Culture

THE GRETA EFFECT

From political activists and transgender models, to LGBTQ+ campaigners, these are the Gen Zers to know right now

13.12.2019 | Rebecca Rhys-Evans
 

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TIME just named Greta Thunberg their most influential person of 2019. Queen of side eye when in the presence of Trump, Thunberg's stance on climate change, and her no-nonsense approach to environmental pragmatism have inspired a generation. Yes, being disenfranchised won't stop them. Just as likely to be found campaigning on the streets as they are on social media, these are the ten other Gen Zers making sizeable strides towards commendable change. 

Xiye Bastida

AGE: 17

Born just outside of Mexico City, Xiye Bastida is known for her activism for the representation of minorities, especially those of indigenous backgrounds. She became involved in environmental activism when she moved to New York 4 years ago with her parents and saw the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. Today she takes part in Fridays for Future strikes in New York, where students skip school to drive up awareness of climate change, and has spoken to the UN directly at two conferences.

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Hélène Selam Kleih

AGE: 24

Model and writer Hélène Selam Kleih began discussing mental health issues when her twin brother was sectioned for psychosis and her cousin commmitted suicide. She used the money from her various modelling jobs, for Dior, Vivienne Westwood, to name a few, to fund self-publishing her book HIM + HIS.

Aretha Brown

AGE: 19

Through her artwork, public speaking and organising community events, Aretha Brown is an advocate for queer and indigenous youth like herself. If that wasn’t enough, she also leads an all-female punk band and studies art at the Victoria College of Arts in Australia.

Peter Dupont

AGE: 24

The model that is doing more, Peter Dupont co-founded the climate change platform Dura Solutions, which uses low emissions in production to create clothing made from recycled fabrics. As fashion is one of the planet's biggest criminals when it comes to pollution, the brand’s t-shirt has ‘No Hope for our Kids’ emblazoned on the front, drawn by Lulu Kennedy’s daughter, Rainbow.

Hasan Patek

AGE: 16

Although at just 16 Hasan Patel can’t vote, it hasn’t stopped him canvassing for the votes of others in the UK. With fears of Brexit and the potential of a hung parliament, Patal has knocked on doors, posted leaflets and persuaded many in the swing constituencies around London to vote for an end to austerity, and ultimately, Boris Johnson.

Krow

Krow is the transgender model that closed the Louis Vuitton spring/summer 2019 show and appeared on the cover of L’Uomo Vogue. His documentary, Krow’s TRANSformation, follows his three year journey from a female teen to a male model living in Paris, which has helped pave the way for acceptance within the modelling industry for others from the LGTBQIA+ community.

Jamie Margolin

AGE: 18

Jamie Margolin is a climate change activist that is Columbian-American and identifies as Jewish and lesbian. She seeks to discuss environmental as well as social issues in the United States, and started the THISISZEROHOUR project, an intersectional youth movement battling for a viable and livable planet for all. Her book Youth to Power: Your Voice and How to Use it comes out June 2020.

Mari Copeny

AGE: 12

You may have heard of the Flint Water Crisis because of Michael Moore’s documentary Farenheit 11/9, or you may have heard of it because of Mari Copeny. Informally known as Little Miss Flint, by penning a letter to former US president Barack Obama, which brought an international awareness to the crisis, she has given a voice to those affected in her community and helped raise funding for those living in severe poverty.

Naomi Wadler

AGE: 13

The break-out activist of the March of our Lives in 2018, Naomi Wadler has taken to the stage and spoken at countless talks, rallies and conferences about gun violence towards African American females. A young girl with serious ambition, in an interview with Smithsonian Naomi said she’d like to run The New York Times someday.

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