Youth Activism

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Youth Activism

So You Want to Change the World?

So you want to change the world, but you don't know where to start? Start here. Start where you're at and join a network of teens across history and the world who are making their voices heard.

Time Line


Teens make their voices heard!

1964-1965: Hundreds of students on UC Berkeley's campus protest as part of a Free Speech Movement for political activist rights in connection with the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War protests.

In 2005, Andrew Slack and the rock band Harry and the Potters founded The Harry Potter Alliance, sparking a fan movement that addresses issues like genocide, literacy, poverty, and harmful body images. Get involved at!

Other Resources: It's Your World-If You Don't Like It, Change It: Activism for Teenagers by Mikki HalpinYes You Can!: Your Guide to Becoming an Activist by Jane Drake & Ann LovePeople Who Said No: Courage Against Oppression by Laura ScandiffioThe Teen Guide to Global Action: How to Connect with Others (Near and Far) to Create Social Change by Barbara A. Lewis

In 2011, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) reported that there are more than 1.2 billion individuals between the ages of 10 and 19 on this earth: You CAN make a difference!

Follow and participate in UNICEF's Voices of Youth!



Teens make up 18% of the world's population.



International Youth Day, August 12, celebrates 11 years.

What would you choose to change?

Andrew Slack founds the Harry Potter Alliance.

44 million teens live in the United States.

Celebrate by hosting an event showing what teens are doing in your community! Tell the UN about it:

How could you use your favorite stories for good?

Barbara Johnson was 16 when she led her classmates on a two week strike at her high school to push for school integration. Read Freedom's Children by Ellen Levine to hear and be inspired by the voices of African American teen activists like Barbara.

Human Rights

Poverty & Hunger



War, Conflict, & Violence

Health Care & Access

What's Your Cause? Here's 7 identified by the United Nations.

Sophie Scholl was almost 12 when Hitler rose to power in Germany in 1932. In the years after, she and her brother, Hans Scholl, began actively resisting the Nazi regime, writing, printing, and distributing pamphlets about Nazi atrocities and calling for a people's resistance in a non-violent underground group called The White Rose.

Will you work for education and literacy for everyone, like 16- year-old Malala Yousafzai? Check out Reading is Fundamental:

Will you engage in ordinary, everyday acts of social change? Check out Do Something: https:

Youth Activism

Dawn Heerspink



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