Global Citizenship Discourse and Development
Solidarity and advocacy
As defined by Oxfam, a “global citizen” is “someone who is aware of and understands the wider world - and their place in it”. Though the world is more interconnected than ever before, it’s still far too simple to feel isolated from major issues and those impacted that perhaps do not directly affect our lives. To help bridge the persisting gaps that separate today’s world - including issues of race, gender, and class - those seeking to instill social justice values and ideas of global unity have strategically turned to the mobilization of youth as advocates for ‘Global Citizenship’. One such catalyst for fostering this sense of moral imperativeness to better the world are large scale events, such as We Day or Global Citizen Festival, that mobilize vast groups of young people to educate, motivate, and incite change among the masses.
However, global citizenship has not come without its critiques: do these moral values related to helping others translate into tangible action? Is the exclusion and silencing of the most marginalized perpetuated by movements such as We Day or Global Citizen Festival, when those invited are primarily from the Global North? In addition, is it possible to cultivate a meaningful culture of solidarity and advocacy amongst the youth that are engaged in these ‘globally-minded’ events?
In this panel, we will address topics including positionality, privilege, the merits of mobilizing youth for social change and whether or not the notion of ‘Global Citizens’, that cares not is feasible or just another development pipe dream.