What’s at stake for Black secular Generation Z youth in this election? How are they mobilizing for progressive social change in a Black Lives Matter Movement era in which Black self-determination is under siege and white Christian fundamentalist religious bigotry is on the rise? What are the pitfalls of a Democratic Party that takes young Black voters for granted? What is the intersection between Black liberation, gender equity, LGBTQI+ rights, environmental justice and secular humanist values?
Black secular Generation Z and millennial youth are a largely invisible community of activist young people. They are not passively churched, they are not “fallback” spiritual, nor are they bowing down to ‘God(s)’ to give the appearance of cultural solidarity with mainstream blackness. What they are is committed to an unapologetically intersectional vision of Black-affirming social justice that
challenges faith-based respectability. The difficulties of being a Gen Z non-believer, agnostic or skeptic is especially pronounced for queer, trans and gender non-conforming black youth who are most vulnerable to becoming homeless, placed in abusive foster care conditions or incarcerated. In the midst of the most critical election year in modern history, Black secular youth voices are even more important. On September 26th @ 11:30 PST, BSLA will host a panel discussion with Black secular Gen Z youth recipients of its annual First in the Family Scholarship award. The national awards for secular youth of color have been sponsored by the Freedom from Religion Foundation since 2014. These youth are contributing to their communities as organizers, artists, activists, and scholars who join the growing numbers of Gen Z youth and millennials who are not just rejecting faith-based belief but are forging progressive humanist change.