Young people have always been leaders of change within the movement. Despite being thought of as the unengaged generation, there are millennials who are changing that perception as they attempt to change laws and policies.
Last year after the verdict in the George Zimmerman murder trial, a group of Florida students called The Dream Defenders decided to hold a sit-in at the Florida capitol. The purpose of the meeting was to demand a meeting with Governor Rick Scott to discuss the protection of young men of color among other issues.
It was something that caught the attention of so many people, not because this was action around civil rights issues, but because these were young people who many had decried as being shiftless and unengaged. Yet, here were these young people who were organizing, strategizing and causing quite a stir, in addition to setting an example for other young people across the country.
Though they weren’t able to accomplish their intended goal, they were able to spark a conversation about young people and their role within the civil rights movement of today. Education in the State of New Jersey is in a state of crisis. Students in several cities – largely the poorest and most troubled cities in the state — have been walking out, demanding more from the government relating to their education, and calling for justice in the school system.
I had the opportunity to spend time with the students in my hometown of Camden, NJ as they rallied in front of Camden’s City Hall. It’s an awakening like nothing I’ve seen in the city before. Nearly 1,000 students walked out of their schools recently after teachers were laid off in an attempt to close traditional public schools and open a full charter education system. The students, parents, teachers and supporters turned out again to host a formal rally to announce their intent to meet with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
Whether they meet with Christie or not, and regardless if he gives more funding to the school district, these young people have changed their circumstances by doing one thing – acting on their frustration. If there was ever a time that we needed action, it is now. There are far too many issues for us to contend to have people think they can solve them with complacency and complaining. None of us can make change without the support of those standing behind us. More than anything, today’s youth need a little bit of direction but little interference.
As we continue to face changes in policies and laws that will undoubtedly put the future of our rights in jeopardy if we don’t act, this type of awakening is just what we need to see and will make all the difference in the end.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (6/18-6/24)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Me & the homie @jaleelwhite #RujohnFoundation Happy to be in Jamaica! Good times
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5. Good Morning. Early day in Detroit! Making press rounds for @thebossnetwork's Ladies That Lead Tour. Thank you @traycemadre and @colourbynumbr for my glam.
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6. POWER the best show on TV @djenvy, Queens we so big out here. #EFFENVODKA #FRIGO
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7. They said u lost a step, wasn't explosive as once was, the best days was in the real view, questioned your drive, your leadership, your commitment, you don't have killer instinct, going back home is the worst mistake in your career, he got the coach fired, players traded, won't work between him and Kyrie, Him and Kev won't work, love your teammates to much, there's no way he can deliver a championship in his hometown, etc etc etc.... But guess what THATS NONE OF MY BUSINESS #StriveForGreatness #ThisOneIsForTheLand #PutSomeRespeckOnMyName Hahahaha!!! Yes sir
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8. Oooooh weeee this man right here is responsible for at least three of our four babies!! #JOE ❤❤❤🎤 #rnb #king #voicelikebutter #ForPeetesSake
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9. Hanging with my @abcnetwork family! @abcunclebuck tonite y'all check us out ! @anthonyanderson @traceeellisross
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10. My broski ( @sayeedshahidi ) and I are on Top 5 Live on @go90 at 5 (which is super duper close)! Make sure to tune in :) #UncleBuck #Blackish
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11. Lights out💤 #GoodNight
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12. Late nights mornings
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13. Ran into the lovely talented @siedahgarrett on this brutiful favvuz deh!
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14. #halal #love #thedargans #kattwilliamsSHOW #mashallah when that Jennah piece HIT!! @sweetjennahcollection glasses by @baddieglamaccessories LIZ 😍 @dynamiteko top @dazzledmv and jeans @thevision414 and shoes: @louboutinworld
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15. Big Hair and Optical Illusions #OceanDrive #MiamiLiving #coverparty
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16. MAMA and THE SAVAGES ... ⚓️ #supportyourlocalgirlgang
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17. From the bottom of my ❤️, thank you new followers & old! & hello fellow night owls! #grateful #racheltrue #naturalhair #curlyhair #curlygirl #healthyhair
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18. I feel so grateful because I met these amazing young minds, visiting from Houston TX, during their college tour stop today at #usc.These students are ALL extraordinary and embody academic excellence so I'm humbled to have shared a few moments with them to applaud and celebrate their bright futures ahead! Thank you @EmergeFellows for inviting me to speak and blessing me with your love and attention this afternoon!
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19. Happy Fathers Day Pops. U taught me how to be a man. Lessons of love, hard work & gratefulness. Sorry the fishing didn't stick. LOL. I Love U!
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20. Sky Zone and Ice Cream! Best Fathers Day Ever!! Photo credit @mariahcarey
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21. Look what finally came in the mail 😎 #mtvmovieawards2016 💥+🌽! #straightouttacompton
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22. Claudia Jordan: ....
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23. 'Member that time I almost knocked a bajillion dollar camera off the car? Really? Yeah, me neither! #Greenleaf Episode 2 comin atcha!
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24. Full of love. #birthday #Cabo
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25. Oh hey! Look who just joined Snapchat
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