Learning Series Overview

The Aspen Forum for Community Solutions is pleased to invite you to the launch of our Opportunity Youth Forum (OYF) Virtual Learning Series 2021: Addressing Structural Racism in Place to Improve Outcomes for Opportunity Youth.

The series will focus on structural racism, the systems that touch opportunity youth and the interventions that best support youth and young adults to achieve their goals, including advancing meaning-making, fostering belonging and deepening healing practices. The first session in the series will take place on Thursday, May 27, 2021 from 12:00-4:00pm EST. We have designed a robust agenda for the learning series grounded in Arnold Chandler’s structural racism framework. The learning series will include monthly sessions and will be our main way of advancing learning, sharing practices, uplifting community narratives, and bringing the network together around issues critical to our work, since we cannot yet physically convene safely in 2021.

Over this summer, our learning sessions will look at key systems that touch opportunity youth, including: (i) re-engagement, (ii) postsecondary, and (iii) the workforce, with the structural racism and place-based lens, while lifting up strategies, practices, and tools from across the OYF network and partners. Later this year, we look forward to hosting special deep dive practicums with Arnold for the site leads and funders. Furthermore, we will have additional learning sessions focusing on healing, juvenile justice, and other key systems.


  1. Frame addressing structural racism and barriers as a foundational strategy that communities are using to improve outcomes for OY
  2. Explore in an intentional way the systems that touch the lives of OY – secondary, postsecondary, workforce – along with other intersecting systems including juvenile justice, healing, etc.
  3. Hold a focus on specific individual systems while asking communities to hold an ecosystem frame even as they think about unique strategies to improve specific systems
  4. Begin to think about programmatic outcomes in tandem with system change efforts (meaning-making, fostering belonging)
  5. Understand the historical policies that lead to the inequities that young people face, grounded in data, narrative, and centering the voices of youth.


To help prepare for the learning series, please find below the video recording from our OYF 2020 Virtual Convening Plenary Session: Advancing Racial Equity & Justice: Understanding the History of BIPOC in the Current Context where Arnold Chandler, principal and co-founder of Forward Change Consulting, featured his research on the history of racism and discrimination against Black and Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC):