Young Activist in this Generation
By: Emily Macias
Some people might argue that my generation “sucks” you know because we’re constantly glued to our phones rather than paying attention to bigger issues. Or because the more technology improves, the more our social skills impair. Or maybe because of the fact that Trump is president (enough said). However, I beg to differ, I think our youth consists of plenty of teens who advocate and take a stand for change. What older generations don’t take into consideration is that all that time we spend on our phones, actually makes us even more aware of the issues that are happening across the world, like climate issues, the coronavirus outbreak, shootings that happen on a day to day basis due to the NRA’s lack of stricter regulations, and the continuation of racial oppression. So with that being said, here are some teens who have taken a call for action in our generation.
Greta Thunberg- Climate Change Activist
Climate Change activist Greta Thunberg is a 17 year old Swedish activist who is determined to better the environment and our planet for future generations. Before the young activist gained international recognition, she spent her school days sitting outside of parliament for stronger action on global warming. Thungerg wanted to raise awareness on how to improve our environment, she has demonstrated one way of doing so by suggesting that individuals reduce their carbon footprint. Thunberg has also gone on several public speakings mostly calling out world leaders who are responsible for our rapidly decaying planet. Thunberg later earned the Time’s person of the year in 2019 for her activism.
Emma Gonzalez- Gun Control Activist
After the traumatic mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas high school, young activist Emma Gonzalez decided to advocate for gun control to make sure guns don’t get into the wrong hands. You might have heard of her by taking part in the student-led demonstration “March for our Lives” Where she gave a speech on preventing gun violence. Gonzalez participated on CNN’s Town Hall debate where she questions NRA (National Rifle Association) on banning fully automatic weapons. Emma continues to take a stance for gun control.
Xiye Batida – Climate Justice Activist
The 17 year old Mexican activist, Xiye Batida, suffered a terrible hurricane in San Pedro Tultepec, leaving her and her family no choice but to move to New York, and like Greta Thunberg, Xiye is committed to improving our environment. Xiye is a leader of a youth climate strike campaign called “Friday’s for Future”. The young activist wants people to acknowledge that pollution, heatwaves, wildfires, melting ice caps, floods, and hurricanes are indications that we need to enhance our deteriorating environment.
Amalda Stenberg – Social Activist
Young actress, singer, feminist and social activist, Amalda Stenberg adresses issues like racial oppression/inequality and culture appropriation that happens not only in society but in the Hollywood industry that influences our society. Amalda has shown her dedication to fight for a change in society through her activism throughout her career. Stenberg was named Ms. Magazine’s feminist of the year in 2015 and was included in Time’s list of Most Influential Teens in both 2015 and 2016. Amalda also participated in Oprah’s SuperSoul conversations at UCLA’s Royce Hall, where she speaks about the “importance of vulnerability and finding strength in your identity”. Furthermore, Amalda has also shown support for the #timesup movement which is a movement against sexual harassment.
Malala Yousafzai – Female Education Activist
Last but definitely not least, 2014’s youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner, Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani activist who advocates for female rights to education. Her activism started when she blogged about the Taliban’s influence in Pakistan. The Taliban is a political organization that banned girls education among other things like television, music and shopping. Despite the repercussions, Malala continued to blog about her experiences and demanded for girls to be allowed to receive education, which led to a Taliban gunman shooting Malala in her left eye. Thankfully, Malala survived the murder attempt. Despite their efforts to stop her activism, the Taliban only added fuel to the fire that drove Malala to continue to campaign for female’s rights to education. Malala then founded the Malala Fund along with her father that supported her activism. Malala then pursued her own education by attending Oxford college and is finishing her degree at Lady Margaret Hall.