CONGRESSWOMAN SHEILA JACKSON LEE STATEMENT ON INTERNATIONAL YOUTH DAY
Houston, TX – Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, the Founder and Co-Chair of the Congressional Children’s Caucus, released the following statement regarding International Youth Day:
“In 1999, the United Nations General Assembly validated the recommendation made by the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth that August 12th should be declared International Youth Day. Today’s youth have played an integral part in both national and international affairs. Whether it is through journalism, politics, entrepreneurship, or even culture, youth have gone a long way in shaping today’s society for the better.
“International Youth Day serves as a reminder to all of us that young people around the globe have the potential to bring about meaningful change and their voices are pivotal when it comes to the decision making process. But on the other hand, it reminds us of the countless number of children who are oppressed within their nations as child soldiers, sex slaves or are forced into marriage without consent. It is through this day that we are made conscious of all the problems young people are facing and helps us go further to empower their potentials.
“This year’s theme for International Youth Day is ‘Youth Civic Engagement.’ I strongly hold the belief that the engagement and participation of today’s youth is of paramount importance in order to achieve sustainable human development. Over the past year, young people around the world have voiced their opinions through various media outlets on issues that are close to their hearts. Their involvement in protests such as those in Ferguson, St Louis, Baltimore, and on a global level, in Armenia and England, have shown policy makers that their brilliant minds can have a pertinent influence on regional affairs.
“My message to the youth around the world is to get involved. Civic engagement means working hard to make a difference, developing skills, gaining knowledge, and promoting peace. Get involved in political activism, get involved in environmentalism, show your #youthpower and get involved in creating a peaceful community. As legislators, it is our duty to support the efforts of these young people in civic involvement and help them bring positive changes to the world. We need to give them the space and skills they need to realize their potential.
“To all the young people in the world, this is your day. Make the best of it, and bring about a change. I wish you all a wonderful International Youth Day.”