From climate change to women’s rights, there are so many activists fighting the good fight for a better, equitable, sustainable future for all. Here are five inspirational Gen Z activists who are driving change in their communities.
Ethical fashion and climate justice campaigner Mikaela Loach is based in Edinburgh where she is currently studying Medicine at university. Championing ethical fashion, plastic-free and vegan living, she advocates for accessibility to anti-racism, environmental justice, and refugee rights movements. Her PaidToPollute campaign calls on the UK government to end unfair tax handouts for big polluters such as the oil and gas industry and to redirect that money to the people and places that need it most.
Nobel Prize laureate—the youngest ever, Malala Yousafzai was the target of an assassination attempt by the Taliban after she continually spoke out against their ban on girls attending school in her hometown in Pakistan. Fast forward nine years and she is still undergoing surgeries to recover from the attack, her injuries were so severe that she has had multiple procedures and was left with some facial paralysis. During her long recovery she has founded non-profit organization the Malala Fund and works tirelessly to help girls everywhere safely receive a free, high-quality education.
At the age of 16, Maya Ghazal was forced to flee the conflict in her home in Damascus, Syria and travel to the UK. She had hopes that this new life would offer her a fresh start and an improved education, but Maya was subject to stigmatism and hostility. After working hard to improve her English and proving to a skeptical admissions team that she had the qualifications for a place at college, Maya completed an Aviation Engineering Degree with Pilot Studies and became the world’s first female Syrian refugee pilot. She is also the Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Refugee Agency.
Gen Z activist, philanthropist, social entrepreneur, and aspiring filmmaker Anya Dillard is an 18-year-old with a remarkable career. When she was just five years old she spearheaded an annual holiday gift-giving program for long term care patients in a local pediatric ward, and since then she has applied her civic minded approach to organizing civil rights protests and started a social media image activism campaign “#MyRedStripes” to raise awareness of period poverty and eradicate period shame. She is also the founder of The Next Gen Come Up, a nonprofit organization that encourages young people to explore activism, pursue community service, and raise awareness about issues they feel passionately about through creative expression.
At just six years old Jazz Jennings was possibly the youngest person ever to speak her truth in the public spotlight when she went on national television to tell host Barbara Walters that, despite what her birth certificate said, she was in fact a girl. Since then, she has made waves for trans youth simply by being herself. Now, aged 20, she is a powerful voice for the youth community and campaigns fiercely for everyone LGBTQ+ in interviews, in her transparency about her gender reassignment surgeries, in her reality TV series “I am Jazz” and to her 1.2 million TikTok followers.
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