racial discrimination, one young world
© John Gomez

Research from One Young World’s global network shows that 74% of their Peace Ambassadors do not believe racial discrimination will be changed by their politicians

New research from One Young World’s global network of the young leaders highlights how far we still are from achieving racial justice – with 74% of its Peace Ambassadors stating they have no trust in their government to address the issue in the long-term.

Reinforcing this lack of trust in existing leadership, the findings show that over half of the activists surveyed do not think their government will use the current civil rights movement to make meaningful progress in addressing racial discrimination.

The survey was undertaken with One Young World’s Peace Ambassadors – a global network of young leaders on the front line of peace-building around the world supported by the European Commission and Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

What do young activists think about the world?

An overwhelming majority of the young leaders surveyed do not have faith in the school system or the media (84% and 85% respectively) to educate and report on racial equality properly – highlighting the need for change across every corner of society to achieve real social justice.

The findings also highlight effective means of change making and found two thirds of young leaders believe social media is the most important tool for activism in 2020.

In the wake of sustained police brutality in the United States of America, the world has been forced to pay attention to racial injustice. With the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, and countless others, a wide expanse of global society has been galvanised to what Barack Obama describes as an “awakening”. The perception of racism in the US is particularly evolving, with 59% of swing voters agreeing with the ideas of Black Lives Matter. The defunding of police as a federal conversation and possibility is currently derailed, due to the ongoing intel revelations concerning Russia and American soldiers.

Currently, 1 in 4 of the young activists surveyed do not believe equality will be achieved in the next 5 years – and 1 in 5 do not believe we will ever achieve equality globally.

Who are the Peace Ambassadors?

• Satta Sheriff, Liberia – Founder of Youth in Action for Peace and Empowerment, an NGO dedicated to defending and protecting the rights of Liberian children and vulnerable groups.
• Achaleke Christian, Cameroon – Founder of Prisonpreneurs, a rapidly-expanding initiative that was established to counter one of the biggest causes of violent extremism: poverty and lack of economic opportunities.
• Hyppolite Ntigurirwa, Rwanda – Hyppo witnessed his father’s murder during the Rwandan genocide at just seven years old, but has chosen to forgive the killers and dedicate his life to advocating for peace. His Be The Peace initiative promotes inter-ethnic friendships, working educate and unite the post-conflict generations in Rwanda.
• Zar Li Aye, Myanmar – A human rights lawyer in Myanmar working to give people a fair trial in a system where 90 per cent of defendants are not allowed a lawyer.
• Ahlem Nasraoui, Tunisia – A nominee of for the UN’s Intercultural Innovation Award, Ahlem is fighting the causes of terrorism in Tunisia through the Young Leaders Entrepreneurs – a nationwide campaign promoting the economic empowerment of at-risk young people.

Ella Robertson, Managing Director of One Young World, said:

“In the past month, we have seen racial injustices brought into the spotlight as people globally call for action on inequality.

“At One Young World, we believe that at the heart of every global threat is a failure of leadership and the findings in this recent research from our Peace Ambassadors reinforce just that. We are proud of our global network of young leaders working hard to create a better world – with more responsible, and more effective leadership.

The continued support of One Young World peace programmes supported by the European Commission and Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs mean we can connect leading activists around the world who are all changing their community, and the world, for the better.


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