Mikva Challenge is named after Judge Abner Mikva who was passionate about bringing young people into politics. After 20 years the organization is all over the world. Meanwhile, it only started with something small. The world being all about connection, Mikva wanted to create that connection for young people.
We always talk about youth activism being important but what can we do to include youth in activism? Mikva Challenge had the perfect solution for that, The organization focuses on including teens, in other words, they educate teens about recent issues by creating projects in classrooms, where students chose issues that resonate with them and develop a two-minute speech in which students try their best to voice their opinions as they bring people together. Another project that takes place is, teens choosing an issue of their liking, figuring out what are the root causes of those issues, who are their allies, and who can they bring along with them. Then they begin to make changes thereby including the community or creating something creative that will spread the word about that particular issue. These two projects are the most important components of the Mikvah Challenge organization, with the mindset of taking action in activism and spreading awareness about each issue impacting society and young people.
From printmaking to activism, staff member Mia Salamone found a connection between art and activism as she began working at Mikva. Mia said she saw activism as an art because it’s all about communication -- communicating issues and spreading awareness. Mia is committed to this job because she believes there is so much to accomplish in terms of educating and empowering young people. She saw that as an important foundation for accomplishing her goals. It is relevant to youth being educated by example issues, especially young people being excluded from certain things. She wanted teens to feel relevant and included in politics which is why she came back. Therefore, she tried her best to contribute to teens’ education and empowerment in order to set a bright future for them...
Working with young people only inspired Mia to become a better activist herself. As she worked with young people, she was encouraged to better herself as an activist. She is most concerned about bringing more young people in and asking for their opinion about recent issues in order to encourage them to be better activists in the future.
Young people are the future, but also, all we have right now. We need to be prepared and included right now, because our input is needed to bring about necessary changes in so many areas: climate change, educational equity, health care and many others.