1 Introduction Jerusha Conner and Sonia M. Rosen At the present moment in the United States, youth activism is highly visible. The spring of 2015 saw a resurgence of marches, peaceful protests, and dem- onstrations across the nation, as Black youth joined with adults to assert that Black Lives Matter and to call for an end to the aggressive policing of Black and Brown bodies. Die-ins occurred on many college and high school cam- puses. In the fall of 2015, using a range of tactics from old-fashioned sit-ins and hunger strikes to new media campaigns, students from various universi- ties and colleges forced administrators to engage in long-overdue conversa- tions about institutionalized racism and sexism, to change policies, to revise curricula, and to reconsider building names. With the support of their coach, student athletes at the University of Missouri stood in solidarity with fellow student activists, calling for an increase in the hiring of Black faculty mem- bers and the creation of a comprehensive racial awareness and inclusion cur- riculum, among other demands. The football players’ refusal to participate in revenue-generating games until the president of the university resigned gar- nered national headlines and triggered an outpouring of support from other students across the country. High school students, too, have staged dramatic walkouts over the past couple of years to protest policies and practices that disproportionately affect low-income students of color, including funding cuts to education, violent treatment at the hands of school resource officers, and high-stakes testing regimes that narrow the curriculum and punish students. Youth from the United States have also assumed roles in international campaigns and social justice movements they were actively involved in the demonstrations sur- rounding the climate talks in Paris in December 2015, and they have joined with youth from more than 100 other nation-states in U.N.-sponsored pro- grams and events, such as the United Nations Economic and Social Council Youth Forum held in New York in February 2016.
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