Be seen. Be heard.

We need the power of younger thinking. It’s time for youth in Canada to be heard.

Vote for leaders who will represent you, hear your voice and take action. Your generation has the power to make real change. Together, your voices can be loud.

If only 2.6% of elected government officials are under 30, there’s a 97.4% chance young people’s needs come last.

Be Seen. Be Heard.

WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?

The UN estimates that there are 1.2 billion people aged 15 to 24 worldwide. That means that one in every six people on Earth is a young adult. The results of the decisions being made about our world today will be inherited by them. So where on earth are they? The political picture is still very grey. Only 2.8% of elected government leaders worldwide are under thirty. There is a vast generational divide between those with the power of decision-making and those without it.

It’s clear that if we keep trying to solve problems with the same old solutions we will make the same mistakes. Young people have fresh eyes and a lot of skin in the game, yet are rarely invited to the table. They are politically active, demonstrating time and time again that they are prepared to show up for our community, our planet and our future.

Young people, around the world, including millions of under 18 year olds are considered mature enough to have adult responsibilities. They can join the military, care for vulnerable relatives and serve time in prison, but in the same breath are denied the right to vote in most places. That doesn’t sit right with us.

What are we doing?

We’ve always operated outside of the beauty industry, seeking change where other brands saw risks. We are not afraid to challenge the status quo and to find solutions. This is not our first rodeo.

The Body Shop and the UN Office of the Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth have collaborated on a joint report into the issues affecting young people. If you want to know more about why it's important that young people's needs and rights as citizens are respected, read the report.​

We’re launching a global campaign, in partnership with the UN Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, to address the needs and rights of young people around the world, and to amplify youth voices in public life.

First-time voters should never face barriers. In Canada, The Body Shop is shifting power to youth by teaming up with Apathy is Boring. Together, we’re giving young people the skills and resources they need to make their voices heard by encouraging them to vote in this year’s elections and beyond.

The Body Shop Canada and AisB will begin their campaign efforts focused on supporting Ontario youth with educational tools, resources and access to voting locations and registration for the upcoming general election.

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APATHY IS BORING PARTNERSHIP

The Body Shop Canada and AisB will begin their campaign efforts focused on supporting Ontario youth with educational tools, resources and access to voting locations and registration for the upcoming general election.

Are you an Ontario resident? Make sure you’re ready to flex your vote on June 2nd.

$1 from every “Flex Your Power Pack” sold will go to Apathy is Boring, up to $25,000.

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KNOW WHEN TO VOTE

It can be difficult as a first-time voter to find all of the resources you need. We want to make it easier! Download the calendar to find out when you can vote in your upcoming provincial or municipal elections.

MEET OUR BE HEARD AMBASSADORS

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Be Seen Be Heard ambassador Deja posing

Deja Foxx

Founder GenZ Girl Gang

Deja is a student at Columbia University, and a Digital Creator with Ford Models who got her start advocating for reproductive justice after experiencing homelessness in her teenage years. At just 19, she became one of the youngest presidential campaign staffers in modern history.

“I didn’t choose politics, politics chose me.” Deja Foxx

What advice would you give to someone who is at the beginning of their journey in activism?

Get personal! Look for where politics and the news cycle intersect with your life to find issues personally impacting you. Then use your experience and personal story as an agent of change making and ask your personal network (friends, family, neighbours) to show up and stand with you.

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Be Seen Be Heard ambassador Marley smiling

Marley Dias

Founder of #1000BlackGirlsBooks,
Author & Student

Marley is best known for founding the #1000BlackGirlBook drive, which has collected over 13,000 books and writing Marley Dias Gets it Done: And So Can You!

“In order to remain a consistent voice for equity, your social justice work must come from a place of love and optimism.” Marley Dias

When did your journey in activism begin?

My journey with activism started when I was 10. I decided to collect 1,000 books where Black girls were the protagonists in hopes of reforming school systems and creating spaces for the stories of people who look like me.

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Be Seen Be Heard ambassador Larissa posing

Larissa Crawford

Founder, Managing Director, Future Ancestors Services

Larissa passes on Métis and Jamaican ancestry to her daughter, Zyra, and is a published Indigenous and anti-racism researcher, policy advisor, and restorative circle keeper.

