[et_pb_section admin_label=”section”] [et_pb_row admin_label=”row”] [et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text”]

Margin Zheng

This wasn’t a role that I actively sought.  Rather, it came to me with a question mark – and after some consideration and confused “why me?”, I realized I was called to serve.  

I began in NYRA just over a year ago as a new member of the Board and Staff, having organized for student rights and agency in high school.  I served first as Communications Co-Lead, and then as the Staffing Lead.  Throughout my work, I felt uncertain about my place in a national nonprofit, especially as a first-year college student who prioritized academics and on-campus activism, which included starting and leading a Sunrise Movement hub. 

Sometimes I even questioned NYRA’s cause: weren’t the climate crisis, racism, xenophobia, economic inequity, etc. the more compelling issues in today’s injustice-ridden world?  Was the time I was spending on NYRA’s work taking away from my ability to fight for other issues of social justice?  

But then I realized that youth rights and other causes of social justice were not mutually exclusive – in fact, they depended heavily upon one another.  No one is liberated until we all are liberated.  We haven’t won the rights of youth until we’ve won the rights of BIPOC youth, of queer youth, of poor youth, of neurodivergent youth, of youth with other marginalized identities and backgrounds.  

And we haven’t conquered ageism in society until we have conquered its impacts within ourselves.

My name is Margin, age 19, pronouns they/them.  I am a queer nonbinary Asian and a rising sophomore in college.  I have been many times harmed by ageism intersecting with racism, genderism, and other forms of oppression.  Some days I question myself, doubt the validity of my identity and my story, wonder if I might actually be “naïve” or “immature” as I have been told.  

But then I remind myself, as I must again and again, until the oppressive systems that hold us captive are destroyed: I am capable.  I am enough.

Ashawn

Ashawn's profile photo

My name is Ashawn Dabney-Small. Working for NYRA has always been meaningful to me.

During my first month working for NYRA I volunteered on issues focused on youth and the voting age. I worked and followed along with Congresswoman Pressley’s proposed legislation to lower the mandatory minimum voting age in federal elections. 

From there I worked with NYRA to put Massachusetts on the map, and became NYRA’s Massachusetts State Coordinator. I oversaw several schools and worked on different issues that many youth face, not only in the state of MA, but all over the country. Through youth engagement work, I have gained skills as a community organizer. I also value that I have formed new relationships and have also made new connections with friends.

During my time as the coordinator, I applied for the position of Action Lead for the Executive Team. After being interviewed I was notified by the Board of Directors that I was selected not only to become the Action Lead but was also selected to be on the Board! I was honored to have my hard work recognized. This work included involving youth in political issues like voting rights and other current issues that face youth. 

From there I was working with and on-boarding new chapters. Being the Action Lead meant I had to transition from just managing my state’s chapter to also managing others outside of my state. I took that challenge head on and became an advocate and friend to those in other states. I was able to process and provide necessary tools for them to meet and create firm plans and strategies for their next steps, which ultimately pushed me to do even more.

Now you might be wondering why Margin and I are sharing our stories. Today I have news to share.

I am an 18 yrs old Queer Youth Activist. My pronouns are He/Him/His. I will be taking on a leadership role as your new Vice President of NYRA alongside Margin as the President. Together we will work together to create and cultivate passion for youth advocacy. I am so excited and honored to be able to stand side by side as strong Individuals and start some good trouble!

A New NYRA Vision

The times are tumultuous.  The coronavirus pandemic is killing millions throughout the globe and threatening the physical and mental health and economic wellbeing of many.  Protests continue in the U.S. against police violence and the murders of innumerable Black and Brown people in recent years and through centuries of systemic oppression.  The climate crisis continues to rage, fires and floods destroying communities everywhere but threatening especially the most marginalized and vulnerable.  

Yet from tumult comes transformation.  And all over the globe, youth are rising, leading the charge for change.  

That is why the fight for youth rights and liberation is more crucial than ever before.  And that is why we, Margin and Ashawn, believe that NYRA must center its organizing on intersectionality, paying special attention to how systems of oppression such as racism, ableism, and queerphobia compound the blows of ageism in the lives of many young people in the U.S.  

This intersectional vision sharpens and expands upon NYRA’s historical mission, which although has called for freedom and dignity for “all” young people, has fallen short of fully serving all youth and not just the relatively privileged.  As we continue advocating for NYRA’s traditional focal issues of voting rights, the elimination of curfews, the drinking age, student rights and self-directed education, and medical autonomy, we will do so with renewed awareness of how other marginalized identities that young people hold may complicate these issues or make other issues more urgent to their health and wellbeing.  

