The prevalence of social and environmental justice activism among the youth of this generation has been remarkable. There are millions of youth who often go unrecognised for their day-to-day hard work and kind acts towards making this world more socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable. To reflect upon the year, I have selected a few kick-butt stories that stood out for me in 2013.
1) Malala Yousafzai, for her ongoing courage in standing up for her own education, despite the violent attacks she endured. Malala is a global voice for many young girls in developing countries who lack the opportunity to go to school.
2) UBC’s Tap That Campaign, for successfully raising awareness about the detrimental environmental impacts of plastic water bottles and establishing campus-wide initiatives towards a waste-free UBC community.
“Even though we can recycle the water bottles, 80% of those bottles are thrown out. Most of these don’t even make it to the garbage can, and end up in our world’s oceans, killing marine life that mistake it for food.”
3) Marvel Comics’ new superhero: Kamala Khan, a 16-year-old Muslim girl. The introduction of Ms. Marvel creates a positive and empowering image for the Muslim-American female teenage identity that is often neglected in many dominant Western mainstream media outlets. Ms. Marvel challenges the lack of ethnic diversity and empowering female characters that Marvel and DC comics has been often criticized for.