Alexandria Gordon – The Power of Young People
Young people have been key players in nearly every successful social change movement, and at the moment they are at the forefront of the struggle to force authentic global action on climate and injustice—they are currently humanity’s conscience, and it’s crucial that we listen to them and that we nurture as many of these new leaders as possible. Student PIRGs (Public Interest Research Groups) are working to train the next generation of activists, and Alex Gordon, one of these young activists, a winner of this year’s prestigious Brower Youth Award for her organizing prowess on the “Break Free from Plastic Pledge,” voter registration drives and other student power initiatives, shares her experiences as a young person working to create a world that can work for everyone.
This talk was delivered at the 2021 Bioneers Conference.
Alexandria (Alex) Gordon, a senior at Eckerd College (in St. Petersburg, FLA) and student organizer with Florida PIRG Students, a student-run nonpartisan nonprofit, got her start organizing on that group’s New Voters Project, working to register young people for the 2018 midterm elections. In 2019 she launched a successful campaign to get Eckerd to sign the “Break Free From Plastic Pledge” and eliminate all nonessential single-use plastics on campus, resulting in Eckerd becoming the first school in the nation to implement such a pledge. Alex continues to build support for campuses and communities to break free from plastics and to build student power in the state of Florida.
Youth movements are rising to restore people and planet. In this podcast, De’Anthony Jones, a former President of the Environmental Students Organization at Sacramento State, Chloe Maxmin, co-founder of Divest Harvard, and Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, hip-hop artist and Youth Director of Earth Guardians, say there’s no better time to be born than now because this generation gets to rewrite history. It could be known as the generation that brought forth a healthy, just, sustainable world for every generation to come.
Over the last 20 years, the Bioneers Youth Leadership and Education Program has served as an incubator for thousands of youth and educators to deepen their passion and power through self-expression, skills development, mentorship and deep relationship building within the broader community of Bioneers. The program has produced some of the most dynamic, engaging, and cutting edge programming within the Bioneers kaleidoscope and it continues to shape the work of youth movements, activism and education.