In celebration of Youth Day in South Africa (June 16th), Unite and Share for Peace and Prosperity (USPP) Cooperation Circle hosted a dinner celebrating youth, honouring the activism of the past, and inspiring modern-day activism and compassion in our society. Zahrah Essop, a USPP Youth Leader, was part of organising this event, and shares her reflections:
"A core component of activism, of eliciting change, is recognizing both the unique threads that set each individual apart, and the important ones that bind us together.
She continues: "This was the focus of our 2019 Youth Day dinner, as we sought to celebrate ourselves and each other, as the youth of a country tumultuously balanced between hope and despair. On this day, we called together a wide range of speakers and performers who reminded us that, while the pain and lack of justice surrounding us should never be ignored, they can be met with hope and a focus on how to better ourselves and the communities around us."
"The different ways in which this same message was conveyed highlighted our theme of "separate but together." While some, such as consciousness coach Melissa Radebe, used their voices to meet this goal, others, such as Grace of Harmony and Pops Mohammed, used performance in the form of poetry, dance, singing, and music."
"Co-hosted by myself and my colleague, Savannah Caster, on behalf of USPP and Turquoise Harmony, this event also focused on the refugee crisis. This night highlighted both the laws and other semantics relating to refugees, but also a call to understand the humanitarian aspect of this crisis: that all human beings are worthy of dignity and respect, and displacement of a home can lead to disruption of all aspects of life, with the latter aspect often being ignored. We thus called for the recognition of refugees as individuals with hopes, plans, dreams, and not as commodities shuffled from one area to the next."
"An overall enriching evening, this event left us all with an appreciation of different areas of people’s lives, and hope in our own ability to promote goodwill and change."