I am so tired of hearing some older women devalue young women by regurgitating a narrative that suggests we do not care about political issues, we take all of our hard-fought rights for granted and that we are entitled and expect everything to be handed to us. Even if these things were true, which they are not, putting us down is not the way to motivate us into action.
But truly, there is no need to motivate us into action because we are already active, visible and passionate about our lives, our communities, our work, our relationships and the issues we care about. Through my work with Young Women Rising, a project focused on empowering women ages 18-35, I have the good fortune to meet so many amazing, talented people who are out in their communities making a difference every single day.
Additionally, on a national level, there are movements and organizations that have been started by passionate young women including the Black Lives Matter movement (started by Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi) and Reproaction (started by Erin Matson and Pamela Merrit).
These women are not our future leaders; they are our leaders right now. So when Young Women Rising was recently talking about the ageism many of us have experienced, especially in our careers, we decided it was time to speak out about why young women should be valued, in all aspects of our lives. We held an event and had young women tell us, via a photo shoot, why #youngwomenrock. Some of the inspiring images are below.
So the next time you are (1) tempted to criticize us for not being involved or (2) you hear someone criticizing us, I hope you’ll boldly and proudly respond by saying #youngwomenrock.