Within one of the largest youth community organizing groups in MN

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Last week, hundreds of students walked out of Highland Park High School in St. Paul to protest what they called a “culture of sexual assault” at the school.

The walkout was organized by MN Teen Activists, a group that has also organized other student actions across Minnesota. In April, they led a statewide strike involving more than 100 schools to protest racial injustice in honor of Daunte Wright and George Floyd.

How did these students organize such a large movement and develop such visibility? What are they working towards? Jerome Treadwell is a senior at Highland Park and an organizer for MN Teen Activists. He joined host Cathy Wurzer to talk about the power of youth activism.

According to Treadwell, MN Teen Activists was formed in May 2020 by students in the Twin Cities metro area in response to injustices they saw in their schools. Since then, the group has worked on its mission to amplify youth voices and challenge systemic injustices in schools.

Treadwell is proud that in his generation, “no one is afraid to really talk about what’s going on.”

MN Teen Activists organizers want to make sure they run the movement correctly and fairly, Treadwell said. They have worked to build relationships with human resource departments and school administration and investigate allegations of injustice they receive from students across the state.

“I get so excited when I see tangible change because of youth,” Treadwell said.

Use the audio player above to listen to the entire conversation.

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