AbstractThis paper explores many different articles that report the need for global youth activism. When the youth are committed to identifying the needs of our society they become compassionate activists in the future. This article builds on research that focuses on the challenges of youth activism,  need for youth to be committed to a purpose, and involvement in global social movements. The data was collected from a wide range of secondary research including:  Sasha Costanza-Chock, Youth and Social Movements who argues the importance of Youth and the challenges they faced in the world of activists, Jessica Taft and Hava Gordon, Youth activist, youth councils and constrained democracy who describes the potential for youth advisory councils to promote youth political power,  and finally Ben Kirshner,  Youth Activism as a Content for learning and Development who highlights four distinctive qualities of learning environments in youth activist groups.  These articles confirmed the necessity and the rewards for youth activism in various forms around the globe. Youth activism has had a positive effect in many different ways.  Key words: activism, global, youth, challenges, social movements,  educational environment, INTRODUCTION Many in society today view modern youth as self-centered, and selfish. However, global youth activism is transforming our world. When Malala Yousafzai disgusts her activism role against terrorism she said: “If a terrorist can change someone’s mind and convince them to become a suicide bomber, we can also change their minds and tell them education is the only way to bring humanity and peace”. Youth want to make a difference in a changing world, it is their future. Youth activism is needed as the world changes so that change is focused forward not backward. When studying the secondary research data it was apparent that youth activist were as young as twelve to mid-twenties. This paper will begin by outlining the history and need for youth activism.  In Costanza-Chock’ (2012) report on Youth and Social Movements, she notes that  “Youth have been deeply important to every progressive social movement, including the United States Civil Rights movement, the transnational justice, the transnational LGBTQ movement, successive waves of feminism, environmentalism and environmental justice, the labour, antiwar, the immigrant rights, movements, and more”(Costanza-Chock, 2012, p. 1). Next, this paper will discuss youth-led social movements. “Youth may not have opportunities to vote or hold formal seats on decision-making bodies, but many contribute to social action campaigns that give voice to their hopes and concerns” (Checkoway et al., 2003). Finally, this paper will conclude with discussing the key challenges youth face when involved in activism. Youth movements are often are mostly invisible, within the broader context of systematic misrepresentation of youth throughout the globalized media system.” (Chock, 2012, pg. 3)      Through the exploration of the need for youth activism, their involvement in global social movements, and the challenges they face in the role of political involvement, it will become clear that youth are a developing force for activism globally.   HISTORY & NEED FOR YOUTH ACTIVISM    The many studies support the need for positive youth activism in our rapidly changing world. “Many young people have the desire and capacity to transform the world, and are looking for opportunities to do so” (Costanza-Chock, 2012, p. 2).  Participating in non-profit organizations, protesting against their cause, and youth councils are just some of the ways youth have impacted our society. Not only do youth have the desire, but they have the power to change the world. Costanza-Chock (2012) stated, “Young activists often develop powerful concepts and use sophisticated aesthetic forms to call out or identify systems of oppression, speak up, and mobilize their peers” ( p. 3). An example of this is Craig and Marc Kielburger who founded the charity Free The Children. At the age of 12, Craig Kielburger traveled to Pakistan after hearing about the murder of Iqbal Masih (Calabrese, 2010).  Craig, his brother, and a group of schoolmates were outraged at this senseless act. They started Free The Children to create change. In 2010, Free the Children built more than 650 schools overseas and helped 30,000 women become economically self-sufficient (Calabrese, 2010, ?5). Three years later the Kielburgers established a social enterprise called Me to We. Through their volunteer trips, organic clothing and handmade accessories, leadership summits, books, and inspirational speakers, Me 2 We inspires youth to stand up and speak out to create change. “Youth may not have opportunities to vote or hold formal seats on decision-making bodies, but many contribute to social action campaigns that give voice to their hopes and concerns” (Checkoway, 2003, p. 368).”But in youth the tables of childhood dependence begin slowly to turn: no longer is itmerely for the old to teach the young the meaning of life. It is the young who, by their responses and actions, tell the old whether life as represented to them has some vital promise, and it is the young who carry in them the power to confirm those who confirm them, to renew and regenerate, to disavow what is rotten, to reform and rebel.”  -Erikson (1968/1994, p. 258) as cited in (Kirshner, 2007, pg. 367)Ben Kirshner report, Youth Activism as a Context for Learning and Development, used Erik Erikson’s statement to identify the qualities of what it means to be an adolescent in today’s society. As Erikson suggested, “adolescence involves a transition toward greater social responsibility” (Kirshner, 2007, p. 367). Adolescence is marked by new responsibilities, goals, and maturity. “It is a time of heightened idealism and concern for meaning—adolescents reflect on their surroundings and engage in complex moral reasoning” (Damon, 1983). “Youth activism groups enable participants to forge identities as powerful civic actors”(Kirshner, 2007, p. 371). By participating in protest/boycotts, social movements or community events, youth are exposed to a new sense of identity. For example, Anderson (2015) wrote about a time where Chicago public schools in segregated black neighborhoods were under-resourced and overcrowded. On October 1953, 250,00 students staged a one day boycott (Anderson, 2015, pg. 2).  