Last week, the Applied Research Center, released “Millennials, Activism and Race,” a report on the motivations of young people who are active in progressive politics. Following up on last year’s research, Don’t Call Them Post-Racial, this report provides more information about what draws 18 to 30 year olds to social justice work, and how people with progressive politics deal with race as part of a larger political worldview.
The study is among the earliest bits of research conducted with participants in Occupy Wall Street and its offshoots, and some of the most interesting findings reflect the subtle but important differences between those activists and others who have been active as staff or volunteers of community-based organizations.
The findings are based on nine focus groups held in five cities (Atlanta, Baltimore, New York, Oakland, Portland) in 2011 and 2012, with participants who either worked/volunteered for a progressive organization or participated in the Occupy movement. The goal of the research was to better understand the attitudes and motivations of millennials who are actively engaged in social justice—why they engage, what they see as barriers to an ideal society and opinions on whether an explicit racial justice lens is essential.
Here are some highlights:
You can download the full “Millennials, Activism and Race” report at ARC.org/Millennials.