Gen Z 100: Awareness and Movements
January 13, 2020
- March for Our Lives and Student Activism (Myriam Alcala)
This decade was cascaded with the loss of many lives in mass shootings; however, it has also been the rise of student activism. After 17 were left dead in Parkland, students began to speak up against the gun violence. “Enough” and “Never Again” flooded the internet as David Hogg and other survivors began the movement now known as March For Our Lives. This was the first national student lead movement that not only changed legislation in Florida but all around the nation. As 2020 approaches, MFOL continues its efforts to pass legislation and protect the youth.
- Generation Lockdown (Joslyn Bowman)
As much as it isn’t something that we want to be defined by, we’re Generation Lockdown. Ever since the Sandy Hook tragedy in 2012, there have been 2,322 mass shootings in America to this day. Before our time, the biggest worries were fires—we didn’t have to be prepared if someone enters the school with a weapon. Ever since the age of four, we’ve had to practice duck and cover positions, we’ve been told to be quiet when we need to, and we’ve had to deal with being scared to go to school. We are generation lockdown.
- Mental Illness (Serenity Monroe)
While Gen Z has been more proactive and mature, we’ve also struggled mentally. Our young people are more likely to report mental issues than any other generation. While there are many causes for it and dangers for us, we have strived to recover. 91% of the Gen Z community reported a physical or emotional symptom due to stress and mental illness in the past year. While we struggle with the hundreds of illnesses, we push through to give us hope that we can get better. It will get better.
- Advocating (Stephanie Pickens)
This new era has sparked a spirit for speaking up about things that need to be addressed and talked about. From gun safety and freedom of expression to civil rights and justice, younger generations have done their part to inform those who do not know, those who are wanting to learn, or those who simply will refuse to listen. Social media platforms have made it easy to start the conversation immediately. Major movements like the Women’s March or climate change formed, as well as Black Lives Matter to protest against police brutality. Other minority groups have also spoken up to refute Trump’s constant antagonization and assumptions of them.
- Black Lives Matter (Salmata Soulemane)
The Black Lives Matter movement is significant to our generation because it started at our generation, innocent black lives of our generation were being targeted and being taken away. The movement was made to show those of higher power and privilege that we are equal to them, and black lives matter just as much as theirs do. The movement has struck social change and hunger for justice in the system and justice for people of color.
- You Matter by Demetrius Harmon (Salmata Soulemane)
The You Matter movement is significant because of when it started, our generation, or decade. It started abruptly from the famous Viner Demetrius Harmon. The fact that he was a popular figure who struggled with mental health, boosted his movement of clothing “You Matter” and his voice for the voiceless. This movement has made such an impact on those who put up a guard and struggle deep on the inside, and Harmon was able to give young people an outlet and something that represented them. In our generation, we face many mental health issues, whether acknowledged or not and this recently became an important part of people’s lives.
- Mass shootings (Karisa Shumock)
Mass shootings have become normalized in our country and Gen Z is the main generation trying to do something about it. Although most of us are not old enough to vote yet, there many are young, influential people within our generation dedicating themselves to make a change and create an ending to gun violence.
- LGBT+ rights (Karisa Shumock)
Gen Z is one of the most accepting generations. Within our generation, we’ve experienced one of the greatest turning point in gay rights and equality–gay marriage. LGBT+ rights have been increasing a ton throughout our lifetime, and we are getting to see more people accept and love others for who they are.
- Trayvon Martin (Jeffrey Afriyie)
On February 26, 2012, Trayvon Martin was a 17-year-old who was fatally shot and killed by George Zimmerman, a volunteer neighborhood watch person, because he looked “suspicious”. Trayvon was at home with his father’s fiancee’s son, when he decided to go to a nearby 7-11 to get skittles and an Arizona drink. This incident predates “Black Lives Matter” but certainly sets the tone to advocate for the safety of African-Americans. Zimmerman was not charged which caused chaos in the United States because he was not a police officer and didn’t have the right to shoot Martin.