SPEAK UP: 3 Young People Who Are Making Their Opinions Heard
Written by Brittany Kinsey
Expect diverse reactions and judgment when exercising your freedom of speech. For this very reason our right to speech is easier in theory than in motion. It’s easy leaving the tough conversations to public figures and seasoned politicians. Nevertheless, young people are proving you don’t have to wait on experience to deliver a message. Dedicating yourself to a dream is remarkable, but when your dream is servicing others-its compelling. Here are three individuals with a purpose causing the world to pay attention:
Ryan Coogler is a screenplay writer and director. His first feature film ‘Fruitvale Station’ has created a big stir in 2013. Coogler’s debut has earned him several accolades including Sundance Film Festival’s Audience Award. Telling stories is what Ryan Coogler decided he would do with his life while playing football in college on a full scholarship. A professor suggested that he study film because he could affect more people with his stories; he ran with it. ‘Fruitvale Station’ is about the last 24 hours of Oscar Grant’s life, a 22-year-old unarmed male who was killed by a police officer on New Year’s Day 2009. This film has an eerie resemblance to controversial Trayvon Martin case, except several witnesses captured Grant’s death on video. This 27 year old filmmaker has commanded the world’s attention with his brilliant story-telling. No matter what your beliefs, ‘Fruitvale Station’ creates a new set of experiences for its audience, an absolutely engaging and powerful experience. Check out the Fruitvale Station trailer.
Ali Ahmed- This kid is absolutely amazing. Ali Ahmed was attending a protest in Cairo, Egypt in October 2012 when an Egyptian newspaper asked him what his views were. The video has gone viral and gained more popularity since President Mohammed Morsi was removed from office last month. Ahmed is well versed on the crisis in Egypt and also offers up insightful solutions. His content is very controversial which led critics to question whether it was real or faux. Either way this is a compelling and thought provoking performance. In the three-minute interview he says “I listen to people a lot, and I use my own brain, plus I read newspapers, watch TV and search in the Internet.” Ali Ahmed thank you for making us all want to pay attention. In the clip, the 12 year old touches on deep subjects such as religion and woman rights. This kid is captivating; expect more from him in the future. You can see his interview here.
Alexandra Fisher set out on a mission to expose sex trafficking in Mexico, an issue she says seldom got the media exposure it deserved. It led me to wonder how thousands of girls are lured into this underground world and about how it seemingly goes unnoticed. The 24-year-old freelance journalist with limited resources, took on a dangerous job. Her piece shows an explicit first hand encounter of the trafficking business. Her efforts earned her the Walkley Young Journalist of the Year award in television/video journalism. You can see her award winning report, which was featured on ABC’s Lateline here.