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Our Time Press New Gen-Z Column Announced

Yolanda Renee King, the granddaughter of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., spoke for her generation on August 28, 2021, at the March on Washington when she said, “We Will be the Generation That Dismantles Racism.” Ms. King was 13 at the time.

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!

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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