Young Black Activists

Young people are passionate. Young people have power. Young people have strong and important voices that need to be heard. Check out these inspiring young Black activists who are making a positive impact in the world today.

When Mari Copeny, opens a new window was just eight years old she wrote a letter to President Obama challenging him to visit Flint, Michigan and see the water crisis for himself. Since then, she has worked hard to give back to her community. Mari has raised over $500,000 for her Flint Kids project and served as a Youth Ambassador to the Women’s March on Washington and the National Climate March. She continues to give voice to the unheard and powerfully opposes the injustices of environmental racism.

Taji Chesimet is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Raising Justice, opens a new window, an organization committed to creating youth-led systemic change. Chesimet’s early experience with law enforcement led him to question the inherent biases and racism in policing and consider how youth-led policy change, public safety training, and grassroots organizing could change these systems on a national level.

Thandiwe Abdullah is an organizer with Black Lives Matter and Co-Founder of the Black Lives Matter L.A. Youth Vanguard, opens a new window. She works to create safe spaces for Black youth to organize and is active with March for Our Lives, opens a new window, emphasizing what gun control must look like for Black youth. Abdullah was named one of Time Magazine’s 25 Most Influential Teens of 2018, opens a new window and she continues to organize, write, and speak out against racism and gun violence.

Ashton Mota is an Afro-Latino transgender activist. He started a Gay Straight Alliance at his middle school and, at the age of 14, became a Human Rights Campaign Youth Ambassador, opens a new window. Now, he travels around the United States giving speeches and advocating for trans youth. He’s passionate about being a voice and role model in young people’s lives as they figure out their identity.

Are you inspired to become involved in activism yourself? Here are a few books to get you started:

Teen Guide to Student Activism, opens a new window

Be A Changemaker, opens a new window

Steal This Country, opens a new window

Who do you find inspiring? What causes are you passionate about? Let us know in the comments!