This blog is being written on New Year's Day 2020 when so many resolutions abound. As we reflected on the past Decade and in particular on the tenor and themes of our blogs during 2019, it became clear that activism for change was stimulated and dominated by the Youth across the regions of the World. We could only reference a few among the multitude that have had or could have a lasting impact. Their common denominators ranged from the fight for equality and social justice; demands to reduce poverty and violence, standing up against corrupt leadership; to articulating their active role in decision making, the need for greater civic participation and increasing access to health, sexual and reproductive rights, and educational facilities. Indeed, the sum total of most of the activism inspired by youth leadership covers the 17 Susutainable Development Goals (SDGs) on which hinge major targets of our universal resolutions: peace, security, happiness, and success. These are all targets that would make the World a better place in which to live.
Among a sample of youth activism, I reflect on four (4)
Resolutions are not enough: We need Action
Reflecting on these illustrations of Youth Activism, it is important to note that the Arab Springs despite the hope it brought for democracy, has witnessed a reversal toward even greater tyranny and violence in the Middle East. President Donald Trump has reversed the gains from the Dakota Access Pipeline Protest and the hopes of the Parkland 'March for our lives' has yet to yield substantive gun reform in the USA. Even the robust Gen Z movement admits to being ignored. However, by chance I came across an inspirational book by Marley Dias, a teenage wonder who started the #1000blackgirl books. Her mission for racial harmony is a campaign to inspire kids to make the world a better place and make their dreams come true. I have only read Marley Gets it Done and So can You, one of 4 books she has written. It is inspirational, creative, daring and fills the gap between hope and action. We plan to explore her other books and make them the subject of a review.
Given that GOFAD has spent several blogs illustrating the role of youth and Climate action, there is no other commentary that fully illustrates the title of this blog than the TED Talk by the 2019 Times Person of the Year, 16 year old Greta Thunberg, given one year ago. Let me let her tell you why meaningful New Year's resolutions must transcend hope with action. School strike for climate - save the world by changing the rules | Greta Thunberg | TEDxStockholm (Greta Thunberg | TEDxStockholm)
With every good wish for a New Year of bountiful happiness and success.