GEN Z To Earth…Hello…Anybody Out There?

Kevin Clark
Dakar Media Academy

Who is Gen Z and what do they want out of the workplace?

Companies need to adjust their approach to attract the newest crop of workers.

Dakar Foundation has assembled a team of Generation (Gen) Z students entitled ‘Through The Student Lens’ , and they’ve been tasked to execute a strategy to bridge the gap between  their peers and today’s hiring managers who want to recruit and develop smart-pipelines for workforce 2025.  The old ways of recruiting are not going to work with anyone under the age of 22.  “You can’t apply the same frameworks used to hire baby boomers to this new internet generation, even tactics used to reach millennials might hit a sour note with members of Gen Z, whose leading edge is turning 22 this year.
For example, only 29% of 18- to 24-year-olds are on Linked-In. Begging the question are we speaking to an alien race.  Gen Z will be saddled with debt, this group is aware of widening income disparities and expects to earn more equitable wages.  They reject the top-down corporate hierarchy even more radically than millennials. And they are turned off by hiring practices and corporate cultures that don’t reflect a broad view of diversity — race, class, gender, religion, sexual orientation, identity. For example here’s a list of brands on their way out, started by millennials and finished by Gen Z.

New Pedagogy For Gen Z Learners In The Inner City

Dakar has several components to lead the way ahead for students who want to enter the creative-tech economy in Silicon Beach and Silicon Valley.  Dakar has as an Instagram Distribution Digital Storytelling Workshop to“amplify their voices” around stories that matter. Especially with community college participants who are completing or want to complete the pathway to industry related careers.

The Problem Statement & Solution

While many of us still think of cyberbullying as online harassment, some specialist see cyberbullying as a new and rapidly growing way that young people are being “tracked” into the juvenile justice system. Increasingly, online and social media conflicts can lead to real world violence in an escalating cycle of retaliation, resulting in truancy, delinquency and arrests, with incidents ranging from sexting, gang recruitment and gun violence to suicide and crimes adversely affecting marginalized at-risk youth, especially .

African American Gen Z males.

Whether it’s online or on school grounds, bullying has a detrimental impact on young people between the ages of 12-18. Additionally, it is important that we are able to make the direct connection between bullying/cyberbullying and its impact on public safety, as well as its role in facilitating the negative impact of other delinquent behaviors such as teen dating violence and gang violence.  Engagement and activation will focus on a campaign entitled “Your Health Is Your Wealth”, featuring real-models, not role-models.


The challenge is not to increase juvenile arrests and prosecution, but to engage young people in helping to put programs in place that provide youth, educators, parents and communities with strategies for prevention, intervention, wise-decision making and increased awareness of the violence that impacts young people online.  Empowering Gen Z and Educators Through Technology and Advocacy In nonprofits such as Dakar media academy partnered with ground-breaking partnership between media , local government and law enforcement.
The primary goal of Dakar’s initiative is to empower youth and their educators to help change the narrative of bullying and redirect the spiral of violence, using media as a tool for the prevention of crime by providing intelligent counsel and programs that open the lines of communication between young people, law enforcement and educators for Los Angeles County K-16.

At a time when many young people still feel they are a voiceless minority in America, we provide the opportunity, technology and basic storytelling skills for teens to give voice to their own stories and solutions about issues that dramatically affect their lives and to use the power of social media in positive ways to facilitate change, civic engagement and juvenile justice, especially for young people of color.

It is fact that shootings and murders begin as virtual fights and many have been indicted using evidence from their social media pages.“Research has [also] tied experience with bullying and cyberbullying to low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, family problems, academic difficulties, delinquency, school violence and suicidal thoughts and attempts.

Over 60% of the students who experienced cyberbullying stated that it deeply affected their ability to learn and feel safe at school. Cyberbullying Research Center, Testimony before Federal Commission on School 2 In 2017/2018 launched the initial pilot phase of Amplifying Youth Voices for Real World Impact a cutting edge digital story-telling/media literacy workshop series that combines a specially designed smartphone app and filmmaker’s toolkit with easy to use digital storytelling templates and curriculum.

Working closely with the Police Athletic League (PAL) and other LA County after school programs for middle and high school students, the workshops engage teens and youth facilitators to work in small teams, explore the impact of cyberbullying on their lives and communities and to create and produce short youth-led documentaries, PSAs and news segments using smartphone technology. A rudimentary video sharing site and culminating youth-focused film festival bring students together from different sites to share their films and experiences.

Our hope is that this kind of active engagement will not only raise awareness but also help youth and facilitators to nurture an ongoing climate of after school safety, helping prevent cyber related crimes and “non-turnaround events” where lack of judgement and understanding of the consequences can derail young lives. Investing in Youth Leadership: 30% of juvenile crime occurs between 3-7 pm, making the unsupervised out-of-school hours even more hazardous for many of our most vulnerable children (Council for Children’s Rights, 7/17/15).

Dakar has committed to a long-term partnership with with organizations such as Hart Beat Academy for professional development and coaching of a cadre of youth facilitators and ambassadors to implement the program. This focus will develop best practices and work with young people to create a vision for the kind of after school environments and experiences that will facilitate a youth-led culture of activism for school safety and using social media for social good.

Goals That We Want Gen Z To Acquire:


1. We’ll focus on the GRIND  and Grinders, past, present and future.  As Gen Z from the  inner city modeling becomes precious to help them push through barriers such as unconscious-bias, lack of resources in the classrooms, home, and in their neighborhoods.

2. Understand what factors of their online behavior and experience constitute a risk.

3. Recognize the consequential impact that their words and actions may have on themselves and their community.

4. Learn how to deal with unwanted behavior from peers online.

5. Develop the skills to use technology as a medium to promote social change. Knowledge Areas

6.Community Engagement and Public Safety and Crime Prevention Learning Outcomes and  Increased awareness and empathy of bullying and cyberbullying § Gained storytelling skills, including both technical filmmaking and narrative skills

7.Improved 21st century skills like teamwork and collaboration and Create videos about bullying with more diverse representation than typically found in media

8.Introductory Workshop for Youth and Facilitators Amplifying Youth Voices to Interrupt Cyberbullying and the Cycle of Violence.  This introductory workshop is a pre-requisite and jumping off point for additional modules focusing on gun violence, police-youth relations and additional topics where youth leadership and civic engagement are essential.

Workshops Includes:

• Professional Development for Teachers and Youth Leaders (live and online)

•Teacher/Youth Leader Coaching (on site or online)

• Teacher/Youth Leader Guides: Session Plans and Activities

• Student Work Sheets/Activity Notebooks • Digital Storytelling Resource and Content Guide • Youth Engagement Tool: The Hero’s Journey in Popular Media– Storytelling and Transformation in Film and Comics • Filmmaker’s Toolkit and Filming Tips

• Video Review and Password Protected Curated Social Media Sharing • Learning Assessments and Evaluation Resources

• Resources to Align with Common Core Standards and Guidelines, ISTE and 21st Century Skills, Dignity for All Students guidelines and others

• Town Hall Family Engagement Events with Law Enforcement

• Youth Ambassador Leadership Training for Multi-generational Sustainability Additional Programs to be Developed: • Teacher and Youth Leader Institutes

• TOT Training for Sustainability to introduce the Introductory Workshop to others

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