In the past, many millennials were disconnected from the democratic process and had no desire to become involved. So what has changed? Nothing has instigated more activism in young generations than wanting to make an impact with their lives. Many millennials have become more and more engaged in the political process and frequently voice their opinions and successfully launched protests/campaigns to register more voters and raise awareness for critical issues. Politics are not solely for older generations. Elected officials represent a wide range of demographics including race, sexual orientation, and age. Over the past decade, an increasing number of youthful voters seemed to come out of the woodwork and are making positive impacts for their generation and those to come.
A common misconception in today’s world is that the youth have no power over the decisions of their government. The next time you see a protest or a movement occurring take a look at the crowd; today you’re just as likely to see younger generations participating as you are the older. Many social movements focusing on race, gender, sexual orientation, and religion are often pioneered and run by younger generations. The #MeToo movement, Black Lives Matter, and the Trans awareness/equality movements have all been catapulted into the limelight by America’s youth. But how has incorporating activism into their lives positively impacted their generation? Here are just a few reasons.
A Sense of Purpose
As social media takes more precedence over traditional socialization more significant numbers of teens and young adults can have their voices heard on a grand scale. Human nature needs connectivity and belonging. By participating and even facilitating social, civic, or political change and awareness young adults can feel as though they are doing something worthy and meaningful.
Develop Leadership Skills
Activism is a field where all types of skills are needed from planning to leadership roles. By participating, youths can develop and enhance skills, such as critical thinking, communication, etc. they have the opportunity to do so in a real-world setting with real-world impacts. These earned and enhanced skills can later assist them with job interviews and be an essential aspect of their professional skill set.
The younger generations today are much more prone to becoming involved in cause-related activism. Studies have shown that being politically and civically active during youth more often than not translates to continued involvement throughout adulthood as compared to those who did not participate in any activism. Whether it be by continuing to engage in causes they believe in or merely voting more often; these habits are frequently maintained throughout adult life.
The United State’s government was created to serve the entire population not just a small portion. By having all age groups and people from all walks of life become activists governments can become more diverse and representative of their people. The more the youth speaks up about topics that are important to them and adults may be blind to, the more a country can make positive change and move forward.