Introducing The Skillman Visionary Awards

The Power of Gen Z

While disrupting the status quo like generations before them, this generation has been wholly shaped by a series of once-in-a-century and once-in-history experiences. Born between 1997-2012 (currently 11-26 years old), their political consciousness has been shaped by the back-to-back presidencies of Obama and Trump. Their school experiences formed under the ongoing realities of school shootings, remote learning, and pandemic life. Their global connectivity over social media has allowed for online revolutions and movement building at a pace and scale we’ve never experienced.

Point blank—this generation is different. Authentic, driven, balanced, and intersectional.

Gen Z stats

Gen Z is the most diverse generation in America.

  • 48% identify as people of color¹  
  • 1 in 5 Gen Z adults identify as LGTBQ+²

Gen Z is the largest generational cohort in the world.³

  • ⅓ of world population
  • ¼ of US population

Gen Z is poised to be the most economically powerful generation.⁴

  • Gen Z’s wealth is predicted to rise to $33 trillion by 2030, accounting for more than a quarter of the global GDP.

⅔ of Gen Zers prioritize working for an employer that shares their values.⁵ 

45% of Gen Z report being very or extremely likely to start their own business one day.⁵ 

92% say that being authentic and true to oneself is extremely or very important.⁵ 

Gen Z has been shaped by constant online connectivity, COVID-19, school shootings, racial and political strife–and they remain hopeful and activated. ⁶,⁷

Sources: ¹Pew Research Center, ²Gallup, ³Deloitte, ⁴Bank of America, ⁵EY, ⁶The Skillman Foundation, ⁷Morning Consult

Gen Z leaders shaping Detroit

Skillman Foundation President’s Youth Council member, Evamelo Oleita; 482Forward Communications Lead and youth education activist, Imani Harris; and Michigan Speaker of the House, Joe Tate, take the stage at the 2023 Mackinac Policy Conference to highlight stories from the past year in which young people have helped shape strategies across Michigan’s government, business, and social sectors.

What issues are most important to young people in this moment? Where are they organizing? How can philanthropy support youth-led movements? To better understand youth organizing in Southeast Michigan, we commissioned this landscape scan through the Funders’ Collaborative on Youth Organizing. Ground Building Partnership Manager, Lindsey Barrett, and panelists Evamelo OleitaWallyaldeen Alhomaidi, and Akua Hill discussed the findings of the southeast Michigan youth organizing scan and shared how funders can strategically resource and support youth organizing.

Black Detroiters have been on the forefront of social movements, arts and culture, and entrepreneurial ingenuity for decades. We celebrated 20 Black Detroiters ages 25 and under who are continuing this tradition of forging the future in Detroit.

Ten wholehearted, hardworking Detroiters in their 20’s make up the 2022 cohort of the Skillman BMe Vanguard Fellowship. Vanguard Fellows come from a variety of professional sectors but all are actively advancing community improvements and social change.  

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