Teens Celebrate Dr. King

All too often, we hear young people referred to as “our future” or the “next generation.”  These phrases are hopeful and optimistic, but they obscure the fact that youth are making change now.  On Martin Luther King Day, Teens Acting for Social Change (TASC) joined over 100 teens from a dozen different communities to celebrate King’s legacy, build relationships with each other, and prepare for taking action in the coming year – not next year or in ten years – but now. 

Like all good organizers, TASCers know that bigger is better when it comes to making a difference.  TASC does not act for change alone but is part of a statewide coalition called YMORE, which stands for Youth of Massachusetts Organizing for a Reformed Economy.  In its third year, the MLK Day event is an annual YMORE gathering.

For two and-a-half hours on Monday, the community room at the First Presbyterian Church in Roxbury buzzed with conversations, cheers, and role playing activities.  In small groups, the teens acted out past and present struggles for social justice, like yesterday’s fight to desegregate buses and today’s campaign for affordable T passes for youth. 

The event also provided a chance for YMORE to strengthen its relationship with elected officials. Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz and Representative Jay Kaufman both spoke at the event.  They praised the youth for their hard work and recommitted to working with YMORE in the coming year.  Jeremy Burton, Executive Director of the Jewish Community Relations Council, was also present. 

As TASC member Hannah Monius says, “I am a part of TASC because I want to be part of making change that I can see now.”  If you are a teen in grades 8-12 who wants to be a part of making change, come to the next TASC meeting on January 22nd.  And if you have a child in the Shule, encourage them to join TASC when they graduate! 

For more information about TASC or YMORE, contact adult coordinator, Chris Messinger at chrismess1@gmail.com.