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Meet The Millennial Women Shaping Politics

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    Photo: Michael Hull / Courtesy of Fusion.

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    Update: “It’s so hard to be blamed for something you didn’t do personally but was falsely done in the name of your religion.” That is exactly what prompted one Muslim woman to put up the Facebook post that recently went viral, turning her into an unintentional activist. She, along with the two other women in this week’s update, are bringing "minority" issues to the larger realm of American politics. Click through to meet the woman promoting Black Lives Matter to the political world, the woman bringing Latinos to the GOP and vice versa, and the Muslim activist who is using social media to counter hate with peace and kindness, in this 12th installment of Fusion’s “30 Under 30.”

    This story was originally published on January 28, 2016.


    The 2016 election feels like the official Election of the Millennial Generation. And it’s not just because certain politicians are working hard to attract young voters.

    Young people — and particularly young women — are involved not just in supporting candidates with their votes, they're actually key players behind the scenes. Fusion is bringing these influencers center stage, with a new, all-women, all-political “30 Under 30” video list.

    In the site's rundown of the project, Rebekah Dryden, the director of elections coverage, discusses the importance of not limiting the pool to those working within the political machine.

    “We didn’t want to limit our roster to campaign staffers and Washington types. Those people are hugely important, of course. But there are other people in the game, too. People working in outside groups — or even getting elected themselves. And, of course, there are incredibly influential people working entirely outside the system. For example, the #BlackLivesMatter movement has unquestionably pushed the Democratic candidates for president to address social justice and policing in ways that they simply weren’t before.”

    If you think it sounds like a project that can't be done justice in just a few videos, you’re right. Fusion will be releasing the videos in bursts of two or three per week over the next few months, so you can check back weekly to see the next set of incredible women.

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    Marwa Balkar's peaceful response to Donald Trump’s call to keep Muslims out of America recently went viral on Facebook.

    “When Trump made his comments, I felt like it was my responsibility as a Muslim-American to protect the religion that I know, the religion of peace, the one that teaches peace, the one that teaches that, if you see an ant on the ground you walk around it, you do not step on it.”

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    Ruth Guerra, the director of Hispanic media for the Republican National Committee, is bringing the Republican Party to the Latino community and vice versa.

    “The diversity among our community is something beautiful and needs to be celebrated, but it also needs to be acknowledged, and that’s what the Republican Party is doing.”

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    As a Black Lives Matter organizer, Ashley Yates is reminding America that racial equality isn’t just about policing and violence.

    “To say Black lives matter and mean it, is to go beyond criminal justice reform. We need education reform, we need food, we need housing, we definitely need to end the school-to-prison pipeline, but it’s more than just that.”

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    “Everything that I’m going to do is to empower our youth, inspire our youth, and to promote peace and nonviolence.” Humanitarian rapper, activist, and educator FM Supreme (Jessica Disu) is using her talents to effect change by promoting positivity and growth, both through her music and through her actions.

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    Amber Thomas is putting all her money on education. “What we pour into the reservoirs of tiny humans comes out as they grow.”