December 9, 2015

Teenagers Are the Focus Of Racial Justice Event

Since founding “redefy” nearly three years ago to help teenagers recognize and redefine cultural stereotypes, Princeton Day School junior Ziad Ahmed has dined at The White House alongside President Obama and shared ideas with prominent social activists from across the globe. This Sunday, December 13, he is back on his home turf with an event at Princeton University’s Carl A. Fields Center.

“#The Generation of Now” is a collaboration with Not in Our Town Princeton and the University’s Muslim Life Program. Some 200 people — 120 of whom are students — are expected to attend the afternoon of panel discussions, presentations, and workshops designed to inspire teenagers and community members to become engaged in social justice activities.

Among the speakers are Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman, who will make the opening remarks; Zellie Imani, an educator who has been organizing against anti-black state violence with Millenial Activists United; journalist Goldie Taylor of The Daily Beast; and Haroon Moghul, an expert on Islam, foreign policy, and the Muslim world; among others.

“We Hope #The Generation of Now will have a profound effect on the greater Princeton area to not only be informed about the current reality, but be inspired to do something about it,” said Mr. Ahmed in a printed statement. The event, he continued, “can shape the conversation on racial justice in the greater Princeton area. So many people are largely uneducated about the current reality of our society, and oblivious to the civil rights movement that is occurring.”

The event runs from 12:30 to 6 p.m. and will feature four panel discussions titled “Interfaith Activism,” “Black Lives Matter,’ “Combating Islamaphobia,” and “Marginalization of Asian Identity.” There will be workshops open to teens in attendance on how to mobilize, while older participants can take part in a discussion of racial justice.

“Our hope is that through bringing really exciting activists that we can inspire people, specifically teenagers, to care about social justice,” Mr. Ahmed said. “My generation needs to be aware of the nuances in activism, whether it be within the Black Liberation Movement or the general fight against racism. Procrastination has translated into many teenagers’ activism, faith, and lifestyle, and we hope this event can address that.”

See this week’s Mailbox (“Four Local High School Students Answer The Question ‘What Gives You Hope’”).