conversations and embodied social justice activities that helped them express the unique experiences that have shaped their lives, the ways in which systemic inequities and oppression has impacted them, and through that found countless moments of belonging, connection & understanding and community.
As part of the Moving in Solidarity Coalition work, our youth leaders were asked to identify 2-3 countywide policies that create barriers perpetuating racism/ableism or other inequities. As young adults themselves, our youth chose to focus on identifying county wide policies that impact young adults with disabilities. Leiney Gamache and Annie Jones wrote a series of posts that will go our on social media platforms to educate our community about these policies, the barriers they create for people with disabilities and WHY those policies need to be changed, like yesterday.
For me, Teen Night at the Playgarden was an exciting opportunity to create a social event for young adults to exercise independence and socialize with one another. Being part of the group who made Teen Night happen was extremely rewarding and such a fun experience!
Being together in a group just to hang out with one another after COVID just doesn’t happen in 2022. We need time together.
We asked a group of teens and young adults this question. This is what they said…
Youth have so much to say and so much knowledge. I believe their voices come from a place of wanting genuine healthy change as opposed to a place of power and wanting control.
Preschooler or Camper
Community Change Maker!