by Jeff Beer, Fast Company
American high-school graduation has a few hallmark traditions. The cap and gown, the diploma, the epic house party, and the grad speech. That address is a time when one of the students’ own talks about what the moment means, reflecting on the past four years, taking a look at the future, and making a few jokes along the way. As high school students across the U.S. celebrated their graduation earlier this spring and summer, a new PSA campaign emerged among the valedictorians and senior speakers.
More than 250 students, in over 134 cities and 24 states, used 60 seconds of their speech to make the same pledge. “In the next four years, 17 million of us will be eligible to vote. That makes Generation Z this country’s largest swing state. Not red, not blue, but human. And together we have the power to shape the world we want to live in. So today I’m pledging to vote on three basic human rights: equality across race, gender, and sexual orientation; safety from gun violence; and action on climate change. If you care about the world we’re inheriting, I encourage you to take the pledge with me. Together we can create a healthier, safer, brighter America. We are the adults now.”
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