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Youth Activism and Social Movements

Youth activism is an umbrella term to identify a broad array of activities through which adolescents and young adults organize for social change. Youth activism, along with community service and political participation, is a form of youth civic engagement. Unifying features of youth activism that distinguish it from other forms of civic engagement include (a) a focus on systemic issue(s) with goals for social change, (b) collective action, and (c) substantive leadership and decision-making opportunities for youth. Specific activities can range from the protests and sit-ins common to the high-profile youth activism of the 1960s to media campaigns, voter registration drives, fund-raising campaigns, and community education, among other activities.

Though activism takes many shapes, activities share the goals of bringing attention to structural problems and creating ...

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