Global Youth Rising
July 14, 2015 Kosmos Community News

Earth Guardians | Xiuhtezcatl Martinez on education

A 15-year-old indigenous change agent, environmental activist, public speaker, eco hip-hop artist, and the Youth Director of Earth Guardians– Xiuhtezcatl is a powerful voice on the front lines of the youth-led climate movement. In 2013 Xiuhtezcatl received the “Youth Change Maker of the Year” award from President Obama. He has spoken on three occasions at the United Nations, recently daring a group of world leaders to do something real about climate change. He shares his thoughts with Kosmos.

“In order to really change the world, we have to change our educational systems because we are being educated to fit into a system that is destroying our planet.” – Xiuhtezcatl Martinez

Youth LeadeR | Five Young Activists Speak to Kosmos

How can we make humanity’s finest sustainability solutions and role models part of daily life for our global young generation – and equip them for action? This is the question at the heart of Eric Schneider’s efforts to design media, methods and services that cultivate a youth leadership culture and changemaking climate among young people at school, globally.

Mr. Schneider facilitated interviews with five amazing young changemakers for Kosmos. We asked them about rites of passage, role models, and their messages for the world. Here are some highlights.

Generation Waking Up | Privilege and Social Identity – Getting Real

What is privilege? Can it be defined? It depends where you are standing. And that’s where the concept of “allyship” comes in. Allyship is supporting members from a group other than your own social identity. However, the support someone needs is often different than what others assume.

Eva Orbuch describes a training she attended facilitated by Generation Waking Up. “A very diverse group of 25 young adults spent three whole days together examining the major issues of our time and learning enlightening frameworks from which to re-view things like social justice, oppression, and the environment.” The outcomes may surprise you.

Also, a fascinating video by BuzzFeed shows an exercise created by social activists Margo Adair and Sharon Howell that gets to the heart of privilege and identity.

Youth Passageways | The Need for New Rites of Initiation

We yearn for rites of passage – to be initiated, recognized and accepted for who we are. Where these are lacking, young people often create their own – sometimes with negative consequences. Street gangs are one example, and so is experimenting with drugs. Many young people are seeking alternatives. How do we help to create positive, powerful experiences with them?

YOUTH PASSAGEWAYS is an evolving network of individuals, organizations, and communities supporting the healthy passage of today’s young people into mature adulthood during a time of global transition.

NextGEN | Learning from the Powerful Model of the Ecovillage

Ecovillages are urban or rural communities of people who strive to integrate a supportive social environment with a low-impact way of life. To achieve this, they integrate various aspects of ecological design, permaculture, ecological building, green production, alternative energy, community building practices, and much more. Ecovillages are living models of sustainability. They represent an effective, accessible way to combat the degradation of our social, ecological, and spiritual environments.

The idea of gathering as the younger generations of the Global Ecovillage Network emerged several years ago and now they are active in every GEN region. Each region operates with its own focus and specific goals. NextGEN are united by their youthful spirits, love of the ecovillage movement and a longing to be part of creating the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible.

Afghanistan’s Peace College | Can you teach your way out of a war?

Last year, amid Afghanistan’s continuing war, the Gawharshad Institute of Higher Education, a private, nonprofit university, conducted a survey of its students’ attitudes toward conflict and violence. The poll was telling: When asked what the students would do when confronted with violent actions or words, 58 percent said they would “take revenge.” And though the results may not be surprising — decades of war have arguably ingrained a belief in revenge — the reason administrators at Gawharshad were asking the question. The school has developed a curriculum to try to teach the skills needed to lift the country out of years of violent conflict.