There was an estimate of half of Chicago students who participated in the walkout and around 20,000 marched to the Chicago Board of Education for equitable resources for black children (Anderson, 2015, pg 2). “Experiences that expose teenagers to political viewpoints support civic identity development because they enable young people to reflect on sociopolitical issues and thereby see themselves as active producers of society”(Youniss & Yates, 1997, pg. 371) as cited in (Kirshner, 2007).VALUE OF YOUTH LED SOCIAL MOVEMENT ORGANIZATIONSYoung people have the power and drive to change the world. Research shows that young people have a strong connections and can relate to SMO’s (Earl,Maher & Elliott, 2017). Unforntally, there are very few SMO’s that involve youth in key roles or even as members. This has led youth to start some of their own organizations. These spaces tend to have flat hierarchies, enjoy well-connected online networks, and use creative direct actions (Juris & Pleyers, 2009) as cited in (Earl, Maher, Elliott, 2017).  Through music, art, activism and community events, young people are acting as strong agents of social change and justice. Youth have and are continuing to build a foundation for the world’s future (3 Youth Movements Driving Change, 2014). For example, InkuluFreeHeid, a youth led group in South Africa, fights for their rights and participates in political decision- making. Through their 2014 campaign “Our Vote Our Voice”, they got young people involved in the 2014 National General Election. Issues like education, unemployment were skone out by youth.  Another arrestive social movement is the group AfroReggae who uses music to challenge some of Brazil’s biggest social challenges. Through music and dance workshops they encourage youth to stay away from drug trade as well give them a voice to speak out (3 Youth Movements Driving Change, 2014).Youth participate in several other movements to raise awareness about social issues.  For instance, there is some evidence that youth are increasingly participating in market-based advocacy, using tactics such as boycotts and “buycotts” to express their political opinions (Zukin, 2006)  as cited in (Earl, Maher, Elliott, 2017). Young people’s move toward protest instead of more institutional political activity like voting and working through political parties results from changing dispositions about the meaning of citizenship and/or the unpalatable state of institutional politics (Earl,Maher & Elliott, ? 6.1, 2017). Many studies have shown that youth activism has developmental benefits to youth (Conner, 2012) (Kirshner, 2007). By participating in youth movements/organizations youth can develop their knowledge, communication, psychological empowerment, and strong civic commitments. Interpersonal skills and communication skills are developed when involved in youth activist groups (Conner, 2012). “To run an effective campaign with clear objectives, youth organizers must learn to work together, often bridging divides that typically separate them, including those of neighborhood, class, and race” (Conner, P 3, 2012).  “Many youth organizing programs help youth learn to identify and analyze the root causes of social inequalities” (Conner, p 3,  2012). When examining social issues and providing explanations for the problems youth become more acute social critics (Conner, 2012). As Youniss and Yates (1997) have written, to develop civic identity, adolescents must come to identify with transcendent values and ideologies that link the self to a past and present (Youniss & Yates, 1997, pg. 371) as cited in (Kirshner, 2007). KEY CHALLENGESMany youth are viewed as self centered and disengaged. Their participation in social movements, and other organizations are mostly invisible and rarely represented. Youth activist face additional challenges compared to others due to their age. These challenges include: adultism, access, and aging out (Conner, 2012). Adult interaction can be an incredible opportunity for youth to grow their wisdom if they are not suppressed. “Youth organizers must confront the added challenge of adultism, manifest in the view that they are naïve, inexperienced, or incompetent”  (Conner, p 6, 2012) . Youth activist also face the challenge of access. Because of their age they are restricted from participating in voting or any political action. They also have limited access to broadcast media and professional networks (Conner, 2012). The final challenge Conner’s (2012) report list is Aging Out. Youth begin to grow and develop in a short amount of time. This means the foundation organizations build is temporary. ” The most experienced youth organizers inevitably “age out,” taking with them important institutional memories”  (Conner, p 6, 2012).In Costanza-Chock’ (2012) report on Youth and Social Movements, she discusses the “War on Youth”. Costanza-Chock’ (2012) identifies how youth, particularly boys of colour, are targeted by laws, policies, repression and criminalization (Costanza-Chock, 2012). “These push youth out of schools and into prisons, in a system that youth organizers call the “school-to-prison pipeline”  (Costanza-Chock, p 6, 2012).Although youth activist are faced with such powerful challenges they continue to persevere and dominate. “When they recognize injustice, they insist that conditions can and should be better, rather than accept the status quo” (Conner, p 6, 2012). Educators, adults, and allies need to continue to support youth movements by respecting, recognizing and challenging repressive laws, policies and practices.  (Costanza-Chock, 2012). “We should recognize and respect young people as potentially powerful social movement actors, and allocate resources to support, amplify. And extend their impact” (Costanza-Chock, p 5 2012).CONCLUSION Young people want to be involved and society needs them to become active to ensure a positive future for humanity. After the exploration of the need for youth activism, their involvement in global social movements, and the challenges they face in the role of political involvement, it became clear that youth are a developing force for activism globally.  Research has shown that youth have been deeply involved in many revolutionary movements world wide. Their continuous devotion has helped lead many successful movements.  However, youth are often viewed as disengaged and self- centered which leads them to being left out of social movements. There is a responsibility for activist to solicit the involvement and ideas of today’s youth to improve the future for many.     “The secret message communicated to most young people today by the society around them is that they are not needed, that the society will run itself quite nicely until they — at some distant point in the future — will take over the reigns. Yet the fact is that the society is not running itself nicely… because the rest of us need all the energy, brains, imagination and talent that young people can bring to bear down on our difficulties. For society to attempt to solve its desperate problems without the full participation of even very young people is imbecile.” — Alvin Toffler


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