The decade in youth activism

Young people mobilized in major ways over the past 10 years — here are five significant movements.

5 youth-led defining protest movements of the decade

A big part of what sets this decade of youth activism apart from that history is that today’s youth activists have grown up with social media. So much has changed over the last 10 years, including some of the social issues that have made their way front and center onto the world stage.

Occupy Wall Street

A protest that started in 2011 in New York City and spread into other cities all over the United States. People protested against how poor and wealthy people have lived in different ways and are treated differently by other people, and also against the way corporations used their money.

Black Lives Matter

The movement to protest police killings of black people spread nationally after the August 2014 killing of Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri. In 2013, the movement began with the use of the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter on social media after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of African American teen Trayvon Martin in February 2012.

March for Our Lives

After the Parkland shooting, students organized a nationwide march — gathering over 1 million to protest around the U.S. It took place in Washington, D.C., on March 24, 2018, with over 880 sibling events throughout the United States and around the world, and was planned by Never Again MSD in collaboration with the nonprofit organization.

Fridays for Future

Also known as the Global Week for Future, were a series of international strikes and protests to demand action be taken to address climate change, which took place from 20–27 September. The 20 September protests were likely the largest climate strikes in world history.

Protecting DACA recipients

Supporters of DACA recipients gathered in front of the Supreme Court as the first oral arguments were heard over the Trump administration's decision to end protections for undocumented young people.