#FSYALit: Faith, Kindness and the YA Community, by Ally Watkins
I’ve been a person of faith my entire life. I’m an adult and I choose to continue on this path. It is important to me. It is part of me. It affects and changes how I look at things. It’s hard, but it’s mine. My faith and religious belief, like the faith and religious belief of any other person, is a valid choice. And no one is allowed to tell us that it’s the wrong one. For any reason.
That’s why I’ve spent the past year of my life on this project. Statistics vary wildly, but a majority of young people identify with a religion or faith group of some kind. The entire point of this project is to show understanding of that and to try and support teens that have those beliefs. We have tried to listen to and highlight many different voices from many different faiths and the intersections of faith and sexuality, radical belief systems, race, and gender. We want to provide resources and discussion so that educators and librarians will have materials to put in the hands of kids that want to see characters that look like them and also in the hands of kids who want insight into experiences different from theirs.
I’m very, very proud of FSYA. It’s been fulfilling and exciting to see it come together. I’ve done some of the most personal writing of my life during the course of this project. But I also came into it knowing that I’m a white woman and I identify as Christian, and my privilege is vast. That’s why we want your voices.
There are 7 weeks left in 2015, and we are still open to guest posts, booklists, and suggestions. If you are a person of faith, or a former person of faith, or a person for whom the lack of faith is an active choice in your life, please consider writing something for us. Something that will show a kid with beliefs similar to yours that they aren’t weird and that there are resources for them. You don’t have to be an experienced writer. We want your views on your faith. We only ask that your post centers around or mentions some sort of YA (or MG!!) work or works in order to add to the list of resources we’ve been compiling.
If you’ve been thinking about contributing, or we’ve talked about it and haven’t nailed down a post time, please contact us. The link to our hub is here, including contact info. We want your voice. Because your faith is a part of you and is therefore important.
Filed under: #FSYALit
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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