We stand beside the numerous young people today who are advocating for social and economic justice in its many interwoven forms.  We know that if more young people had the freedom to act for themselves, unfettered by oppressive schools or controlling families – if young people were recognized to have the right to vote, to freely transport themselves, to make their own financial and medical decisions, to pursue an education that is relevant to their goals, to participate in their communities and governments to the full extent of their capabilities regardless of chronological age – then the social movements that overwhelmingly are driven by younger generations would have much more power at the voting booth and beyond.  

We represent the new NYRA, the NYRA that is deeply engaged in the ecosystem of movements and that truly aims for the rights and liberation of ALL young people.

This week, NYRA is welcoming new leadership: Margin Zheng as President and Ashawn Dabney-Small as Vice President and Action Lead.  Both in their late teens, they will be collaborating to grow and reshape NYRA for a new age of activism for youth and by youth.

Margin

Margin Zheng

This wasn’t a role that I actively sought.  Rather, it came to me with a question mark – and after some consideration and confused “why me?”, I realized I was called to serve.  

I began in NYRA just over a year ago as a new member of the Board and Staff, having organized for student rights and agency in high school.  I served first as Communications Co-Lead, and then as the Staffing Lead.  Throughout my work, I felt uncertain about my place in a national nonprofit, especially as a first-year college student who prioritized academics and on-campus activism, which included starting and leading a Sunrise Movement hub. 

Sometimes I even questioned NYRA’s cause: weren’t the climate crisis, racism, xenophobia, economic inequity, etc. the more compelling issues in today’s injustice-ridden world?  Was the time I was spending on NYRA’s work taking away from my ability to fight for other issues of social justice?  

But then I realized that youth rights and other causes of social justice were not mutually exclusive – in fact, they depended heavily upon one another.  No one is liberated until we all are liberated.  We haven’t won the rights of youth until we’ve won the rights of BIPOC youth, of queer youth, of poor youth, of neurodivergent youth, of youth with other marginalized identities and backgrounds.  

And we haven’t conquered ageism in society until we have conquered its impacts within ourselves.

My name is Margin, age 19, pronouns they/them.  I am a queer nonbinary Asian and a rising sophomore in college.  I have been many times harmed by ageism intersecting with racism, genderism, and other forms of oppression.  Some days I question myself, doubt the validity of my identity and my story, wonder if I might actually be “naïve” or “immature” as I have been told.  

But then I remind myself, as I must again and again, until the oppressive systems that hold us captive are destroyed: I am capable.  I am enough.

Ashawn

Ashawn's profile photo

My name is Ashawn Dabney-Small. Working for NYRA has always been meaningful to me.

During my first month working for NYRA I volunteered on issues focused on youth and the voting age. I worked and followed along with Congresswoman Pressley’s proposed legislation to lower the mandatory minimum voting age in federal elections. 

From there I worked with NYRA to put Massachusetts on the map, and became NYRA’s Massachusetts State Coordinator. I oversaw several schools and worked on different issues that many youth face, not only in the state of MA, but all over the country. Through youth engagement work, I have gained skills as a community organizer. I also value that I have formed new relationships and have also made new connections with friends.

During my time as the coordinator, I applied for the position of Action Lead for the Executive Team. After being interviewed I was notified by the Board of Directors that I was selected not only to become the Action Lead but was also selected to be on the Board! I was honored to have my hard work recognized. This work included involving youth in political issues like voting rights and other current issues that face youth. 

From there I was working with and on-boarding new chapters. Being the Action Lead meant I had to transition from just managing my state’s chapter to also managing others outside of my state. I took that challenge head on and became an advocate and friend to those in other states. I was able to process and provide necessary tools for them to meet and create firm plans and strategies for their next steps, which ultimately pushed me to do even more.

Now you might be wondering why Margin and I are sharing our stories. Today I have news to share.

I am an 18 yrs old Queer Youth Activist. My pronouns are He/Him/His. I will be taking on a leadership role as your new Vice President of NYRA alongside Margin as the President. Together we will work together to create and cultivate passion for youth advocacy. I am so excited and honored to be able to stand side by side as strong Individuals and start some good trouble!

A New NYRA Vision

The times are tumultuous.  The coronavirus pandemic is killing millions throughout the globe and threatening the physical and mental health and economic wellbeing of many.  Protests continue in the U.S. against police violence and the murders of innumerable Black and Brown people in recent years and through centuries of systemic oppression.  The climate crisis continues to rage, fires and floods destroying communities everywhere but threatening especially the most marginalized and vulnerable.  

