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Youth Activism: Making an Impact

A Villanova Education professor's new book seeks to better understand what it means to be a student activist today.


book cover for The New Student Activists by Jerusha Conner

A new generation of activists has emerged, increasingly adding their voices to conversations about justice and change in the past five years. 

In her recent book The New Student Activists, Jerusha Conner, PhD, professor of Education, examines why young people have become heavily involved in pressing for institutional and social change, taking up such issues as racial justice, student debt and climate change.

Dr. Conner, an expert on education trends and student learning and engagement, found through her research that student activists often remained highly engaged as both students and activists. 

“The vast majority said that because they were engaged in working on these issues, they were actually doing better in their classes, because they were connecting theory with practice, making deeper connections to the material they were reading,” Dr. Conner told the Chronicle of Higher Education. “Activism was helping them become stronger students and critical thinkers.”