“The youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow.” So said Nelson Mandela to a crowd of Boston high school students when he first visited the United States in 1990. And if 2020 is any indication, Baton Rouge’s youth is already stepping up to that role.
Previous generations may have been referred to as the “Me” generation, but it might be time to start referring to Gen Z as the “We” generation. Here in the Capital City, we’re seeing more and more Gen Zers—those born after 1996—taking to the streets to demand social justice, rallying their community around a cause and using their tech savvy to connect people in need. According to the Pew Research Center, Gen Z is the most racially and ethnically diverse generation yet. They are on track to be the most well educated, and they are more progressive in their social and political views. Roughly 24 million of them will be of age to cast a ballot in November, making them a powerful force to be reckoned with. And that might also explain why here in Baton Rouge, they are standing up and making noise, using science and technology in ways their elders haven’t, and demanding a seat at the table to push our community forward.
In 225‘s October 2020 cover story, we showcase young people who are making a difference locally—and responding to our current social climate and a national pandemic in ways that are making their parents and mentors proud. Our October edition also unpacks the 2020 local election and includes updates on Halloween happenings. Find it all on print and digital newsstands now.