ACA launches #TheFutureIs Now – Youth Day 2020 Campaign

In South Africa, June 16 symbolises a day where young people united against a system of oppression that took the form of an exploitative education system under the Apartheid regime. It was a day that changed the course of South Africa’s history. Where anger, passion and protest was met with ruthless aggression and violence from the police. It was a day where young people lost their lives in the fight for justice and equality. 

Today, systems of oppression continue to destroy our society, and as young people, we’ve had enough. 

We wish to use Youth Day 2020 to acknowledge the pain, rage and devastation felt as a result of hundreds of years of oppression, inequality, racism (environmental and otherwise) which has been laid bare during the Covid-19 Pandemic and has reignited the #blacklivesmatter protests in the US and around the world.

Racism, sexism, ecological damage, climate change, queerphobia and all other struggles are more interlinked than many realize. There will be no climate justice if we do not achieve racial and other forms of justice too. 

This June 16th, with the power of the struggle veterans who came before us, we are turning our pain and rage into positive action. We are naming the future we want, and committing to making it happen.

We’ve taken the classic adultism of ‘young people are the future’ and flipped it with the strong and powerful message of The Future is Now


We encourage young people all over South Africa to:

  • Share your message of the future you desire (through video, text or art) and post it online with #thefutureis
  • Consider what is practically needed for the future you desire to be actualised, and make this call to action, 
  • Engage your school on why and how they need to be part of a better future now
  • Join our live stream event on June 16th at 5pm South African time. Follow African Climate Alliance on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter for more information. 

We invite partnering organisations and civil society to join the campaign: 

  • Become a co-host on the day’s event 
  • Share the campaign with your members and friends
  • Participate by adding your unique message to the #thefutureis 
  • Join ACA and other youth-led organisations in uniting youth voices for collaboration and solidarity   

Please contact team@africanclimatealliance.org 

Please feel free to utilize any of the digital artworks provided in this file and shown in the document below. 

Components of the #TheFutureIs Now Campaign

Purpose: (why are we doing this? – what can we achieve with this?)

  • To honour June 16th, Youth Day, and the crucial role young people played in the history of this country so far
  • To show the power we have as young people
  • To create a mass message of the voices and experiences of young people, speaking truth to issues that are important to us. 
  • To show the connection between our struggles 
  • To build a sense of community and solidarity in sharing about the issues we are passionate about
  • To amplify youth voices and encourage decision makers to give youth a real seat at the table

Key Messages of Campaign: (what are we saying?)

  • We’re feeling the pain and the anger, both of the past and the present moment, and we’re transforming that into action. 
  • As young people, we are here to show up and do the work now. 
  • Our struggles are interconnected. We seek solidarity. 
  • We draw on the strength and pain of our past to turn it into positive action. 
  • We unite our voices, to share ideas, resources, and mobilise energy.  

Some messaging could look like:

The future is now

The future is green

The future is just

The future is anti-racist

The future is equal

The future is queer

The future is non binary

The future is regenerative

The future is degrowth 

The future is fossil fuel free

The future is decolonized

The future is decentralized

The future is wheelchair accessible

The future is understanding

The future is inclusive

The future is accepting

The future is anti-fascist

Example Graphics 

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What do we mean by climate justice?

What is climate justice? ‘Climate justice’ is the term we use to refer to the social, ethical and political implications of climate change, as opposed