Young people make their voices heard

June 23rd, 2020

From Ruby Bridges to Malala Yousafzai, young people have played a significant role in social justice reforms throughout society. Today is no different. Students across the country have devoted their time and energy to organizing marches, creating goods to raise funds or posting on social media in order to disrupt the systemic racism within their communities. Generation Z is the most ethnically and racially diverse generation yet, and like all young generations, they want to make their world a better place for themselves and their peers.

The civil rights movement in America in the 1960’s addressed visible segregation starting with Brown v. Board of Education. Black Americans fought first for the right to eat, drink and learn alongside white Americans; today they are fighting for the right to live alongside white Americans. According to a study in August of 2019, police use of force is one of the leading causes of death for Black men in America. The 2019 U.S. Census Bureau data reports the poverty rate for Latinx and Black Americans is more than double that of white Americans. 

Time to do our own work

This topic is difficult to talk about, and it may be difficult to read about right now also. Take a deep breath. Racism doesn’t have to be conscious or intentional to exist, but we do need to talk about it because it affects all of us. Erin Hawkins, the General Secretary for the UMC’s General Commission on Religion and Race said, “We all need to do our own work.” One of the most useful tools for dismantling racism is conversation, but that’s hard to do when confronted with responses such as, “I believe in one race — the human race,” or “we don’t have a race problem,” or “it’s not worth talking about; it just makes people angrier.” As teens form their own identities, their beliefs may clash with their peers’ or parents,’ increasing tension and breaking down communication. If we really want to equip our teens to change the world, let’s empower them to have the difficult conversations. 

Question of the day: What makes racism a difficult topic of conversation?
Focal scriptures: Luke 10:38-42; Luke 19:1-10; Acts 10:9-16, 30—11:4

For a complete lesson on this topic visit LinC.

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