Our names are Kimberlie Dugan, Tyler Ladden, and Alyssa Myers. Kim, (’22) is a Sociology major, and a Psychology and Public Health double minor, Tyler, (’23), is an International Relations Major, and Alyssa, (’23), is a Psychology major, and Philosophy minor. During the 2020 May Fellows Colloquium we were posed with the open ended question “Who are We?”
To answer that question, we decided the “we” we would focus on is Generation Z, the generation responsible for advocating for positive change in the world, particularly the United States. Generation Z, statistically, cares deeply about change and activism, but they largely feel they don’t have the necessary tools to make it happen. As a group, we worked together to create a website, info-graphics, and began a podcast series titled Acts of Advocacy (logo pictured above), in order to equip Generation Z with the necessary tools to help bring about the change they want to see in the world.
Our research was initially inspired by generational theory. After studying generational differences, it became abundantly clear that our generation was handed a world that badly needed fixing. As a group, we were passionate about making the world we live in a better place. Knowing that we are currently faced with a country in a state of partisan political turmoil, a world in the midst of a climate crisis, and a generation struggling with mental health more than ever before, we conducted thorough research on those three areas. Although conducting extensive research on all the world’s problems could be disheartening at times, we became inspired to create a platform dedicated to motivating fellow gen-zers to do good. Furthermore, it is exciting to know that what we created holds longevity and can be used as a reference and an inspirational source for years to come.
We wouldn’t have been able to complete this project without the help of a few members from the Wheaton community. First we want to thank Cassie Peltola in the BASE for providing us with information that helped us to create our advocacy guidelines. We would also like to thank our interviewees, Eva Danielson (‘22), Delia MacLaughlin (‘22), and Caroline Williams (‘23), for sharing their stories about how they got involved in their acts of advocacy. Lastly, we would like to thank Patrick Johnson and Kate Boylan for providing us with the proper resources to create our podcast and website. Staying focused and motivated for the full two and a half weeks of this in-depth research project proved to be hard work. As a group, we persevered as we accepted compromises and rewarded breakthroughs.
Ultimately, when it comes to our experiences working on this project, while it was significantly harder than it seemed, it really exposed us to adult-level working and served as a character-building and bonding experience.
- Academic Festival