When exactly do we learn that children are citizens too? Also, when do we learn that active citizenship isn’t for a select few? I know that statistically, there are some groups that have limited access to political capital or networking, but in The Bahamas, those groups seem to encompass the masses. Do we even know how to actively engage or advocate for our rights outside of partisan politics?
I participated in the first youth in Parliament more than 20 years ago and the Ministry of Youth has done a great job of maintaining that program; giving youth earlier opportunities to participate in engage in governmental affairs. High schools have started offering civic-education classes so that students learn more about citizenship and the constitution of The Bahamas. But how do we translate this all into active citizenship for the everyday citizen? What opportunities do we need to afford our youth in their learning and development so that we have a better-informed adult population?
Malala Yousafzai and Greta Thunberg have successfully demonstrated the power and impact of the youth voice and serve as forceful reminders that children are citizens too.
Who are some youth around our nation whom we should be celebrating as active citizens? and what more could we be doing to support their action and causes?
Youth activism is on the rise around the globe, and adults should pay attention, says author