Yet from tumult comes transformation.  And all over the globe, youth are rising, leading the charge for change.  

That is why the fight for youth rights and liberation is more crucial than ever before.  And that is why we, Margin and Ashawn, believe that NYRA must center its organizing on intersectionality, paying special attention to how systems of oppression such as racism, ableism, and queerphobia compound the blows of ageism in the lives of many young people in the U.S.  

This intersectional vision sharpens and expands upon NYRA’s historical mission, which although has called for freedom and dignity for “all” young people, has fallen short of fully serving all youth and not just the relatively privileged.  As we continue advocating for NYRA’s traditional focal issues of voting rights, the elimination of curfews, the drinking age, student rights and self-directed education, and medical autonomy, we will do so with renewed awareness of how other marginalized identities that young people hold may complicate these issues or make other issues more urgent to their health and wellbeing.  

We stand beside the numerous young people today who are advocating for social and economic justice in its many interwoven forms.  We know that if more young people had the freedom to act for themselves, unfettered by oppressive schools or controlling families – if young people were recognized to have the right to vote, to freely transport themselves, to make their own financial and medical decisions, to pursue an education that is relevant to their goals, to participate in their communities and governments to the full extent of their capabilities regardless of chronological age – then the social movements that overwhelmingly are driven by younger generations would have much more power at the voting booth and beyond.  

We represent the new NYRA, the NYRA that is deeply engaged in the ecosystem of movements and that truly aims for the rights and liberation of ALL young people.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column] [/et_pb_row] [/et_pb_section]

This week, NYRA is welcoming new leadership: Margin Zheng as President and Ashawn Dabney-Small as Vice President and Action Lead.  Both in their late teens, they will be collaborating to grow and reshape NYRA for a new age of activism for youth and by youth.

Margin

Margin Zheng

This wasn’t a role that I actively sought.  Rather, it came to me with a question mark – and after some consideration and confused “why me?”, I realized I was called to serve.  

I began in NYRA just over a year ago as a new member of the Board and Staff, having organized for student rights and agency in high school.  I served first as Communications Co-Lead, and then as the Staffing Lead.  Throughout my work, I felt uncertain about my place in a national nonprofit, especially as a first-year college student who prioritized academics and on-campus activism, which included starting and leading a Sunrise Movement hub. 

Sometimes I even questioned NYRA’s cause: weren’t the climate crisis, racism, xenophobia, economic inequity, etc. the more compelling issues in today’s injustice-ridden world?  Was the time I was spending on NYRA’s work taking away from my ability to fight for other issues of social justice?  

But then I realized that youth rights and other causes of social justice were not mutually exclusive – in fact, they depended heavily upon one another.  No one is liberated until we all are liberated.  We haven’t won the rights of youth until we’ve won the rights of BIPOC youth, of queer youth, of poor youth, of neurodivergent youth, of youth with other marginalized identities and backgrounds.  

And we haven’t conquered ageism in society until we have conquered its impacts within ourselves.

My name is Margin, age 19, pronouns they/them.  I am a queer nonbinary Asian and a rising sophomore in college.  I have been many times harmed by ageism intersecting with racism, genderism, and other forms of oppression.  Some days I question myself, doubt the validity of my identity and my story, wonder if I might actually be “naïve” or “immature” as I have been told.  

But then I remind myself, as I must again and again, until the oppressive systems that hold us captive are destroyed: I am capable.  I am enough.

Ashawn

Ashawn's profile photo

My name is Ashawn Dabney-Small. Working for NYRA has always been meaningful to me.

During my first month working for NYRA I volunteered on issues focused on youth and the voting age. I worked and followed along with Congresswoman Pressley’s proposed legislation to lower the mandatory minimum voting age in federal elections. 

From there I worked with NYRA to put Massachusetts on the map, and became NYRA’s Massachusetts State Coordinator. I oversaw several schools and worked on different issues that many youth face, not only in the state of MA, but all over the country. Through youth engagement work, I have gained skills as a community organizer. I also value that I have formed new relationships and have also made new connections with friends.

During my time as the coordinator, I applied for the position of Action Lead for the Executive Team. After being interviewed I was notified by the Board of Directors that I was selected not only to become the Action Lead but was also selected to be on the Board! I was honored to have my hard work recognized. This work included involving youth in political issues like voting rights and other current issues that face youth. 