“As a Knowledge Builder, I’m always seeking opportunities to acknowledge Frontline Activists, their labor and value in the spaces of power and influence I have access to.” Larissa Crawford

What advice would you give to someone who is at the beginning of their journey in activism?

Challenge your binaries of “good” and “bad”; what values, teachings, and experiences have led to your binaries? Articulate how your lived experience contributes to your qualification (and perhaps lack thereof); how does navigating society as I am inform my qualification to do my work and activism differently?

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Be Seen Be Heard ambassador Karishma smiling

Karishma Porwal

Founder of X organization, Climate Justice Activist: Canadian Advocate for Nature

Karisma advocates for a low impact lifestyle, but a high impact voice.

“Let's make better choices at home while challenging systems of power.” Karishma Porwal

How would you change the world?

I would bring back our love of community. I would like to live in a world where we don't feel guilty for slowing down, taking care of ourselves, our loved ones, and the Earth. A world where we live a life beyond just for ourselves.

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Be Seen Be Heard ambassador Saara smiling

Saara Chaudry

Actor, Activist, Journalist, Writer, & Student

Saara is an award-winning actor and journalist, a soon-to-be Harvard student, and a vociferous advocate for gender and racial equality.

“Never doubt the impact you can make. No step towards fighting injustice or making the world a better place is too small or insignificant.” Saara Chaudry

When did your journey in activism begin?

It began when I played Parvana in the Oscar-nominated feature film “The Breadwinner”. However, I would argue that my interest in activism has existed since I was a child. Hearing the stories of the sacrifices my immigrant parents/grandparents made so that I could have the opportunities I do now made me aware of my privilege and realize my purpose in giving a voice to the voiceless.

How will it work AROUND THE WORLD?

In every country we operate in, we’ll be campaigning to remove the barriers that prevent young people from participating in the decision-making that affects us all.

The kind of change we're fighting for around the world includes (but isn’t limited to):

Lowering the voting age to 16 at the local, provincial or national level.

Addressing legislative or policy barriers which directly or indirectly prevent young candidates running for positions of leadership.

Establishing formally recognized youth bodies with a direct relationship to national legislatures.

Lobbying for formal youth involvement in national policy development, such as climate change action, post-Covid recovery plans and peacebuilding initiatives.

We will also be supporting programs that develop the skills of young people to make them tomorrow’s leaders. All campaign work at the national level is in partnership with local, often youth-led, organizations who share our values and have expertise in increasing youth participation in their country.

We all know that change starts from within. We have set up a ‘Youth Collective’ at The Body Shop to amplify youth voices within our collective and to guide our own decision-making. This advisory group will also act as a sounding board as we navigate our campaign around the world.

You can read more about our philosophy and some of our campaigning here.

For now we would like to say, we see you. We hear you. Now let’s get to work.

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GET INFORMED. GET OUTRAGED. GET INSPIRED.

We work closely with experts to plan all of our campaigns. We’d love for you to keep reading about these issues so here’s a list of resources.

We work closely with experts to plan all of our campaigns. We’d love for you to keep reading about these issues so here’s a list of resources.

To learn more about the facts and figures of youth participation in national parliaments globally, read this report from the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU). Not into report reading? Check out this infographic of the same info condensed.

Explore the UN’s Youth 2030 Strategy through visiting this one-stop-shop knowledge portal. Here you can pick up valuable tools and resources for supporting Youth 2030 implementation as well as track global progress year-by-year.

Want to know more about youth policy in your country? These handy factsheets from YouthPolicy.org will help.

Read this literature review from the EU Commission and Council of Europe for an overview of youth political participation in Europe.

This paper provides a breakdown of the different jargon and info used to discuss youth political participation.

This policy paper on Quality Youth Participation and Inclusion in Institutions from the European Youth Forum (EYF) could help you lobby your local institution on youth inclusion.

This from the Office of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth (OSGEY) and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) will give you loads of info on how gender and representation intersect.

You could read this from First ASEAN Youth Development Index detailing youth development across the region (see Domain 4: Participation and Engagement).

Or why not check out The ASEAN Youth Advocates Network here?

The African Youth Leaders study is an international research project looking to develop a youth leadership movement and they’re always looking for people to get involved.

Want to stay across global efforts to allow young people to run for political office? Check out the Not Too Young To Run campaign