Social Justice and Activism for Young Adults

From #MeToo to Black Lives Matter to March for Our Lives, the voices of activists are ringing loud and clear across this country right now.  Many of these voices are those of young people, and teens today are more empowered than ever before to create change and make their voices heard.  As a result, there has been a remarkable increase in books for, by, and about teens that explore the topics that so profoundly affect them and show how powerful their voices can be.  Here are just a few recent titles:

Glimmer of Hope: How Tragedy Sparked a Movement by the founders of March for Our Lives
It’s been less than a year since the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, but the students who survived the tragedy swiftly moved into action. Within weeks after the shooting, the survivors organized a student-led demonstration in Washington, DC to campaign for stricter gun control laws.  This collection of writings from those students shows how powerful youth voice can be. Continue reading “Social Justice and Activism for Young Adults”

Activist + Artist = Artivist

Artists make things and make things happen. Activists stir the public pot and ignite social change. They agitate, demonstrate, boycott and protest. Artivists react and respond to current and historical events through acts of creation and have been doing so for a long, long time.

See for yourself! A People’s Art History of the United States: 250 Years of Activist Art and Artists Working in Social Justice Movements provides the long view and brings perspective to Global Activism: Art and Conflict in the 21st Century. Two other timely titles include Politics is a Joke: How TV Comedians are Remaking Political Life and Tales of Two Americas: Stories of Inequality in a Divided Nation.

On all levels of society, artists move people to action through images and/or language. You can learn about the role of activist artists in Culture as Weapon: The Art of Influence in Everyday Life and Culture Jamming: Activism and the Art of Cultural Resistance.

Stories of how artists have responded to injustice can be found in:

This very day, in the streets, in theaters, museums, on screen, stage and page artists engage the public, create opportunities for discussion, providing opportunities that help facilitate understanding of the key issues that we face as a world community. Willing or unwilling, in support or opposition, we play a part, are a part of the great drama of life.

See how artivists get active, become involved and leave their mark on the world. Check out the resource list Activist + Artist = Artivists.

~ posted by Chris

Occupy Yourself!

Last month, on a trip to New York City, I found myself marching from Washington Square to Times Square with thousands of other people chanting “we are the 99 percent…you are the percent.” The themes varied, but all called for social justice.

I listened to the General Assemblies, talked as we walked, and came away with that feeling of new possibilities that I felt during the Seattle demonstrations of the late 1960s. It may not be practical for all of us to “occupy,” but it can be possible for all of us to read about social action, justice and activism. Here are a few books that might inspire action in some small (or big) ways. Continue reading “Occupy Yourself!”