When 8-year-old Michele Threefoot walked into her school on “Superhero Day” dressed as notorious RBG–Supreme Court Ruth Bader Ginsburg–she represented the power and the possibilities of growing up girl in the 21st century. Never before have so many powerful women been so visible and so influential. Female superheroes live among us! Our children have seen the first female Presidential candidate; a brilliant lawyer as the most influential First Lady in history; a tenacious Supreme Court judge–in fact, three of them! Feminist icons abound: musicians and Olympic athletes, artists and authors. Activists, from Malala to the founders of Black Lives Matter put their lives on the line for justice and human rights. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s We Should All Be Feminists sells like hotcakes. We want to imagine all of these streams flowing into a beautiful river of social change.
The election of Donald Trump reminded us in the crudest possible way that change of this magnitude is never easy. For some this was a shock. For others, it was life as usual. For all, it was a stark reminder that there are still walls to climb, barriers to break down.
The largest protest march in history was a call to action for the youngest among us. Check out Wee The People’s video on Kid Powered Resistance at the Boston Women’s March!
We won’t go back!!
Now that the speeches are over, the pink pussy hats put away, the passionate slogans on our colorful signs set aside, what next? How can we continue to nurture hope, inspire action? How do we thoughtfully, deliberately, playfully build our children’s activists muscles?
In her speech at the DC Women’s March, Gloria Steinem said:
“I’m using my torch to light other people’s torches. Because the idea that there’s one torch-passer is part of the bonkers hierarchical idea—and if we each have a torch, there’s a lot more light.”
The change we want to see happens first in our homes, on our playgrounds, in school hallways, in our neighborhoods and communities. The best thing we can do for our children is affirm their power, encourage their voices, help them recognize and call out injustice, and inspire them to light their torches and those of others.
In this spirit, SPARK Movement, New Moon Girls, and Wee The People offer this FREE downloadable Young Voices For Justice toolkit. Each action is designed to encourage children to rise up, speak up, fight the good fight, imagine a better world and dare to believe in themselves as powerful enough to bring that world into being.