Thoughts from The Hut: Gen Z and action against gun violence

Thoughts from The Hut: Gen Z and action against gun violence

Digipigz LogoValentine’s Day of 2018 will be remembered in history for the emotions that resonated across the globe. Not those of love and affection, but those of grief and hurt. 17 people lost their lives in the eighth US school shooting this year and looking through the CNN article naming and remembering victims, I feel an immense amount of sadness, especially as the shooter was just a year old than myself. I then start reading other related articles and that feeling is numbed slightly by the actions and determination of the 17 and 18 year olds who are tirelessly campaigning for change.

This is the generation who have grown up with brightly coloured but bullet proof backpacks, have always seen the harsh facts and figures of shootings through their instant access to the internet and where incidents like this are almost considered the norm. Now they are crying out for an end to this devastation.

David Hogg, 17 year old survivor, said “We’re children, you guys are the adults. You need to take some action and play a role. Work together. Come over your politics and get something done.”

Calling out our seniors takes courage, and it is amazing to see these young people, forget the stereotypes us ‘teenagers’ have pinned upon them, and shout out against wrongs (and in doing so, are working to eliminate those labels).

Emma Gonzalez gave a powerful speech challenging not only the gun laws, but America’s attitudes and values towards the weapon. Swallowing back tears, Emma wasn’t afraid to speak from the heart, where she highlighted nothing matters more than working towards prevention.

Although they have been frowned upon for using social media during the shooting, the teens have fought back against this.

David Hogg, who filmed students whilst the school was in lock down, told the New York Times “I recorded those videos because I didn’t know if I was going to survive, but I knew that if those videos survived, they would echo on and tell the story. And that story would be one that would change things, I hoped. And that would be my legacy.”

Sam Zeif shared on Twitter the text conversation with his little brother who was on the same floor as the gunman, insisting he hide until he was safe. Many others shared Snapchat videos from inside the school, it’s hard to believe anyone could watch without wanting to take a stand and make change. This heart-wrenching, raw footage that plays on the heart strings is inevitably going to evoke a response and the ease of sharing on social media allows messages to be communicated quicker.

FireShot Capture 1482 - Uncle Sam Zeif #Doug_ - https___twitter.com_SzZeif_status_964148278932725760

 

The eloquence, drive and passion behind these young people is incredibly impactful and is an extraordinary example of the amazing things Gen Z are capable of. In the words of Emma Gonzalez herself, “We are going to be the kids you read about in textbooks. Not because we’re going to be another statistic about mass shooting in America, but because, just as David said, we are going to be the last mass shooting.”

 

Written by Leila Willingham

 

 

Meet Digipigz

Meet Digipigz

Digipigz is a new concept devised by Liz Lean PR’s youngest member of staff, and Account Executive, Leila Willingham. After attending Silicon Beach back in 2015 whilst still at school, Leila realised there was a demand from marketing professionals to understand her generation (Gen Z) and felt frustrated that businesses didn’t meet this demand by simply involving them in discussion.

After living through a major double-dip recession, some of the largest terror attacks on record and as digital natives, they aren’t stupid. This generation has educated themselves in ways previous generations never could have, they’ve understood and got involved in complex debates from a younger age than ever before.

We think it’s time young people are given the trust they deserve and since joining the team, Leila has been able to develop the concept with the help of the rest of the Liz Lean PR team to cultivate an offering we think is pretty ‘oinking’ great.

Digipigz wants to build a bridge, break down barriers and provide young people with some incredible opportunities. Digipgz aims to give businesses the opportunity to gain a direct insight into this demographic and aid them in creating relevant campaign ideas targeting young audiences.

Our Piggy Bank is a community made up of young enthusiastic talent, hand-picked to provide businesses with a trusted and bespoke service that allows them to listen and learn from this target audience directly. There are over seven million 16-24 year olds living in the UK. This is not a group who’ll take anyone and everyone. We find, host and grow talent and ambition. Far from a standard focus group, Digipigz recruits members on the basis they are industry astute and commercially sharp, guaranteeing businesses valuable feedback from the ‘Digital Guinea Pigs’.

It’s a super exciting time for us as we start to trot along. We’ve launched our new logo, excellently designed by 18 year old AUB student, James Woodford and we’ve begun conversation with potential clients. We are also out visiting schools, colleges and universities as we start to ‘recruit’ our first Digipigz.

We hope you’ll follow us on the journey, whether that be joining the ‘litter’ and becoming a Digipig yourself, getting in touch as to how we can help your business or simply hitting the follow button on our socials. Our homepage and contact details can be found here.

Over and ‘snout’… for now