MTV has tapped five international activists to take home the EMA Generation Change award during the upcoming 2019 award show from Seville, Spain. The honor aims to celebrate young leaders improving their communities through storytelling, music, organization, and science. All but one of the changemakers, 33-year-old Mexican rap activist Alfredo “Danger” Martinez, is 22 years old or younger.
Gen-Z really will save the world.
The youngest of the Generation Change winners is 17-year-old Jamie Margolin, a Seattle climate change and LGBTQ+ activist. Margolin co-founded the organization Zero Hour, which led the 2018 Youth Climate march in Washington D.C. and dozens of cities around the globe. In September 2019, Margolin testified in front of Congress about the urgent need for climate change action. That was the same day Greta Thunberg went viral with her pleas to save the planet.
UCLA student Lisa Ranran Hu, a 20-year-old Chinese filmmaker, is another Generation Change winner currently living in America. Hu is being honored for her non-fiction work, including 2017's Escape. The feature film sheds light on the transgender experience in China and pushed difficult conversations about how the nation's government restricts the LGBTQ+ experience — particularly for young people. Chinese citizens are unable to change their gender on identity documents until they undergo gender confirmation surgery and are over 20 years old.
Fellow 20-year-old Shiden Tekle and 22-year-old Kelvin Doe round out the Generation Change winners, who will be presented their awards during the 2019 EMA red carpet by MTV presenter Sway Calloway.
British Tekle helped found the organization Legally Black, an advocacy group working to end Black misrepresentation and underrepresentation in pop culture. Tekle first gained notoriety when he and his friends superimposed Black faces into posters for famous movies and TV shows like the Harry Potter franchise and hit British comedy The Inbetweeners. Self-taught engineer Doe, who hails from Sierra Leone, created the Kelvin Doe Foundation, which inspires young people in Africa to tackle their community’s biggest obstacles with science and creativity. Doe first shot to notoriety when, at age 11, he used trash to build everything from batteries to radio transmitters.
You can watch Doe, Tekle, and the rest of the Generation Change winners accept their awards live on the EMAs website and Facebook page. Both sites will be streaming the red carpet show starting at 1 p.m. ET on November 3. Becky G is hosting the 2019 EMAs, which will feature performances from Niall Horan, Rosalía, Halsey, and more.