We're the generation of advocacy
It's time to pass on the lessons we've learned while fighting
Jul. 10, 2018

Incite us, and see what happens

As high schoolers, college students and young adults, we take to parks and streets, holding up homemade signs and chanting for new policies. March For Our Lives reminds the nation that this generation is full of capable and powerful advocates.

We leverage social networks, online and off, to engage changemakers and build momentum in major movements from civil rights to women's liberation. 

The next frontier could be the classroom. American education is a public good—in every sense of the phrase—and is available to everyone in this country for free. Fundamentally, public education is the bedrock of understanding our democracy.

At school, students learn about the complexity of our government and begin to participate as citizens of a larger group, country and world. Lessons learned at school inform how young people shape our future society.

Help the voiceless find what has been taken

Perhaps, no one knows advocacy in the classroom better than Derrik Wiggins, TEACH Kansas City ambassador and Kansas City Public Schools educator.

Teacher holding classroom item.

Teaching is to have power—great power and great responsibility—but that power is not meant to be held but to be given away, so that one day the voiceless will be able to find what has been taken.

Wiggins' words and actions can develop the next generation of changemakers by teaching the practice of advocacy.

Another educator who embodies advocacy—and who now has influence in high places—is Mandy Manning, 2018's National Teacher of the Year. She has advocated for immigrant rights from Spokane, Washington all the way to the Capitol, giving a voice to the voiceless.

National Teacher of the Year Mandy Manning

Photo Credit: Eastern Washington University

As an educator who specifically teaches immigrants and refugee students, Manning has elevated the stories and needs of her students directly to lawmakers, advocating for changes that turn barriers into bridges.

Advocate in the classroom

Teaching is more than delivering lessons on math or English. It is a profession of inspiring how the next generation changes lives. Students of all ages benefit from a teacher who supports them finding and using their voice.

Teachers weave multidisciplinary studies into lesson plans that shape minds: Connect the dots between seemingly disparate topics, and watch your students change the world.

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