What’s the Rhetoric?

“Youth” is a recurring theme on the Latin American Youth Center’s social media posts-for obvious reasons.  The LAYC is the safe haven for the youth to showcase their talents and to prepare to make the changes to progress towards a more democratic government in the United States.  I conclude this from an article on the website called, “Inauguration Day at LAYC is to ‘Dream about a Better World'”.  This article caught my attention specifically because I empathize with how this specific marginalized community would be further marginalized under the Trump regime.  This article was a description of the fact that the LAYC would be open on Inauguration Day.  “While the LAYC’s staff has decided to host this space, the program during the day will be held by youth in LAYC programs…We look forward to building our youth’s voices and their critical thinking skills about the days to come.”   Seeing this in the article reminds me that there are still non-profit organization not only doing the work for the attention and reputation.

In my opinion, the LAYC fits into Ryder’s Matrix on in “For the People” and “By the People”.  Considering “For the People”, this event on Inauguration Day was a collectivist effort to provide a comfortable space for a marginalized community on a traumatic day in U.S. history.  The students and staff wanted to ensure that the threatened and scared families would be emotionally taken care of.  Regarding “By the People”, the students running the program hosted an open mic from 1:00 pm until 2:00 pm with spoken word.  Usually through spoken word, the speaker activates the emotional reasoning of the audience.  After analyzing these two aspects, I would place the LAYC in the front left of Ryder’s Matrix.  I can also relate the LAYC’s style of programming to the George Lakoff reading, categorizing it as the “Nurturing Parent” style of political discourse rather than the “Strict Father”.  Operating with the acceptance of diverse mindsets, the discipline at the LAYC is based on mutual respect and emotional reliance.  There is an empathetic way of going about caring for the community, not believing that these kids would be inherently naughty and deserving of punishment.

Personally, I can relate to the “Nurturing Parent” approach more, as I grew up under the “Strict Father” approach, which ended up straining my relationships with my nuclear family.  I appreciate how this organization uplifts the voices of the students rather than overshadowing or hindering their voices and allows the students to forge their own paths to their future and the future of our global society, providing the resources for those lacking sufficient support but showing a profound amount of potential.  I am proud to be volunteering at an organization that operates the way the LAYC does, embracing love as the foundation of empowerment.