Millennials and Gen Z believe it'll be up to them to change the world for the better, according to a new report by the Walton Family Foundation.
- In a nationwide survey of both generations, the foundation asked about how they see their futures shaping up — and who will shape them.
What they found: Nearly half (48%) of respondents said they don't think things are going well for their generation, but that they will be able to improve things.
- They see themselves as capable of creating change and feel called to do so, Emma Pengelly, interim home region program director for the foundation, tells Axios.
- 81% of respondents said they have the opportunity to succeed in life if they work hard.
Why it matters: The report suggests that young people see civic and community engagement as tools they can personally use for change.
- 42% of respondents said people elected in the future will play a role in bringing about positive change during their lifetimes, while 38% said they personally will play a role.
- 58% of respondents said voting is an extremely or very effective way their generation can bring about change, while 54% said the same for volunteering for charitable causes or starting and/or working for a company focused on solving a problem.
Yes, but: 41% of respondents said not being able to afford to buy a home was an extremely or very big problem for them, while 38% said the same about not being able to afford and/or access higher education.
- And generally, the lower the income and education levels, the less optimistic the responses were.
- 48% of Black respondents and 27% of Hispanic respondents said racial inequity would be an extremely or very big problem in achieving a better life.
1 Gen Z thing: Inclusivity — living in a place that is safe for everyone regardless of ethnicity, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation, etc. — was a strong theme among an NWA focus group of Gen Z teens that the foundation convened, as well as among Gen Z and millennials surveyed nationally, Pengelly tells Axios.
- Focus group participants said the area is headed in the right direction but has some work to do.
Our thought bubble: Yes, NWA's young people want to walk and bike, but they also have to be able to afford to live here to walk and bike here. And they expect inclusivity. Take note.
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