From there I was working with and on-boarding new chapters. Being the Action Lead meant I had to transition from just managing my state’s chapter to also managing others outside of my state. I took that challenge head on and became an advocate and friend to those in other states. I was able to process and provide necessary tools for them to meet and create firm plans and strategies for their next steps, which ultimately pushed me to do even more.

Now you might be wondering why Margin and I are sharing our stories. Today I have news to share.

I am an 18 yrs old Queer Youth Activist. My pronouns are He/Him/His. I will be taking on a leadership role as your new Vice President of NYRA alongside Margin as the President. Together we will work together to create and cultivate passion for youth advocacy. I am so excited and honored to be able to stand side by side as strong Individuals and start some good trouble!

A New NYRA Vision

The times are tumultuous.  The coronavirus pandemic is killing millions throughout the globe and threatening the physical and mental health and economic wellbeing of many.  Protests continue in the U.S. against police violence and the murders of innumerable Black and Brown people in recent years and through centuries of systemic oppression.  The climate crisis continues to rage, fires and floods destroying communities everywhere but threatening especially the most marginalized and vulnerable.  

Yet from tumult comes transformation.  And all over the globe, youth are rising, leading the charge for change.  

That is why the fight for youth rights and liberation is more crucial than ever before.  And that is why we, Margin and Ashawn, believe that NYRA must center its organizing on intersectionality, paying special attention to how systems of oppression such as racism, ableism, and queerphobia compound the blows of ageism in the lives of many young people in the U.S.  

This intersectional vision sharpens and expands upon NYRA’s historical mission, which although has called for freedom and dignity for “all” young people, has fallen short of fully serving all youth and not just the relatively privileged.  As we continue advocating for NYRA’s traditional focal issues of voting rights, the elimination of curfews, the drinking age, student rights and self-directed education, and medical autonomy, we will do so with renewed awareness of how other marginalized identities that young people hold may complicate these issues or make other issues more urgent to their health and wellbeing.  

We stand beside the numerous young people today who are advocating for social and economic justice in its many interwoven forms.  We know that if more young people had the freedom to act for themselves, unfettered by oppressive schools or controlling families – if young people were recognized to have the right to vote, to freely transport themselves, to make their own financial and medical decisions, to pursue an education that is relevant to their goals, to participate in their communities and governments to the full extent of their capabilities regardless of chronological age – then the social movements that overwhelmingly are driven by younger generations would have much more power at the voting booth and beyond.  

We represent the new NYRA, the NYRA that is deeply engaged in the ecosystem of movements and that truly aims for the rights and liberation of ALL young people.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column] [/et_pb_row] [/et_pb_section]

This week, NYRA is welcoming new leadership: Margin Zheng as President and Ashawn Dabney-Small as Vice President and Action Lead.  Both in their late teens, they will be collaborating to grow and reshape NYRA for a new age of activism for youth and by youth.

Margin

Margin Zheng

This wasn’t a role that I actively sought.  Rather, it came to me with a question mark – and after some consideration and confused “why me?”, I realized I was called to serve.  

I began in NYRA just over a year ago as a new member of the Board and Staff, having organized for student rights and agency in high school.  I served first as Communications Co-Lead, and then as the Staffing Lead.  Throughout my work, I felt uncertain about my place in a national nonprofit, especially as a first-year college student who prioritized academics and on-campus activism, which included starting and leading a Sunrise Movement hub. 

Sometimes I even questioned NYRA’s cause: weren’t the climate crisis, racism, xenophobia, economic inequity, etc. the more compelling issues in today’s injustice-ridden world?  Was the time I was spending on NYRA’s work taking away from my ability to fight for other issues of social justice?  

But then I realized that youth rights and other causes of social justice were not mutually exclusive – in fact, they depended heavily upon one another.  No one is liberated until we all are liberated.  We haven’t won the rights of youth until we’ve won the rights of BIPOC youth, of queer youth, of poor youth, of neurodivergent youth, of youth with other marginalized identities and backgrounds.  

And we haven’t conquered ageism in society until we have conquered its impacts within ourselves.

My name is Margin, age 19, pronouns they/them.  I am a queer nonbinary Asian and a rising sophomore in college.  I have been many times harmed by ageism intersecting with racism, genderism, and other forms of oppression.  Some days I question myself, doubt the validity of my identity and my story, wonder if I might actually be “naïve” or “immature” as I have been told.  

But then I remind myself, as I must again and again, until the oppressive systems that hold us captive are destroyed: I am capable.  I am enough.

