Children have always played a role in advocating for peace and justice. We wanted to highlight and celebrate some efforts that children across the globe have made to bring peace to their communities. The impressive work that has and continues to come from children is inspiring to parents and educators. Look through this list and maybe introduce your little citizens to these other children who stood up for what they believed in and made a difference. Remind your child that they can and should advocate for what they believe them, no matter their size.
Birmingham Children’s Crusade
In a brave and dangerous effort, children as young as six years old took to the streets to protest segregation. Thousands of children volunteered to take part in the nonviolent protests, as a way to call attention to the plan developed by civil rights leaders to desegregate Birmingham. Despite violent reactions from the police, the young members of the Children’s Crusade continue to show up day after day. This won them national attention, and with the spotlight on the town local officials agreed with meet with the civil rights leaders. The courageous actions of these children played an integral role in conversations and resulting decisions to desegregate the town. Read more about the Birmingham Children's Crusade here!
American Students for Immigration Rights
In 2006, over 40,000 students in the LA county area alone walked out in protest of proposed immigration legislation that would detrimentally affect many of the students and their families. Students would walk out of their classes and encourage other students and young people in their areas to join them in protest, utilizing social media as the primary means of communication and documentation. Many schools did not support their students and put the schools on lockdown, but young people held their ground nationwide. Read more about the American Students for Immigration Rights efforts here!
Iqbal Masih won the World’s Children’s Honorary Award in 2000, following his death in 1995. Iqbal escaped enforced labor at a carpet factory in Pakistan when he was just ten years old, and began speaking out about abusive child labor. Masih made speeches globally and helped over 3,000 children in similar circumstances to escape. His bravery is inspiring and his legacy lives on. Read more about Iqbal Masih's life here!
Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation
Alexandra Scott opened her first lemonade stand in July of 2000, to raise money for children with cancer. She had been diagnosed with neuroblastoma when she was just one year old, and wanted to help children like herself who were struggling with pediatric cancer. Her first lemonade stand raised over $2,000 and began an annual tradition and her very own foundation. Today, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation continues to raise millions of dollars funding pediatric research. Learn more about Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation here!
Five-year-old Hannah Taylor’s career as an advocate for the homeless started after seeing a man dig through the dumpster for food one night. This experience was the catalyst for the next fifteen years spent raising awareness about the realities of homelessness and fundraising for organizations that provide food, shelter, and other necessities to the homeless in her home country of Canada. Twenty-year-old Hannah continues to work to raise awareness and money for the homeless. Learn more about Hannah and the Ladybug Foundation here!
These examples of children, in groups and individually, pouring their efforts into supporting their needs and those of their community, are inspiring for citizens of all ages. Celebrate International Day of Peace day by discussing with your little one the power they possess to change the world.