Crafting Change Agents





Thursday evening the 28th of May I was inspired to witness a session in what is a continuous dialogue happening internationally among theĀ 20 something youth of today.

The evening was an open platform for conversation around race and identity initiated by the American youngsters from the #craftingchangeagents #youthdialogue movement, supported by the @_IJR_ #AshleyKriel program conveners for the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation in Cape Town.

It was an evening at the Districts Six Museum was opened by a short film on the Nama, an indigenous people in South Africa and followed by the open dialogue in which critical, unashamed points of view were expressed in a very respectful manner. There was a comforting atmosphere for youth from Africa and America to honestly voice their fears, frustrations as well as hopes and aspirations for themselves and those around them.

There was a surprisingly fresh approach to the Coloured Identity among various local youth on the evening as well as the recent police brutally weighing heavily on the American youths psyche. By these youths using art in the form of poetry, film and open discussion to deal with the injustices they are experiencing, they are making tremendous steps forward in influencing all those around them with a new found sense of hope towards more just societies all over the world.


Many of the local youth on the evening gravitated towards an opportunity for a discussion like this through the Ashley Kriel program, engaging youth all over South Africa in dialogues on various platforms. Ashley Kriel was Cape Flats youth leader murdered by the apartheid regime in the 1980s. He is recognized as the archetypal representative of student and youth leadership in the conquering of apartheid, from the Cape Flats. Ashley Kriel is finally becoming every new generation’s symbol of youth activism in the Western Cape.

Similarly the American youth present on the evening all gravitated to the evening via a movement which largely draws their motivation identifying with the recent black youth in America being killed by white officers of the law. They are literally becoming the voices of those which cannot share their experiences of injustice and calling the perpetrators to moral persecution.

A new generation of soldiers of justice are coming up on the horizon of a new dawn, a new day, a different way. This is a generation of inclusion and compassion, spearheaded by powerful women with focused streams of consciousness and the diligent will to execute them.

May this be a swift cleansing processĀ  of the current male dominated chaos we are surviving right now via this new way of engaging with one another as humane beings exploring their sense of Self.

Ruben Engel

Artist and Activist

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