It is with great pride that Our Time Press co-founders announce a Brooklyn Gen-Z column with the introduction of Ms. Kennedy Thompson, 18, as our first Junior Editor. Ms. Thompson, Brooklyn-born, is the editor of her high school yearbook and has an interest in architecture.
Brooklyn Parents and Parent Coordinators are encouraged to identify prospective candidates for the Our Time Press Gen Z column.
Follwing is Ms. Thompson’s statement.;
Why I Love Architecture
I am a rising senior from New York City. When I was in middle school, I used household materials such as glue and cardboard to construct homes for my dolls. Soon, this hobby became an addiction, and my models took over every inch of my room.
Although many years have gone by, my love for creating structures remains. The architecture enables people to build spaces that stand the test of time and encapsulate history. Through structures, people unite through a universal language that is crafted through the lens of our experiences. I believe it is every architect’s job to design for people rather than for profit. Design should be used to serve the greater good through initiatives such as building homes out of sustainable materials and making affordable housing.
In the future, I hope to use my passion to help build a better society!
I want to thank you for this opportunity!
Generation Z is Woke!
Generation Z, the woke generation born after 1995, is not waiting to be instructed on how to act, think, or listen. They are already poised to take the world out of their present hands to mold and shape a new one, and Our Time Press has been listening to them and watching them. Earlier this week, a Gen-Zer told us that’s about the best thing boomers can do at this point is to listen.
We have, and the result is that Our Time Press editors and publisher are resurrecting our Gen-Z column launched five years ago to return later this month with Brooklyn-based or born writers, artists, scholars, thought leaders, and pundits of the generation in charge. The latter is very important, said Gen-Zer. “You’re about one out of 10,000.”
According to the Annie B. Casey Foundation, “Generation Z‑ers made up one-tenth of the 2020 electorate; and while they share a number of characteristics with Millennials, their formative years have been shaped by a drastically different world, resulting in key differences in attitudes, tendencies, and outlook.” The Pew Research Center report below paints a clearer picture.
DIVERSITY IS THEIR NORM
One of the core characteristics of Generation Z is racial diversity. As America’s demographics continue to shift, Gen-Z will be the last generation that is predominantly white. A slight majority of Gen-Z‑ers (52%) is white; 25% is Hispanic, 14% are Black, and 4% are Asian.
For many Gen-Z‑ers, the backdrop of their early years included the country’s first Black president and the legalization of gay marriage. They are more likely to have grown up amid diverse family structures — whether in a single parent household, a multi-racial household, or a household in which gender roles were blurred. As a result, they are less fazed than previous generations by differences in race, sexual orientation or religion.
THEY ARE OUR FIRST “DIGITAL NATIVES”
Another characteristic of Generation Z is their native use of technology. Whereas Millennials were considered “digital pioneers,” who bore witness to the explosion of technology and social media, Gen-Z was born into a world of peak technological innovation — where information was immediately accessible and social media increasingly ubiquitous.
These technological advancements have had both positive and negative effects on Gen-Z. On the plus side: an abundance of information is at their fingertips, allowing Gen-Z‑ers to broaden their knowledge and be proactive in their learning. On the other hand, too much screen time can compound feelings of isolation and lead to underdeveloped social skills. Additionally, technology is changing the economy, leaving low-income Gen-Z‑ers vulnerable as they enter the workforce.
THEY ARE PRAGMATIC AND FINANCIALLY-MINDED
Financial mindedness is another core characteristic of Generation Z. Many Gen-Z‑ers grew up watching their parents take massive financial hits during the Great Recession. Having witnessed their parents’ struggles; this generation is driven by pragmatism and security.
While Millennials came of age during an economic boom, Gen-Z‑ers were shaped by the economic pressures their families and communities faced, from the financial stress of the rental market to the added costs to kids and caregivers staying in touch with incarcerated parents. Thus, they value the stability that comes with conservative spending, stable jobs, and wise investments.
MANY FACTORS CONTRIBUTE TO THEIR MENTAL HEALTH CHALLENGES
Mental health challenges are a sad characteristic of Generation Z, which has been referred to by some as the “loneliest generation,” as their endless hours spent online can foster feelings of isolation and depression. More time spent on smartphones or watching Netflix means less time spent cultivating meaningful relationships. Additionally, many young people fall prey to the “compare and despair” trap that social media presents.
Gen-Z kids also find their mental health affected by the turbulent state of the world. As political activism among Gen-Z has increased, many Gen-Z‑ers have internalized the unrest surrounding issues like gun control, police brutality and climate change — leading to increased levels of stress.
THEY ARE SHREWD CONSUMERS
As consumers, Gen-Z’s behavior reflects their values — and the influence of an increasingly digital world. Gen-Z kids can rely on their tech savvy and extensive social networks to make informed purchasing decisions. Their pragmatism leads them to explore and evaluate a range of options before settling on a product. In addition, they are more likely to be swayed by the recommendations of real-life users than by celebrity endorsements.
In much the same way that Gen-Z‑ers use social media as a means to curate their personal brand, they also look at their purchasing decisions as an expression of their values and identity. As an example, they are drawn to sustainable products and brands — and are often willing to pay more for them. They value personalized products, and they are drawn to brands who share their point of view on political issues.
THEY ARE POLITICALLY PROGRESSIVE — EVEN THOSE ON THE RIGHT
Most generations tend to be more left-leaning than the previous generation, and Gen-Z is no exception. While Gen-Z‑ers look much like Millennials on many key issues, they are the most politically progressive generation yet. They are the least likely generation to approve of President Trump’s leadership, and they are the most likely generation to see the advancement of LGBTQ rights as a positive development. Even among Republicans, Gen-Zers take a more progressive stance on social issues: they agree that Blacks are treated more unfairly in this country, and they believe the government should play a more significant role in solving problems and they are more likely to attribute climate change to human activity, as opposed to natural patterns.
CONTINUE LEARNING ABOUT GENERATION Z
Gen-Z still has a lot of growing up to do. But as they continue to come of age, early signs indicate that they will grow into engaged, conscientious stewards of our world — by being socially-minded, independent thinkers, who recognize their responsibility in shaping a more equitable future for all.