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Youth Global Heritage and Shifting Identities in the 21st Century

Youth project moduleSeeking to help youth develop a stronger sense of identity, personal growth, and new forms of consciousness.

Youth, Global Heritage and Shifting Identities in the 21st Century seeks to create a strong relationship between youth and the preservation of global heritage. One of the most serious problems facing the world is the rapid disappearance of global heritage, in its cultural, natural and intangible forms.

This multi-year project addresses two critical challenges of the 21st century. One is the increasing need for youth around the world to better understand their place and role in a rapidly changing world. This task has been made more difficult by increased transnational migration which often undermines linkages to the cultures in which they were born. The other is the threat to our global heritage – cultural, natural and intangible – which is essential to provide a solid foundation for diverse cultural identities. Although they will inherit these challenges, youth are not being prepared for stewardship of the world’s heritage.

The theme of global heritage will provide the critical link to promoting a more well-formed civic identity – both local and global – to develop empathy and respect for cultures other than their own, and enhance youth leadership skills. The object is to help youth develop a stronger sense of identity, personal growth, and new forms of consciousness of a critical component of human society which is not receiving the proper attention. It also seeks to undermine the attraction of some youth to extremist ideologies.

Through a partnership between the Cultural Heritage and Preservation Studies Program (CHAPS), Department of Art History, and the MA Program in Political Science - United Nations and Global Policy Studies, Rutgers University, the project will create an international network of youth groups in the US and abroad. It will promote an understanding of the value of global heritage through curriculum development, student projects in universities and secondary schools, and cross-cultural contact and activities between student groups.

A website – Youth 4 Global Heritage - will educate youth about the growing number of threats facing global heritage and the urgent need to safeguard it for the future. The website will include curricula, an interactive, virtual reality educational module to be used in global heritage education, and group projects.

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