From Citizen You by Jonathan M. Tisch. Copyright 2010 by the author. Published by Crown Publishers (www.crownpublishing. com).
Today's new activism is emerging at a time when a fresh definition of citizenship is sorely needed--a time of unprecedented challenges on the national and world stage, when citizen engagement is not a choice but a necessity.
Here in the United States, a generation of young people is on the rise that is better educated and better equipped for the future than any in our history. Having largely shed old forms of bigotry--racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia--they are eager to play their part in helping to solve the great challenges of our time. And in 2008, they took a momentous step in that direction by helping to elect our first "citizen activist" president, Barack Obama. But today's youth also face challenges more daunting than any since the Second World War--economic collapse, looming environmental disaster, crumbling infrastructure, dysfunctional health and educational systems, and festering international tensions.
Rarely has the world been faced with such momentous opportunities and dangers...