Quick Hit: The Dream Defenders call on candidates to address the war on youth

Sarah Jaffe has a good piece at Truthout about the Dream Defenders, a coalition of young activists that formed in Florida after the shooting of Trayvon Martin. Tonight, at the final presidential debate in Boca Raton, they’ll be demanding real answers from both candidates on issues–from the privatization of prisons to the inequalities in the education system–that affect youth but which are too often left out of the political debate altogether. Here’s who they are:

We are the sons and daughters of slaves and farm-workers. We are Dreamers and the products of a generation that had a Dream. We are ‘We Shall Overcome’ and ‘Si se puede!’ We are Phoenix and Selma, the Freedom Rides & the Trail of Dreams, Suffrage & Solidarity.

We are products of a dream deferred. We are witnesses to a dream damaged and destroyed. We are Florida and Alabama. We are diverse: students, alumni, black, brown, and white, young and old. We are dedicated to defending the dream etched in our memories by Dr. Martin Luther King: that we are all created equal and possess equal rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

“There is a war on youth going on right now. Our generation is being deported, incarcerated, and labeled criminals,” says organizer Phillip Agnew. “We need a real debate on the issues that matter to us, not on Big Bird and Binders.” Read the rest here, check out the Dream Defenders, and help #ChangeTheDebate by tweeting about the issues you want the candidates to address tonight.

New Orleans, LA

Maya Dusenbery is an Executive Director in charge of Editorial at Feministing. Maya has previously worked at NARAL Pro-Choice New York and the National Institute for Reproductive Health and was a fellow at Mother Jones magazine. She graduated with a B.A. from Carleton College in 2008. A Minnesota native, she currently lives, writes, edits, and bakes bread in Atlanta, Georgia.

Maya Dusenbery is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Editorial.

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