Who am I? I am an eighteen year old teenager who wants to have the freedom and opportunities to speak out, to have a say in things, to express my feelings and thoughts freely. Why is this freedom of expression so important to me? Although I may be young, I want to be heard as an individual. Whenever adults take my ideas into account and allow me to contribute in decision-makings, I feel respected and appreciated as it shows that I am capable of contributing in discussions. This naturally gives me an indescribable sense of achievement, and thus builds my confidence in the long run.
Ways Youth are Changing the World through Free Speech
We talk about freedom and liberty all the time and tend to embrace these notions. Freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of religion, freedom of information etc. But what do these two terms mean exactly? Finding a satisfying and suitable definition is not as easy as it might seem at first. First of all, let us look at official definitions. These two concepts evidently seem to go hand in hand and overarchingly mean being unconstrainted — not restricted, forced and bound to obligations implied by authorities and hierarchies.
Youth and Free Speech
Around the world, generally well-meaning but poorly informed adults limit the abilities young people have to express themselves. Parents, teachers, headmasters and principals, religious leaders, government officials, court judges and politicians who set limits on the free speech of young people simply because of their ages are actively practicing adultism, and are ill-advised. Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. Organizing campaigns can target on repression of free speech, youth expression, community building activities, and other ways free speech happens throughout our lives and our communities. Youth voice and advocacy can be bolder, last longer and have greater impact when youth media makers are active throughout a community, on the Internet or in other venues. Youth as artists can alter individual opinions, build community knowledge and share cultural expression that might otherwise be ignored, denied or lost. Other tools are out there, too — share your thoughts in the comments below! For more information about how The Freechild Project can support youth engagement in free speech in your community or organization, contact us. Your email address will not be published. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.
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