Series 1, Episode 2
Millennials Don’t Care About the World

Millennials are known as the selfie generation. Do they care about anything but themselves? While some take a pessimistic view of millennials and activism, evidence is tells a different story. One in four millennials who live in Canada has actively engaged by a cause or issue in the past year. Mostly, they’re working on social justice, the environment, politics or health care. And they’re not the slackavists they’re portrayed as by many. They’re using the internet and social media to create real opportunities online and IRL (“in real life” for any non-millennials who are listening in!)  In this second episode, Ausma talks with Dr Chenjerai Kumanyika, Sarah Jama, Nil Sendil, and Navi Aujla about the millennial worldview. How are millennials fighting for social and economic justice, and how is decent work (or the lack of) enabling or limiting their participation in the wider world.

Dr. Chenjerai Kumanyika is a professor in Journalism and Media Studies at Rutgers University and the co-host and co-executive producer of Gimlet Media podcast, UNCIVIL.

Sarah Jama is a community organizer and activist, focused on disability justice and anti-racism.

Nil Sendil and Navi Aujla are organizers at the Workers’ Action Centre and on the Fight for Fifteen and Fairness campaign.

Get Connected

The Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion is a civic resource centre that works with Hamiltonians to create an inclusive and welcoming city. Among other initiatives, they lead efforts on increasing diversity in workplaces and on boards.

The Workers’ Action Centre is an organization by and for workers that advocates for their rights and builds grassroots movements to press for legislative and policy changes.

The Fight for $15 and Fairness is a cross-movement campaign for decent work — a $15 minimum wage, paid sick days, decent hours and much more.


We found this article by the BBC’s Christian Jarrett interesting — “Millennials are Narcissistic? The Evidence is Not so Simple.”

What do Canadian millennials really think? Check out the 2016 Canadian Millennial Social Values Study from the Environics Institute.

In the Toronto Star, Sabrina Nanji interrogates the myth of millennial apathy in this piece.

Chenjerai Kumanyika referred to this article by Malcolm Gladwell from 2010, Small Change: Why the Revolution will not be Tweeted. Important to note it preceded the Arab Spring, Occupy, and Black Lives Matter. Check out his podcasts, UNCIVIL and Seeing White.

Download a free copy of Atkinson’s graphic novella on Canada’s fight for decent work in the 20th century. A Share in the Honour: Canada’s Fight for Decent Work in Joseph Atkinson’s Times.