Diane Mariechild once said, “A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture, and transform.” It is with this concept in mind that activists and leaders alike have chosen to dedicate themselves to the younger generation of women and empower them to speak loudly, be fearless, and stand for what is right. stereotypical tomboys.
When it comes to global activism communities like the Sunrise Movement and Extinction Rebellion, the average age of a member is between 15 and 25 years old. These youth-led organizations are dedicated to raising awareness in relation to climate change specifically, and the way that they engage the younger generations and mobilize them is unlike anything our world has ever seen before.
To understand how political and environmental activism is slowly shaping our young women into strong leaders and revolutionaries, let’s first take a look at how these global crises are empowering our youth and then break down the ways in which this activism is defining these modern generations significantly. Lastly, we’ll break down how activists and youth leaders can harness this passion and energy to inspire and encourage. In doing so, we can learn how to grow as strong individuals and be proud of our feminine strength and power alike.
Empowering our youth through global crises
While Greta Thunberg may be the first name that comes to mind when discussing young women involved in climate change activism, the truth is that our society is seeing a steady and exponential rise in youth-led activism globally. According to Jessica Taft, author of Rebel Girls and the new book The Kids Are in Charge: Activism and Power in Peru’s Movement of Working Children, “Around the world, we are seeing children and youth engage as social, political, and economic actors, demonstrating their capacity to help make social change. Adults make a lot of assumptions about children and what they’re capable of, and those assumptions are often quite false.”
Whether this increase in youth-led activism is due to the global crises or simply in conjunction with them, the impact these initiatives have had on our modern society has already been tremendous. In my own conservative state of Idaho, you are bound to see at least 10 to 15 young activists marching for civil rights or climate change each and every day. The capitol steps are scattered with young faces and large signs depicting passion and frustration can be found in every hand.
In the words of Bob Dylan, it is clear to see that ‘the times, they are a-changin’’ and it is up to us as empowered and impassioned adults to help these young revolutionaries on their quest for a better world tomorrow. With this being said, below are five ways that activism has defined young women and their feminine power as well as a comprehensive breakdown on how to use these elements to transform our world and our future generations through transferred knowledge and passion. By considering these concepts, there’s no telling what activism and the young women that take part in it have in store for our society and those that ‘control’ it.
Intriguing ways in which young women were defined by activism
These five activism lessons can be seen in nearly every youth-led organization out there and the power of this information is highly obvious. This is why it is crucial that we analyze how these lessons are valuable to our youth and how we can continue to teach them and thrive collectively moving forward.
1. Public Speaking
Almost every executive and entrepreneur is sure to tell you that public speaking and charisma are highly important character traits to acquire organic attention and interest. In the massive world of direct activism, the ability to be persuasive, speak with conviction, and debate topics expertly all relies on a solid foundation of public speaking and natural confidence.
For young women, this confidence and determination can be difficult to nurture and even more difficult to utilize in public settings. This is why youth-led activism organizations such as Freechild host workshops and mentoring programs in order to educate these young people and empower them through public speaking and charisma training.
When listening to a young woman involved in any of these groups on a stage, it is clear to see how these initiatives have prepared them for leadership roles and success in our modern society. With the ability to speak their minds and mobilize others, there’s nothing these strong female forces can’t accomplish.
2. Marketing Strategies
No matter what career or industry these young women choose to work within in their future, marketing strategy is everything. As software developers, your ability to market your software products and solutions is vital. As editors in chief, your magazine’s marketing strategies must be on-point to keep reader counts high. The list goes on and on, and this is why marketing strategy training is so valuable for young women.
In activism, your social media presence, press release skills, and tone are all highly important. Without a strong online presence and engagement strategy, your initiatives are sure to fail. This is why workshops on this very subject are available in countless youth-led programs from Youth Activism Project to Advocates for Youth. By training young women to market their initiatives effectively, you can show them how to harness target audience data to engage audiences and increase support and engagement exponentially. This skillset is sure to help them achieve all their future goals with ease.
3. Social Media Presence
Although most younger people already have social media accounts and are aware of how to use them effectively, the differentiation between their common knowledge and the knowledge these activism programs provide is all in the data.
Being active on social media is simply one piece of the puzzle. You must also understand how to engage with your audience, when to post for the most traffic, how to develop a cohesive social identity, and the proper formatting and design principles for posting visually appealing and optimized content. All of these things align more with marketing and sales but are crucial in any leadership position. The same can be said about leadership in activism organizations as well.
With this being said, educating young women on how to use social media effectively to create an identity and get more social engagement is a highly valuable aspect of activist training. The lessons learned when helping to run the social media accounts of activist organizations is unparalleled by internships and leadership courses alike.
4. Experience with Governmental Structure and Law
Perhaps, one of the most unique but highly useful parts of political and climate change activism specifically is the need to work within the system to pass laws and propose bills like the Green New Deal. This work requires young activists to research local laws, learn how to write and propose bills, schedule meetings with politicians, and create campaigns and events to center around these efforts.
For young women like Alexandria Ocasio Cortez or Ilhan Omar, this information is what they built their careers upon. Their success in our American government was all founded on these principles and laws. With this being said, this work towards a brighter future for our world also ensures a brighter future for the young women performing the work and helps prepare them for potential positions in our political system to make an impact on the United States in the future.
5. Leadership Training
Lastly, perhaps, the greatest training element that is associated with activism is leadership training. Leadership training usually consists of all of the principles above as well as how to nurture communication and collaboration, work with other young activists to achieve goals, use business tools and platforms to create documents that are professional and concise, host events entirely on your own, partner with other local organizations, and create relationships with local politicians that fight for the cause as well.
These lessons are the crux of any leadership role and prepare young women for anything and everything that is sure to come their way. From there, these young women can envision goals, execute them effectively, and build upon them with ease. This is where the true power of activism lies. But, to break down how these concepts are harnessed and how they invoke passion and energy within young women, let’s take a look at the ways leaders can use this information to their benefit and the benefit of future generations below.
How can we as leaders harness this passion and energy?
With all of these aspects of activism laid out, it’s obvious why young women are not only invested in these initiatives but leave the programs far more prepared for entrepreneurial endeavors than ever before.
However, the question remains—how can this passion and energy be harnessed by leaders in our modern society to change our world. In short, young women activists are strong, determined, and hardworking individuals that simply want our world to be a better place for all.
Using their passion and energy for these initiatives, industry leaders can create community enrichment programs and team building events that center around these causes. In doing so, they can attract these young, experienced, and passionate female leaders to work with them and help them actualize their goals and passions as well. This is how young women are impacted by activism and their activism impacts the market. By understanding this connection, we as a society can improve our world and empower our companies through young untapped talent at the same time. From there, the possibilities are truly and impressively endless.