This year our festival is celebrating the changemakers and trailblazers who inspire you – and who have risen up in the face of global challenges to bring about positive change. We are highlighting individuals and communities who embody resilience – who have shown courage and strength in tackling global justice issues, from across the fields of social inclusion to mental health, climate action and gender equality.
We’re celebrating young individuals and communties in the following categories
No country or region is free from the drastic effects of climate change. Greenhouse gas emissions are more than 50% higher than they were in 1990. From rising sea levels and global warming to biodiversity loss to overconsumption and the plague of our waste, we know that urgent change is needed by governments, industries and individuals worldwide for the protection of both people and the planet.
Amidst the depressing statistics and bleak forecasts, young people have been the catalyst for a global wave of climate activism and calls for environmental protection. From across Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas, students have risen up to make their voices heard and demand real change for us and for future generations.
After a year of living through a pandemic and an uprise in social activism online and in the streets, the general consensus was that we are fatigued, our mental health has suffered and we are burned out. According to a study done by Maynooth University and Trinity College, during the initial restrictions, out of 1000 respondents, 41% reported feeling lonely, 23% reported clinically meaningful depression, 20% reported clinically meaningful anxiety and 18% reported clinically meaningful post-traumatic stress.
Thus, there has been a widespread concern for mental health difficulties and accessing affordable and convenient care. Recently we’ve seen incredible actions taken by young mental health advocates and activists who are fighting to improve the rights, treatment, and public perception of those suffering from any mental health issues.
Mental Health Advocacy
Equality & Inclusion
Rising inequalities are threatening the future wellbeing of both people and the planet. Despite some positive signs, inequality, in its various forms, persists. Globally, those who occupy a minority status from across the domains of race, class, ethnicity, disability and sexual orientation are more likely to experience discrimination and prejudice, and face increased barriers preventing them from participating fully in our communities and societies. The pandemic is now exacerbating existing inequalities within and among countries, and hitting the most vulnerable people and the poorest countries hardest – among them indigenous peoples, people of colour, persons with disability and ethnic minorities
In spite of the challenges posed by rising inequalities, young people have continued to rise up and push for the social, political and economic inclusion of all. This year’s #WeWillRise celebrates the individuals and communities who are rising up in the face of inequality, discrimination and social injustice, working for inclusion and the enjoyment of fundamental human rights for all.
Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right but crucial in order to build a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world. Despite progress made in recent years, women and girls worldwide continue to suffer discrimination, lower pay, sexual violence and lack of representation in public office. Climate change and natural disasters, as well as conflict and migration, continue to have a disproportionate impact on the lives and wellbeing of women.
In spite of the challenges posed by gender inequality, and which have in many cases been exacerbated by the pandemic, young women worldwide have continued to rise up and fight for equal rights, equal pay, and access to sexual and reproductive health.