Written by on July 1, 2020

By Charles Ellison | The Philadelphia Citizen

Want to get more young protesters casting a vote? WURD’s midday hose urges that we start by taking them seriously

In a moment like this, everyone is trying to figure out exactly “what do we do with the kids?” There’s no doubt around the fact that it is, indeed, young people who are the primary drivers behind the social justice protest moment we’re seeing now.

Recent Pew trends research shows adults between the ages of 18 and 29 are the majority of those having “conversations with family and friends” (73 percent) about racism; the majority of those posting about it on social media (53 percent); the majority donating to causes fighting it (21 percent); the majority contacting elected officials over it (13 percent); and the majority actually going to a protest (13 percent).

And that’s a great thing: they should be shaking it all up.

Still, as that moment ebbs and flows from one week to another (depending on what grisly video of an unarmed Black person getting beat down or killed at the hands of state-protected violent white people goes viral next) we’re wondering hard about how that energy gets channeled constructively into future phases. How do we transition them from protest to leading on permanent policy change?

Future phases of this moment can’t just be all about the next big wave of protests. It can’t just be an endless cycle of frustrated face-masked Gen-Zers, and younger Millennials, too, hitting the protest circuit and stuck in perennial speak-up mode every time something tragic happens. After a while, too much of that gets tiring and eventually unstable, too. That might feel relieving at the onset, but so does that natural high after an intense workout or screaming into a pillow to blow off some steam.

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