The youth gets involved


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Black Lives Matter protests, throughout the country, turn students to activists.

Following the brutal murder of George Floyd at the hands of police brutality on May 25 of this year, the Black Lives Matter movement has taken the world by storm. Floyd’s murder sparked a wave of national protests initiating a movement in route of real police reform and overdue reparations for Black Americans. 

Protesters took to the streets in cities around the world. Trending hashtags and online advocacy quickly emerged, including the rise of student activism. Though young activists continue to face endless obstacles in having their voices heard, they are louder than ever. 

The impact of the Black Lives Matter movement inspired many to form regional coalitions fighting for racial justice and equality for all. Among them, youth-led protests.  Much of the growth of the protests attributing to social media, where news of the event quickly spread. 

Recently, activism has found its home on social media platforms. Young activists post resources and information for other people to educate themselves on pressing issues, such as racial justice. There, they share links to petitions, places to donate, advice on protesting safely, templates you can use to email authorities, and other valuable information you need to do your part in this cause for change. 

Senior Isabel Ortega, 15, and co-founder of the Santa Ana High School Democrats of America shares her opinion on why young people’s involvement in political matters is key.  

“It is important for us to take an active role in order to not only use our voice for change but also continue that cycle of being active in decisions that affect not only ourselves but everyone,” said Ortega. 

High School Democrats of America is a student-run national political organization that provides an entryway for young activists into Democratic politics. It inspires students to become active within the American political system, and elect Democratic candidates into office.  

“I started HSDA as a way to engage the youth because the power we hold as leaders of future generations is crucial in determining how the political atmosphere will be later on,” Ortega stated. 

The youth has endured a longstanding fight against violence and injustices in recent years outside of the Black Lives Matter movement. In 2018, students across the country staged walkouts in honor of the victims of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida. Students demanded gun control and immediate changes to state laws. 

Junior Armando Echeverria, President of the Santa Ana High School Democrats of America, explains what happens when the youth decides to take a stance on important political issues. 

“When we give youth an opportunity to expand their knowledge and opinions on all matters going on right now, we can stand in solidarity to certain things in need of change,” said Echeverria. 

In the past, young activists have played a critical role in calling for change and transforming our society. Today, our youth uses social media and their influential voices to amplify their views and call to action structural racism and police brutality still present in our country. 

“I encourage many of you to start seeing what’s going on in our world, more specifically what’s going on in our communities and taking action from there,” said Ortega.

Change starts within our communities, within our family, within ourselves. Be the change you want to see, no step is too small. 

“Every action we take from now on is propitious for times to come,” states Echeverria.