Developing and Expanding an International Youth Movement

Jerry Zhou ‘22,  shares his commitment to continuing the fight for “inspiring and supporting independent youth action.”

This summer 25 students were accepted in the CSGC grants program. These grants are funded due to the generous support of the Cost, Earle/Mendillo and Workman families, who established endowment funds to support the community and public service endeavors of future generations of Deerfield students. For more information on these grants please visit: https://deerfield.edu/csgc/grants

As isolation and virtual connection becomes the new normal, the world continues its struggle amidst the pandemic. Action and connection are more important than ever in these times, and though the future is still uncertain, glimmers of hope are beginning to appear, and I have been aspiring to provide those glimmers as well. Despite my summer plans being initially disrupted, I’ve devoted my newly abundant free time to connecting, inspiring, educating, and supporting students to continue fighting for positive change amidst this pandemic, through continuing to develop and expand an international youth movement.

Earlier this summer, I founded Youth Global Action, an organization focusing on the goal of providing a unified and universal platform for inspiring and supporting independent youth action. In June, I organized an international virtual conference on the COVID-19 pandemic and protests against racial injustice, with over 50 students participating in speaker panels and workshops, where they worked together to develop a solution to a specific issue they identified. In the aftermath of the conference, our participants have used their experience at the conference to take action, and we have continued to support them, keeping in contact and observing the growth of their movements and the change that they spark. Recently, one group of participants have organized a virtual educational platform for their local community in China, the idea of which they came up with during our conference.

In the past two months, our movement has continued to steadily develop and grow. In July, we rolled out the YGA blog on our website (youthglobalaction.org), a platform for sharing articles representing the unique perspectives and voices of youth from all over the world, and we have been steadily releasing content and expanding our staff. To increase the reach of our movement, we have also recently released our website content on some international social media platforms, including the Chinese platform WeChat and the Korean platform Naver.

Currently, we are continuing to recruit and expand our blog on more media platforms to establish more concrete branding, as well as proceeding in the early stages of brainstorming for a potential conference this fall. I’m incredibly hopeful for what the future will bring, and I intend to give my all to keep on growing this movement.

Thanks to the continued support of CSGC and the Workman family, we are able to fund the continued expansion of our digital infrastructure, evolving our website and increasing our movement’s impact.

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