Stephanie Younger — The Rising Generation

The wave of police killings of unarmed Black people in the 2010s spurred Stephanie Younger (b. 2002) to activism. Seeking to forge a more inclusive, peaceful, and just society, she joined the Richmond Youth Peace Project, which teaches leadership skills and non-violent conflict resolution. Younger has also been involved in the March for Our Lives movement, Black Lives Matter, American Civil Liberties Union, and Youth Climate Strikes—regularly advocating for juvenile justice reform, gun violence prevention, and gender and racial equity. In 2017, she founded the Black Feminist Collective, an online platform that gives voice to marginalized groups. 

“Even though we can’t vote, young people . . . have been leading the fight to end gun violence, LGBTQ+ liberation, voters’ rights, and feminism. [We] are the catalysts of social and political change.” 


This article was featured in the Virginia Magazine of History & Biography, Vol. 128, No. 2 in connection with the VMHC exhibition, Agents of Change: Female Activism in Virginia from Women’s Suffrage to Today

Stephanie Younger next to the exhibition panel featuring her in the Agents of Change exhibition
Stephanie Younger next to the panel featuring her work in the Agents of Change exhibition.
Perhaps the most iconic emblem of contemporary female activism is the pink Pussyhat worn in the Women’s March, held annually in cities around the world since 2017. Originally designed to signal opposition to President Donald Trump, this hat in the shape of cat’s ears symbolizes female empowerment. This hat was worn by Virginian Alyssa Murray at the Women’s March on Washington, D.C., on 21 January 2017. (Virginia Museum of History & Culture, 2017.22.1)