Headliners of Summer
In the past few years, the world has seen both the rising influence of hate and the power of youth activism to address it. Movements like the fight against climate change and March For Our Lives have revealed how students can advocate for the issues that matter to them. At the same time, hate continues to bite back.
Elli Barkett is a member of Team Harmony, an organization whose mission is “educating, inspiring, and engaging youth in the battle against hate in all forms.” Barkett started her journey in activism through an internship with The Rendon Group, a producing partner of Team Harmony. There, she helped organize a conference called Women2Women, a leadership program for emerging teenage women leaders around the world. Soon, she began to involve herself further in Rendon Group initiatives that led her to Team Harmony.
Barkett, who spoke via Zoom to reporters in the Headliners of Summer newsroom, is deeply passionate about the worldwide potential of youth activism and works with students in the organization’s Global Youth Reporter program. This program gives reporters ages 15-25 an opportunity to produce videos that highlight activities that combat racism and prejudice by interviewing subjects and researching issues in their country.
Barkett also works in her favorite part of Team Harmony, the web series “Hate: What are YOU going to DO?”. In this program, youth reporters worldwide discuss pressing issues related to social and racial justice on a monthly broadcast, sometimes centered around a specific theme — in this case, a two-part series on “Women Rights are Human Rights.”
Barkett works closely with the production of the web series, saying, “I edit, I am a host, I write the scripts . . . it’s a very small company, luckily, so we get to be all hands-on.”
The web series, started during the pandemic, has since become an integral part of Team Harmony, one that Barkett hopes will continue in coming years. In particular, she is eager to see in-person events from Team Harmony post-pandemic.
Throughout her experiences with Team Harmony, Barkett has learned a lot about the importance of activism and how to best work within an organization.
“One giant thing that I took away from [Team Harmony] is that whether it’s a small group or a big group . . . put yourself in there first, get yourself hands-on [experience],” she said. “Jump right in there from the start.”
Elli Barkett’s remains committed to championing youth activism in the fight against hate. She hopes to continue her work with Team Harmony, saying, “After you start saving the world, you don’t want to leave.”
–June 22, 2021–