Today’s Solutions: October 24, 2021

Robert Redford recognizes the work of James Kass for bringing a voice to the youth in Oakland, California.

Robert Redford | Jan/Feb 2009 issue

James Kass is a force of nature. The hip, bold visionary has created a powerful space within our democracy from which young people can fly bravely out into the world with new found voices, “bringing noise from the margins to the core,” as James would tell you. While I’ve always believed art will find a way to break out in beautiful ways, no matter how much it’s pushed aside, when a determined energy like James’ acts as the wind at the back of art for social change, it explodes in a way that doesn’t allow those in its presence to turn away. In the James Kass equation, art and change are inseparable. New, bold poetic expression is the heart of Youth Speaks, the marvelous organization he created. Youth Speaks challenges young citizens of the world to find, develop, publicly present and apply their voices as creators of social change. I’ve seen it. I’ve felt it. I’m inspired by it. Youth Speaks is the beat of a generation, empowering young leaders who’ll take us through the years ahead in ways we can’t yet imagine. It’s an almost ironic yet completely perfect complement that all of this came to James as a way of combating illiteracy, alienation and silence, while simultaneously creating a global movement of brave new voices speaking truth to power. What could be more intelligently optimistic?

Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

Algae wrapped in droplets improves efficiency of artificial photosynthesis

In our quest for the most sustainable, most renewable sources of energy, humanity continues to look to nature for inspiration. One of nature’s most efficient energy systems is photosynthesis, which is how plants convert sunlight, ... Read More

Evidence shows Vikings arrived in Americas nearly 500 years before Columbus

Researchers have known for a while that Vikings from Greenland founded the village of L’Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland around the turn of the millennium, but now, a study published in Nature has finally pinpointed ... Read More

Egypt’s State Council swears-in the nation’s first female judges

Egypt’s State Council was established in 1946 and is an independent judicial body that deals with administrative disputes, disciplinary cases, appeals, reviews draft laws, decisions, and contracts that involve the government or a government-run body. ... Read More

Is group or individual work more productive? Here’s what science says

Are you a group project person or do you prefer to fly solo? We all have our work preferences, but what does science say about teamwork and productivity? A new study conducted by Quartz aims ... Read More

Wildlife filmaker provides a unique insight into the daily lives of bees

You may have seen bees flying around your backyard or local park, but it can be difficult for the naked human eye to grasp the full complexity of the lives of these pollinators. During the ... Read More