Young people doing cool things who you should follow
|My old shop at TEDxRedmond|
Since I was a kid, I've had opportunities to travel around the world and give talks at conferences (sometimes very much in my wheelhouse, like education, youth, and literacy events, and sometimes very much not--shoutout to the lovely folks at the property market MIPIM, or the Association of Energy Services Professionals).
I'd be an asshole if I thought I actually deserved all these opportunities. I don't really believe in merit, and I know no one advances in life on their own; as Barack Obama said more poetically, "you didn't build that." I've been lucky, and I know a lot of peers with more drive and grit than me have not. Given that I believe strongly in equality of opportunity and other fine democratic ideals, I often wonder: how do lucky people live ethically?
Answering that is an ongoing process, but one idea I'm trying to work on is amplifying the voices of other folks who are doing interesting work. In advance of this talk I'm about to give at this year's InstructureCon in Colorado, here's a list of young people doing cool things who you should follow that I'm going to announce during my talk and invite the 2500 attendees to check out! List is certainly incomplete -- reflects biases in my own communities and who I've met personally. (If I know you, you do cool things, and you're not on the list, I think you're awesome but the sleep deprivation and 9000' elevation in Keystone, CO got to me. Will try to update this when it's not midnight MST.)
- Eva Shang, Legalist and her sister Melissa Shang, disability rights activist and author of Mia Lee is Wheeling Through High School
- Zoya Jiwa, As We Are Style, "a style website for people who are facing health challenges" to alleviate pain and build community
- Nikhil Goyal (education activism)
- Student Voice, Zak Malamed
- Irene Jiang: Fulbright in Morocco doing documentary filmmaking on a theatre troupe and posting a serial Cascadian murder mystery online.
- Daniel Kao, NYTimes and Syndicator
- Erik Martin (one of the nicest people I've ever met!) formerly of Dept of Ed and White House and now Syndicator and grad school adventures
- StudentRND, Tyler Menezes
- Hack Club, Zach Latta
- Sagaree Jain, poet and researcher about to be a Global Health Corps fellow, also a Berkeley alum
- Interact Retreat for social good-oriented technologists and affiliated community
- The students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School protesting gun violence by organizing March for Our Lives
- Filmmaker Azza Cohen
- Comedian, writer and feminist Ruby Karp
- Cal alum Rigel Robinson is running for Berkeley City Council and another alum, Caitlin Quinn, is running for Petaluma School Board
- Students United for Reproductive Justice at Berkeley; their work is a master class in how to make s**t happen (they helped pass a bill ensuring access to medication abortion on campus), and I regret not being more active in the movement, although I did show up to one meeting and eat pizza.
- Poet Peter LaBerge literally started a full-fledged literary magazine, The Adroit Journal, when he was in high school
- Rebecca Dharmapalan - filmmaking, speaking out against human trafficking
- (My housemate for three years in college) Alex Yoon-Hendricks, writing for the NYTimes
- (Freshman year roommate!) Camille Fassett reporting for the Freedom of Press Foundation
- The young people organizing TEDx events all around the country, including my favorites at TEDxYouth@Redmond!