hairylunch (hairylunch) wrote,

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Youth activism

Interesting article about how youth got involved with the immigration protests. It's awesome to see civically engaged youth.

It's also interesting to read about how these protests helped some of these students with their cultural identity
"I've always been proud to say that I'm Hispanic," said Rafael "Ralph" Tabares, 17, a Marshall High School student and an organizer of his school's walkout. "But on Saturday, I thought: Whoa. We can do something. And we can do it right."
Tabares had some foresight though, and "even ordered classmates to put away Mexican flags they had brought to the demonstration — predicting, correctly, that the flags would be shown on the news and that the demonstrators would be criticized as nationalists for other countries, not residents seeking rights at home."

The critical role of MySpace in organizing the student walkouts in California really speaks to how the internet has changed communication. Estimates are that 40,000 students walked out throughout the week to protest the proposed reforms. The second page of the article looks at how two students used bulletins posted on Sunday afternoon to organize a walkout for 8 AM Monday morning. They had no idea how well it would work, but through the viral nature of MySpace, it spread to other schools, people stepped up to leadership roles to coordinate efforts, with a total of 1,500 students from various schools walking out and marching 10 miles. How cool is that?

Sort of ties in loosely to National Youth Service Day. Much like last year, we're seeing a lot of volunteer apathy, and no one is really excited about the event, but the real reason I'm seeing a connection is we don't have youth involvement. There has been token representation at the meetings with a few youth at one, and then some different ones at others, but there's no ownership like what's demonstrated in the above story. It's very much an AmeriCorps event, catering to youth, not a youth-driven day. Of course, meeting where we have people referring to youth as "kids" when there are teens there, and people not directly asking the teens present about their thoughts/opinions didn't help matters. (Most teens aren't going to jump in to a conversation among adults about planning a service day . . . )

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