By Che Madyun

It is the summer of 2021. The City Spotlights Teen Leaders are sitting on the stage of the Shubert Theater waiting to begin sharing their advocacy Public Service Announcements (PSA). Likewise, the audience members awaiting the presentation on the Zoom screen were sitting with anticipation wondering, what will the teens advocate for this year. Group by group before each PSA, the teen leaders let us know who they are, something about their group process or interesting information about their topic.

All of the PSA’s were amazing. The first PSA through conversation and spoken word explores the frustration, loneliness, and anxiety of seemingly endless online schooling. The next PSA uses the voice over format to inform us that the healthcare system in this country operates through the lens of unequal treatment. The remaining PSA’s use song and a skit to educate us about hate against Asians and Blacks while the last PSA uses a skit to show us how schools don’t have professional mental health staff for teens to talk to.

At the end of each PSA, the teens encourage us to advocate for our healthcare system to provide equal treatment to all people, and to have mental health professionals in each school for students to talk to. The teens want us to speak our mind, correct misinformation, and get out into the community to make a difference. I know I will continue to be active in my community and will incorporate their causes into my community organizing work. Now, I encourage you to also advocate for at least one of the social justice causes presented by The Teen Leaders of City Spotlights.