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Jun 15, 2023

Nine months before Rosa Parks kicked off the bus boycotts, Claudette Colvin was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama. She was fifteen. In 1912, women’s rights activists organized a massive march in support of women’s suffrage. Leading them up Fifth Avenue in Manhattan was not one of the mothers of the movement, but a teenage Chinese immigrant named Mabel Ping-Hua Lee. Half a century before the better-known movements for workers’ rights began, over 1,500 girls—some as young as ten—walked out of factories in Lowell, Massachusetts, demanding safer working conditions and higher wages in one of the nation’s first-ever labor strikes.

The untold story of the people who have helped spark America’s most transformative social movements throughout history: teenage girls. Young women have been disenfranchised and discounted, but the true retelling of major social movements in America reveals their might: they have ignited almost every single one.

Mattie Kahn is an award-winning writer and editor. Her work has been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, Vox, and more. She was the culture director at Glamour, where she covered women’s issues and politics, and a staff editor at Elle.  She joins the pod to talk all about her new book, “Young and Restless: The Girls Who Sparked America’s Revolutions.”  

She shares:

  • Why she always believed she could be and do whatever she wanted in life.
  • How she felt as a teenage girl and her thoughts on teenage girls today.
  • What it means to be an activist and why change so often occurs because of teenage girls.
  • Why things aren’t as bad as they might seem,
  • The positive and negative impacts of social media on activism.
  • Why it’s important to cultivate a community of women of all ages and generations around you.
  • How to get involved in making change without feeling overwhelmed.
  • How to keep hope alive even when it seems hard. 
  • Why teenage girls can get away with more than women when it comes to activism.
  • The impact of friendships on activism.

Follow Mattie on IG @matkahn

Get a copy of Mattie’s book here 

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