Generation Z: Young and Powerful 

Gabi Jeakle, Online Editor

Generation Z. From a technical standpoint, we were born ranging from the years 1997-2011. We are the children of Generation X. We are the voices of Emma Gonzales, David Hogg, (girl who talked about blm). We are the organizers of March for Our Lives, and Never Again. We will not tolerate Neo-nazis, sexual harassment, and inequality in our workplace.

The stars have aligned. We are reaping the rewards of the tireless work that trailblazers before us have put into place.

A generation is generally shaped by the formative events that occur in their adolescence. For the greatest generation, these events included The Great Depression, the New Deal, and the Second World War. The Silent Generation: The Korean War, The Space Race, and McCarthyism. For Baby boomers; Vietnam, The rise of television, and The Moon landing. For Generation X: The Fall of the Berlin Wall;  Disco and Punk Music; and The Aids Epidemic. For Millennials: 9/11;  Obama; and The Great Recession. And finally: Generation Z. The eldest of us were born in the late 90’s. Our formative events are post 9/11 terrorism (which has been primarily domestic); The Trump election;  Neo-nazi riots, Justice based movements such as Black Lives Matter, Me Too, Never Again. Technology, social media. IPads and IPhones. According to generation sociologists, it is no surprise that we are already proving to be harder working than some of the previous generations. We have come of age in a post-recession America.

We have been compared to the silent generation; having grown up in a time of both war, and the aftermath of economic devastation. We are thought of to be the most entrepreneurial generations. Under America’s first African American President, the Supreme Court of the United States enshrined same sex marriage, two powerful examples of the expansion of personal liberty.

Perhaps we have taken this social equality for granted. But is that really a bad thing? To not settle for anything short of just?

During our lifetimes, the vast majority of terrorism we have experienced is domestic perpetrated not by strange looking men from a far away land, but from Americans, often young Americans, who mixed a firearm and mental illness into a tragedy. Our generation does not fear Mexican immigrants or women on trains who wear hijabs. We understand that our safety should be worth more than NRA funding.

We are the generation that has never known a world without the internet. We can share ideas instantaneously thrugh twitter and Instagram. When the tragedy of the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas shooting occurred, the instinct of student leaders was to reach out via social media. The result was a number of leaders with millions of social media followers and the power to bring nearly 1 million supporters within weeks to a March on Washington and hundreds of other cities throughout the world.

Though we are young, our numbers make us powerful. We are the American dream. We are the future.