Ashawn

Ashawn's profile photo

My name is Ashawn Dabney-Small. Working for NYRA has always been meaningful to me.

During my first month working for NYRA I volunteered on issues focused on youth and the voting age. I worked and followed along with Congresswoman Pressley’s proposed legislation to lower the mandatory minimum voting age in federal elections. 

From there I worked with NYRA to put Massachusetts on the map, and became NYRA’s Massachusetts State Coordinator. I oversaw several schools and worked on different issues that many youth face, not only in the state of MA, but all over the country. Through youth engagement work, I have gained skills as a community organizer. I also value that I have formed new relationships and have also made new connections with friends.

During my time as the coordinator, I applied for the position of Action Lead for the Executive Team. After being interviewed I was notified by the Board of Directors that I was selected not only to become the Action Lead but was also selected to be on the Board! I was honored to have my hard work recognized. This work included involving youth in political issues like voting rights and other current issues that face youth. 

From there I was working with and on-boarding new chapters. Being the Action Lead meant I had to transition from just managing my state’s chapter to also managing others outside of my state. I took that challenge head on and became an advocate and friend to those in other states. I was able to process and provide necessary tools for them to meet and create firm plans and strategies for their next steps, which ultimately pushed me to do even more.

Now you might be wondering why Margin and I are sharing our stories. Today I have news to share.

I am an 18 yrs old Queer Youth Activist. My pronouns are He/Him/His. I will be taking on a leadership role as your new Vice President of NYRA alongside Margin as the President. Together we will work together to create and cultivate passion for youth advocacy. I am so excited and honored to be able to stand side by side as strong Individuals and start some good trouble!

A New NYRA Vision

The times are tumultuous.  The coronavirus pandemic is killing millions throughout the globe and threatening the physical and mental health and economic wellbeing of many.  Protests continue in the U.S. against police violence and the murders of innumerable Black and Brown people in recent years and through centuries of systemic oppression.  The climate crisis continues to rage, fires and floods destroying communities everywhere but threatening especially the most marginalized and vulnerable.  

Yet from tumult comes transformation.  And all over the globe, youth are rising, leading the charge for change.  

That is why the fight for youth rights and liberation is more crucial than ever before.  And that is why we, Margin and Ashawn, believe that NYRA must center its organizing on intersectionality, paying special attention to how systems of oppression such as racism, ableism, and queerphobia compound the blows of ageism in the lives of many young people in the U.S.  

This intersectional vision sharpens and expands upon NYRA’s historical mission, which although has called for freedom and dignity for “all” young people, has fallen short of fully serving all youth and not just the relatively privileged.  As we continue advocating for NYRA’s traditional focal issues of voting rights, the elimination of curfews, the drinking age, student rights and self-directed education, and medical autonomy, we will do so with renewed awareness of how other marginalized identities that young people hold may complicate these issues or make other issues more urgent to their health and wellbeing.  

We stand beside the numerous young people today who are advocating for social and economic justice in its many interwoven forms.  We know that if more young people had the freedom to act for themselves, unfettered by oppressive schools or controlling families – if young people were recognized to have the right to vote, to freely transport themselves, to make their own financial and medical decisions, to pursue an education that is relevant to their goals, to participate in their communities and governments to the full extent of their capabilities regardless of chronological age – then the social movements that overwhelmingly are driven by younger generations would have much more power at the voting booth and beyond.  

We represent the new NYRA, the NYRA that is deeply engaged in the ecosystem of movements and that truly aims for the rights and liberation of ALL young people.

This week, NYRA is welcoming new leadership: Margin Zheng as President and Ashawn Dabney-Small as Vice President and Action Lead.  Both in their late teens, they will be collaborating to grow and reshape NYRA for a new age of activism for youth and by youth.

Margin

Margin Zheng

This wasn’t a role that I actively sought.  Rather, it came to me with a question mark – and after some consideration and confused “why me?”, I realized I was called to serve.  

I began in NYRA just over a year ago as a new member of the Board and Staff, having organized for student rights and agency in high school.  I served first as Communications Co-Lead, and then as the Staffing Lead.  Throughout my work, I felt uncertain about my place in a national nonprofit, especially as a first-year college student who prioritized academics and on-campus activism, which included starting and leading a Sunrise Movement hub. 

Sometimes I even questioned NYRA’s cause: weren’t the climate crisis, racism, xenophobia, economic inequity, etc. the more compelling issues in today’s injustice-ridden world?  Was the time I was spending on NYRA’s work taking away from my ability to fight for other issues of social justice?  

