Publications

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Youth Today: Inequality Revisited

By Karen Pittman, November 1997

Concrete towers rising like ugly dominoes out of hard-packed dirt. Lots of kids, little else. On the edge of the row, a low-rise building with landscaping, playgrounds, basketball courts. Inside, fresh paint, plants, skylights — intact equipment, matching furniture, art on the walls. Further inside, 200-plus young people playing ping-pong, working out, doing projects, chatting — enjoying the security, space and support of the center.

1997-11-01
Youth Today: Journalists, Teach Thy Selves

By Karen Pittman, July 2002

2002-07-01
Youth Today: Just Let Them Do It!

By Karen Pittman, September/October 1996

Participation. It’s a basic idea at the heart of the democratic ideal. One that we are at risk of analyzing to death. It’s not on a par with the youth violence craze, but youth participation may be the new growth industry in the field. Meetings to discuss definitions. Retreats to discuss need. Conferences to convene young people and adults to discuss practices and problems. Training for adults, youth and trainers. Is it really that hard?

1996-09-01
Youth Today: Keep on Tithing

By Karen Pittman, March 1999

55. 13. 7. A lock combination? A football play? No. These are the birth rates per 1,000 15- to 19-year-olds per the U.S., Germany and the Netherlands, brought to us by D.C.-based Advocates for Youth and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Forty public health researchers and two teenage journalists formed a study tour that visited three countries (France was also included) to explore the sociological, cultural and community factors that influence adolescent sexual behaviors.

1999-03-01
Youth Today: Keeping our Eyes on the Prize

By Karen Pittman, February 2000

The new millennium is upon us. Reflection is required. What have we accomplished over the past few decades? We have pushed the public goals for all youth from problem-management to problem-prevention to promoting development (meaning problem-free and fully prepared). We are moving more forcefully the idea that fully prepared is not enough — that young people must be fully participating. We’ve strengthened our links with the goals and strategies of our “sister” fields — early childhood development, community development, economic development and family development. Most would agree that the changes in the last 40 years of youth policy and practice have been positive and significant.

2000-02-01
Youth Today: Know Thy Neighbor's Child: Rekindling Community Responsibility for Youth Development

By Karen Pittman, May 1997

Something big has happened that, if sustained, could change the way this country thinks about, learns about and engages its young people. For three days, the Summit focused the country on its youth and on the collective responsibility individuals, neighborhoods, organizations, corporations and, yes, government has to honor its youth. The event was unprecedented — national in its reach and loud in its voice. And to be successful, the multi-year campaign, America’s Promise-the Alliance for Youth, has to be equally unique. The details are far from being worked out. But several key ideas have taken root over the past few months that, if pushed, could keep America’s Promise from becoming what many fear — a do-nothing commission, a fund-sucking intermediary, a diversion from permanent solutions. How can it become what people hope — a powerful force for change?

1997-05-01
Youth Today: Leave No Child (or Youth or Family) Behind

By Karen Pittman, March 2001

Advocates for broader supports for children, youth and families have a common focal point: President George Bush’s Tax Cut proposal1. Hailed by some surprising allies (such as economist Robert Samuelson2) as an appropriate response to ward off a “bust” by giving the wealthy some of their money back, the Tax Cut proposal has met considerable resistance from advocates, economists and even the wealthy3, as chronicled by Connect for Kids4.

2001-03-01
Youth Today: Lessons Lost

By Karen Pittman, January 1998

What is it with not-for-profit youth-serving organizations? Is it we think that because we are doing sainted work we don’t need to prove, approve or improve ourselves? Are budgets so tight that we can’t afford to know if we’re spending wisely? Staff so overworked that we can’t take the time to plan and prioritize? Lessons so obvious that they are not worth sharing?

1998-01-01
Youth Today: Let's Make Youth Work a Field

By Karen Pittman, September/October 1992

There is an unprecedented opportunity to move a national youth agenda that has development, rather than deterrence, as it’s base. Frustration with two decades of fragmented policies and programs aimed at reducing youth problems has peaked. I sense a willingness, even an eagerness, to embrace a new philosophy.

1992-09-01
Youth Today: Let’s Help Youth Who Are in Doubt and in Debt

Once again, young people are bearing the brunt of our failure to monitor effectively the institutions they go to for help. You only need to read one story about students amassing huge college debt, which some will never repay, to believe that something has to be done, now....

2011-01-20