They used Minecraft to fight for their reproduction rights, T-shirts to protest censorship, Instagram to bring an end to sexual assault and state law to reform environmental curricula in schools. The teen girls profiled in this year’s The Future is Ms. series dug deep into their activists toolbox to create change in their communities and make the world a better place for girls and women. Here’s a roundup of articles written by teen girl journalists.
After 18 months of fighting for clean air, Alexandra Collins thought that she could leave ethylene oxide behind. But then, she found that the pollutant is an ingredient in many cosmetics that women and girls use today. She combined her computer science skills and her advocacy work and partnered with a friend to create an app that reviews cosmetics products with the mission of keeping girls and women safe from the harms of EtO.
When Sarah created the Piedmont Protectors Instagram account in July 2020, the Bay Area high school student wanted a platform for students to share their stories of rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment in their community.
Though Piedmont High School only has 840 students, the account gained over 1,500 within the first week. After three days of being live, there were already over 90 posts anonymously reporting and documenting sexual assault, harassment and rape in the Piedmont Unified School District student community.
The Black Girl Freedom Fund raised over $20 million last year, allowing teens to give grants to organizations prioritizing the safety and well-being of Black girls.
After speaking out on social media about racism at her former high school, Deborah Ode saw the Morristown-Beard School make changes to address racism and support its marginalized students.
“I realized that my voice does matter,” Deborah said, “I realized that when I do speak out, people will listen.”
Girl Power Politics is an organization that holds free events to get area girls interested in politics.
“Women and girls often feel like they’re not qualified enough to hold elected office. They don’t understand that no matter what their exposure or background is, whatever they bring to the table is an asset to that conversation.”
In order to make Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) safer for females and gender-expansive people, Reminie Chaidez and 99 other paid youth joined forces with Alliance for Girls to launch a campaign against gender-based violence in the country’s fifth largest transit system.
“Youth are the legacy of public transportation. We want other people to take this as an example and ask their local transit agencies to do the same.”
It took four days of late night calls, 20 social media messages and a passion for change to get 1,300 teens to show up at Katy Park for a Black Lives Matter rally last summer in Katy, Texas. The teen organizers—Erika Alvarez, Jeffrey Jin and Foye Dosunmu—don’t recommend this frenzied approach, but they do urge young people take action.
Here are four tips the teens have on organizing a teen protest.
AAPI teens started Dear Asian Youth and podcast Dear Asian Girl to cover issues related to the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.
Students in Kentucky are fighting back against unnecessary censorship in school publications.
“I don’t want administration to keep on interfering and scaring us into not writing things that we think need to be written about.”