On this page, you'll learn about the values and inspirations of the A Gen Z's Take founders!
The purpose behind A Gen Z’s Take:
Mackenzie: A Gen Z’s Take was a spontaneous decision. But the more I think about it, the purpose behind A Gen Z’s Take is creating a safe space where youth can educate themselves on prevalent issues occurring in today’s world through reading interviews.
Tara: A Gen Z’s Take was my co-founder’s idea. Through collaborating with her, writing interview questions and participating in live discussions with my peers I have realized and formed my own belief of what we do and why we do it. Our page is meant for predominantly those in Generation Z to raise and discuss the issues and stigma revolving around subjects they may have experience with such as LGBTQ identity, racism, gender equality and mental health. The reason we have these conversations is to help reduce this stigma, raise awareness and encourage people to use their voice and advocate for themselves and others. A Gen Z’s Take fulfills a need among young people to hear and be heard, to connect with and learn from their peers, and address difficult topics without fear of judgment that may come with talking about these issues with adults. Our organization is bridging the gap to fulfill a need that mental health professionals can’t entirely provide, and is offering a safe space for youth, especially those who otherwise wouldn’t seek help or advice and make meaningful connections with peers.
The intended audience - who should be reading these interviews and why?
Mackenzie: We have a variety of interviews people can choose from— they tackle various topics (for example: LGBTQ+ rights, activism, art, and more). I don’t necessarily think there’s an “intended audience” or a certain age range for the interviews. Some interviews tackle complex topics that some teens may find hard or challenging to read.
Tara: Our interviews are for people from any and every walk of life, not just those within our generation. I have found that by showing our interviews to older people, especially counselors and adults who work with and seek to help our generation, they may gain insights into the topics discussed on our page and which are experienced exclusively by youth. Our interviews proved to be very helpful to teachers and mental health professionals as they have received an “insider’s view” of some of the current issues that are impacting our youth.
What are the kind of changes you’d like to see made in the world?
Mackenzie: The type of changes I wish to see are the ones related to abortion and the unfortunate reality of men deciding what women should do with their bodies. Some other changes I’d like to see are: the defunding of the police/ finding a better way to handle mental health crisis’ and letting gay and bisexual men donate blood.
Tara: I am also very passionate about LGBT+ related issues— conversion therapy, gay adoption and blood donation regulations, LGBT history in school curriculums, etc. I am involved with movements regarding gender-equality, race-equality and rights for people with disabilities.
How will we know that the world is a better place because of openness and empowerment?
Mackenzie: By being open and empowering voices, I believe we’ll know the world is a better place when people can openly talk about “taboo” topics and/or prevalent issues without feeling shame, guilt or the fear of being silenced.
Tara: One of my personal mottos is, “shared experience is the most powerful asset that young people have”. I believe that in tackling the multifaceted, diverse issues mentioned, it’s important to form dialogue and tie faces and personal stories to them. By being open and fostering empowerment within minority communities, we will achieve greater representation and opportunities to improve life for future generations.
How can getting involved in the issues you discuss potentially change the world for the better?
Mackenzie: Getting involved in the issues we discuss can be beneficial for anyone who reads our interviews. When people learn about what’s happening in the world, they can get involved in various ways (i.e. protests, campaigning, fundraising, etc.). This can change the world for the better as people demonstrate teamwork, leadership, and resilience.
Tara: Discussing the issues that are close to our hearts is a crucial part of getting involved as a whole. For instance, having productive conversations alone can provide us with valuable, new perspectives that may even shift our views and thinking on certain issues. Education is the key to making change, which may occur in several forms as Mackenzie said— protesting, spreading awareness, donating, etc.
Who are some personal heroes that you’ve discovered as a result of your work on the website and what have you learned from them that you didn’t know before?
Mackenzie: One of the personal heroes I found while working on A Gen Z’s Take is Jacob Bixenman. I knew about him for a couple years prior to creating A Gen Z’s Take but I didn’t start looking up to him until recently. Jacob Bixenman is a photographer, artist, activist, and writer. I’ve learned so much from Jacob in the short amount of time I’ve looked up to him. He’s incredibly down to earth, wise, and stands up for what he believes is right. I could compile a list of the things I’ve learned and the quotes that mean something to me. But one thing that has stuck with me is a quote, “it’s all good to feel lost.” This resonates with me because when I was questioning my sexuality I felt lost and didn’t know who I was or what was happening. I’m so grateful for Jacob and the lessons I’ve learned.
Tara: For starters, the activists who we have only become aware of through our organization have taught us several things. These include fellow organizations, interviewees and the people who inspire them, etc. We are eager to follow and keep up with their work! Adam Eli, an author and advocate who we recently had the pleasure of collaborating with during an interview, hugely inspires the two of us. We have admired him for a long time. Through his interview responses, we have learned so much about the Jewish and LGBT communities, protesting and recognizing one’s own privilege. It was an absolute honor to conduct the interview with them and we hope to interview more people we look up to in the future.