Fri Mar 1st, 2019
Tags: Activism, Advocacy Groups, Brave New Films, Citizen University, Documentary Films, Keystone XL Pipeline, Nathan Philips, Native Youth Alliance, Progressive Movements, RISE for Youth, Youth Leader, Youth Rise Texas
Over the past three months, Brave New Films has released four films featuring youth leaders expanding the scope of activism and advocacy in the United States. Following Their Lead: Youth in Action spotlights youth-led advocacy groups across the country who are creating positive change on critical social and political issues.
Among these leaders are Native Youth Alliance, founded by activist Nathan Phillips, produced a film focused on stopping the Keystone XL pipeline, acquiring land for native youth homes, and protecting the Omaha language from extinction. Nathan and his daughter, Alethea Phillips, are instrumental in the fight against systemic injustice.
Youth leaders have been instrumental in leading progressive movements throughout American history. During the Civil Rights Movement, young people played a pivotal role in ending segregation through nonviolent sit-ins and walk-outs. Youth organizers in the late Sixties were responsible for lowering the voting age to 18. More recently, students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School organized one of the country’s largest protests to date – the March for Our Lives – attended by 1.2 million people.
Young people are experts on their lives and the change they want to see in the world; they also most heavily bear the consequences of today’s decision-making. Their voices are powerful and must be heard. Their insight and perspective are essential for a truly inclusive and responsive democracy.
Youth Rise Texas, released December 19
Youth Rise Texas, a youth-led, Austin-based organization focuses on expanding democratic participation and uplifting the voices of young people harmed by criminalization and deportation, as it did in organizing a voter mobilization event for young people and minorities in East Austin.
RISE for Youth, released January 9
Based in Richmond, Virginia, RISE successfully fought for the closure of Beaumont Juvenile Correctional Center, which had been in operation since 1890, and the reinvestment of millions of dollars into community-based services. Later that year, RISE was instrumental in stopping the construction of a new youth prison in Chesapeake.
Native Youth Alliance, released January 22
Native Youth Alliance, founded by activist Nathan Phillips, is focused on stopping the Keystone XL pipeline, acquiring land for native youth homes, and protecting the Omaha language from extinction. Nathan and his daughter, Alethea Phillips, are instrumental in the fight against systemic injustice.
Citizen University, released February 8
Citizen University’s Youth Power Project is providing young people with the opportunity to take advantage of their power both collectively and individually, from creating classroom stickers that indicate safe spaces for LGBTQ teens to collecting feminine products for homeless women living in shelters.