Recently, I had the pleasure of facilitating an event called "Innovations in Social Justice: New Hope, New Actions" in Berkeley, California. Among the panelists was 21-year-old rapper, artist and community organizer, Babye Champ.
It was seven years ago that I found myself running the wrong way up Sixth Avenue with my high school sweetheart. Through the rain we ran, with peace on our lips. New York's Finest were running after us, as they had a way of doing with pesky antiwar protesters.
Today, over 20 youth organizations representing millions of young people sent the following letter to Congress urging swift passage of health care reform and student aid through the reconciliation package.
Technology will never replace the difficult, usually unglamorous work required to produce lasting social change. But it's clear that online and mobile tools can dramatically expand the power of grassroots organizers.
According to the Higher Education Research Institute, the percent of first-year college students who believe that it is very important to help people in need is at its highest level since 1970. Without question, ours is a generation seeking to help.
On Feb. 1, 1960, when I was a senior in college in Atlanta, four black freshmen from North Carolina sat in at a Whites-only lunch counter in a Greensboro Woolworth's store. It was just the spark I and so many black youth were waiting for.
"I'm comiiiiinggg!" Tutu sings out from the adjacent room, the words rolling off his tongue in a playfully high-pitched refrain, before he comes wheeling and teetering -- all 5'2" of him -- around the corner of his suite at the Atlanta Grand Hyatt.