But then I realized that youth rights and other causes of social justice were not mutually exclusive – in fact, they depended heavily upon one another.  No one is liberated until we all are liberated.  We haven’t won the rights of youth until we’ve won the rights of BIPOC youth, of queer youth, of poor youth, of neurodivergent youth, of youth with other marginalized identities and backgrounds.  

And we haven’t conquered ageism in society until we have conquered its impacts within ourselves.

My name is Margin, age 19, pronouns they/them.  I am a queer nonbinary Asian and a rising sophomore in college.  I have been many times harmed by ageism intersecting with racism, genderism, and other forms of oppression.  Some days I question myself, doubt the validity of my identity and my story, wonder if I might actually be “naïve” or “immature” as I have been told.  

But then I remind myself, as I must again and again, until the oppressive systems that hold us captive are destroyed: I am capable.  I am enough.

Ashawn

Ashawn's profile photo

My name is Ashawn Dabney-Small. Working for NYRA has always been meaningful to me.

During my first month working for NYRA I volunteered on issues focused on youth and the voting age. I worked and followed along with Congresswoman Pressley’s proposed legislation to lower the mandatory minimum voting age in federal elections. 

From there I worked with NYRA to put Massachusetts on the map, and became NYRA’s Massachusetts State Coordinator. I oversaw several schools and worked on different issues that many youth face, not only in the state of MA, but all over the country. Through youth engagement work, I have gained skills as a community organizer. I also value that I have formed new relationships and have also made new connections with friends.

During my time as the coordinator, I applied for the position of Action Lead for the Executive Team. After being interviewed I was notified by the Board of Directors that I was selected not only to become the Action Lead but was also selected to be on the Board! I was honored to have my hard work recognized. This work included involving youth in political issues like voting rights and other current issues that face youth. 

From there I was working with and on-boarding new chapters. Being the Action Lead meant I had to transition from just managing my state’s chapter to also managing others outside of my state. I took that challenge head on and became an advocate and friend to those in other states. I was able to process and provide necessary tools for them to meet and create firm plans and strategies for their next steps, which ultimately pushed me to do even more.

Now you might be wondering why Margin and I are sharing our stories. Today I have news to share.

I am an 18 yrs old Queer Youth Activist. My pronouns are He/Him/His. I will be taking on a leadership role as your new Vice President of NYRA alongside Margin as the President. Together we will work together to create and cultivate passion for youth advocacy. I am so excited and honored to be able to stand side by side as strong Individuals and start some good trouble!

A New NYRA Vision

The times are tumultuous.  The coronavirus pandemic is killing millions throughout the globe and threatening the physical and mental health and economic wellbeing of many.  Protests continue in the U.S. against police violence and the murders of innumerable Black and Brown people in recent years and through centuries of systemic oppression.  The climate crisis continues to rage, fires and floods destroying communities everywhere but threatening especially the most marginalized and vulnerable.  

Yet from tumult comes transformation.  And all over the globe, youth are rising, leading the charge for change.  

That is why the fight for youth rights and liberation is more crucial than ever before.  And that is why we, Margin and Ashawn, believe that NYRA must center its organizing on intersectionality, paying special attention to how systems of oppression such as racism, ableism, and queerphobia compound the blows of ageism in the lives of many young people in the U.S.  

This intersectional vision sharpens and expands upon NYRA’s historical mission, which although has called for freedom and dignity for “all” young people, has fallen short of fully serving all youth and not just the relatively privileged.  As we continue advocating for NYRA’s traditional focal issues of voting rights, the elimination of curfews, the drinking age, student rights and self-directed education, and medical autonomy, we will do so with renewed awareness of how other marginalized identities that young people hold may complicate these issues or make other issues more urgent to their health and wellbeing.  

We stand beside the numerous young people today who are advocating for social and economic justice in its many interwoven forms.  We know that if more young people had the freedom to act for themselves, unfettered by oppressive schools or controlling families – if young people were recognized to have the right to vote, to freely transport themselves, to make their own financial and medical decisions, to pursue an education that is relevant to their goals, to participate in their communities and governments to the full extent of their capabilities regardless of chronological age – then the social movements that overwhelmingly are driven by younger generations would have much more power at the voting booth and beyond.  

We represent the new NYRA, the NYRA that is deeply engaged in the ecosystem of movements and that truly aims for the rights and liberation of ALL young people.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column] [/et_pb_row] [/et_pb_section]