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Student Stories Spur Community Change

May 16, 2019

Photo credit: Leise Jones Photography.
The class poses with their portraits in their books.

Photo credit: Leise Jones Photography.

“We have made this book together and we hope that it will be a step toward a better world.” ⁠—Student Editorial Board, My Generation Can

Seniors at the Edward M. Kennedy Academy for Health Careers (EMK) celebrated the release of My Generation Can: Public Narratives for Community Change with readings, signings, and a chorus of student voices. In the book—the culmination of months of research and writing in partnership with 826 Boston’s dedicated volunteers—young people take a stand on issues close to their hearts, from trans rights to nicotine addiction to police brutality.

EMK students used veteran organizer and Harvard professor Marshall Ganz’s public narrative framework, leveraging their personal experiences to show why their chosen issues should be important to their communities and providing a concrete call to action for the reader: call your representative about immigration reform, host a discussion about domestic violence, educate yourself about addiction. 

Over the course of the project, students moderated a panel of activists, interviewed members of their communities, and lobbied their state representatives. State Senator Sonia Chang-Díaz, who advised the students on how to make their voices heard, declared in the foreword to My Generation Can, “This book is a powerful ode to the power, intelligence, and capacity of young people around us.”

Learn more about the project and check out the book.

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