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We Want Change: Why Our Activism Shouldn’t Surprise You

Generation Z was born into an era of disruption and escalating change and has tools to easily amplify messages and organize resources. We see Gen Z’s all over the world mobilizing and making their voices heard.

“We want change!” chanted Boca West High School Students as they walked out of school in solidarity with their fellow students. (Photo: WPTV)

In the aftermath of the horrific shooting at Marjory Douglas Stoneman High School, Gen Z’s all over the world are mobilizing and making our voice and opinions heard. We have been given a platform, and the world is starting to pay attention to what today’s youth are saying.

Born Into an Era of Disruption

We are synonymous with change. We are synonymous with disruption. Because that’s the world we were born into: technological advancements, terrorism, climate change, recessions, and mass shootings. We see how things were done in the past and the results, and we firmly believe that we can put our heads together and become the generation that cleans up the mess.

Without question, one of the key things that shapes Gen Z is school shootings. Sandy Hook and Parkland, among many others, are major historical events for us. I was 10 years old when Sandy Hook happened. And in these times of crises, when the country seems as divided as ever, we shake our heads at the adults running things and are NOW taking our turn to make change. “We are going to make change and we need him to do that. I’m here for those who can’t be here because I know if they were, if they could, they would be,” comments Sam Zeif, a survivor of the Parkland shooting, during an interview on the message he wanted to share at a listening session at the White House.

Digitally Connected Activists

We are digitally savvy and have access to platforms that can reach millions instantaneously, like Twitter, YouTube, and Snapchat, that no generation before us had at their age. We have the ability to make the world listen to what we have to say! And we are using, and will continue to use, those tools and platforms to our advantage. Conversations about moving the legal voting age to 16 have arose. Marches, lie-ins, and walkouts have been organized by teens and young adults.

A Generation of Heroez

We are a generation filled with social justice warriors, civic leaders, and changemakers. Past crises and current events shape us. Digital platforms amplify our messages. Pop culture hero storylines surround us. Taken together forms a “heroez” mentality for many in my generation. And like the young adults and teens of the ‘60s and early ‘70s protesting the Vietnam War and fighting for civil rights, women’s rights, and environmental protections, we are going to leave our mark on this world. Just watch.

Download our white paper on Generation Z, Ready or Not, Here Comes Z, for key findings from our global survey, further analysis on what shaped this generation, and the six characteristics that define their different strengths, values, and attitudes.


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