11 Apr TOP GEN Z ACTIVIST INFLUENCERS IN 2023
Generation Z, born between the middle of the 1990s and the early 2010s, is fast becoming a powerful yet highly underestimated force to be reckoned with in various sectors, from politics and business to social movements and cultural reformation. Gen Z activist influencers are stepping up to the plate to spark change, raising awareness, and fighting for what they believe in. In 2023, the presence of Gen Z activist influencers will continue to reshape the world and challenge the status quo in ways previously unseen.
One key aspect of Gen Z activist influencers is using social media as an essential tool to amplify their voices and organize grassroots movements with a broader reach. From Instagram to TikTok, these platforms spread awareness and mobilize thousands of passionate young people about various issues, such as climate change, gun control, social and racial justice, and LGBTQ+ rights. We anticipate more Gen Z activist influencers taking the lead in enacting positive social change as we head into 2023. Their voices will only continue to become louder and more powerful.
For this reason, Amra & Elma has created a list of some of the top Gen Z activist influencers in 2023 that are using their voices to make the world a better place for all future generations.
TOP GEN Z ACTIVIST INFLUENCERS IN 2023
1. ED WINTERS @earthlinged (589K)
Earthling Ed is a well-known name in the world of online animal activism, and he is one of the most popular Gen Z activist influencers. Ed uses his Instagram account as a forum to debate well-known anti-vegan statements and draw attention to animal cruelty cases. After reading a 2014 post about a chicken truck accident close to Manchester, England, Winters first committed to vegetarianism. He has since made it his duty to educate people about veganism and animal rights. Other ongoing projects he is involved with include books (which advocate a vegan diet for the protection of animals), TED Talks, an animal rescue, and a line of eco-friendly clothes. These initiatives are a part of Winters’ multifaceted strategy for ending animal injustice.
2. GRETA THUNBERG @gretathunberg (14.8M)
Greta Thunberg’s environmental activism is one of the most motivating wake-up calls ever; she urged the Swedish government to cut carbon emissions. In addition to holding a demonstration outside the Swedish parliament, Thunberg started making speeches to criticize the government’s inactivity on climate change. As one of the Gen Z activist influencers, Greta’s main objective was to raise awareness of the climate crisis. She urges people to quit using fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas and switch to exclusively sustainable energy.
3. HADIQA BASHIR @hadiqa_bashir (769)
Hadiqa Bashir established Girls United for Human Rights in 2014, a group that educates society on the risks of early and forced marriages, the advantages of education and health care, and the availability of legal and medical support for girls who experience domestic abuse. For her efforts, Bashir received the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award in 2015. In 2016, she made history by becoming the first Pakistani girl to be named Asian Girls Human Rights Ambassador, and currently, she is one of the top Gen Z activist influencers worldwide.
4. NADYA OKAMOTO @nadyokamoto (133K)
Nadya Okamoto is one of the leading voices for female empowerment, one of the top Gen Z activist influencers and the creator of PERIOD Inc. She is dedicated to erasing period poverty and stigma through service and education. She is the founder and former Executive Director of the nonprofit organization PERIOD. Okamoto is also known as the author of the book PERIOD POWER: a Manifesto for the Menstrual Movement. In addition to her work in the menstrual health field, Okamoto is an expert in Gen Z marketing and a mental health advocate.
5. CHLOE HAYDEN @chloeshayden (225K)
Chloé Hayden is among the top Gen Z activist influencers and an emerging leader in the global fight for social justice. Her activism has extended to advocating for civil rights, environmental justice and gender equality. She produces videos in which she discusses her experiences as an autistic female and demands increased understanding and support of autistic people. In addition to using her platform for activism, Chloé Hayden frequently engages with leading figures in politics and popular culture. She has spoken at numerous events around the world with celebrities like former President Barack Obama and actor John Boyega.
6. PAIGE LAYLE @paigelayle (130K)
Paige Layle founded The Paige Town Project, a global movement to cultivate young people’s voices and create change. In addition to being among the top Gen Z activist influencers, Layle is also an accomplished entrepreneur. She founded her apparel brand – Paige Town Apparel – which donates proceeds from its sales to support various girls’ education projects around the globe. Her advocacy has earned her recognition from TIME Magazine’s “25 Most Influential Teens of 2020” list, Forbes’ “30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneurs” list, and many more prestigious media outlets featured her.
7. EMMA CHAMBERLAIN @emmachamberlain (16.1M)
Emma Chamberlain, one of the Gen Z activist influencers, has amassed a significant virtual fan base after making her YouTube debut in 2017. Her YouTube channel has over 12 million subscribers, and her Instagram has 16.1 million followers. Emma began her social media presence while battling depression in high school and is now very candid about her battles with mental illness. She is one of the world’s most well-known and well-respected teen activists in 2023, thanks to her large audience and her podcast called Anything Goes with Emma Chamberlain, in which she talks about intimate subjects like her experience with alcohol.
8. MADELINE STUART @madelinesmodelling_ (350K)
Being the first Down syndrome individual to pursue a career as a professional model, Madeline Stuart is making history. She became known as one of the Gen Z activist influencers after public speeches about disability rights initiatives such as better access to education, employment opportunities and healthcare. Madeline is also an international fashion icon featured in Vogue Italy and Harper’s Bazaar and appeared on stage at New York Fashion Week and London Fashion Week. Through her #PowerMaddie hashtag campaign, Madeline encourages people of all abilities to embrace their authentic selves while raising awareness about disability acceptance.
9. GENESIS BUTLER @genesisbutler_ (68.2K)
One of the top Gen Z activist influencers and the youngest speakers ever to give a TEDx talk, Genesis Butler is a proponent of environmental and animal rights. She became vegan at a young age and received various honors and awards for activism. She was also featured on Disney+’s Marvel’s Hero Project episode. The Youth Climate Save movement, the first youth-driven environmental group that emphasizes the effects of animal agriculture on climate change and seeks to offer all young voices a forum, is now headed by Genesis. Genesis’ impactful activism does not stop there – she also advocates for disadvantaged children in India through her partnership with Save LIFE Foundation (SLF).
10. MALALA YOUSAFZAI @malala (2.4M)
Malala Yousafzai is one of the best-known advocates for educational equality and one of the most notable Gen Z activist influencers. Malala, the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in history, has gained recognition abroad thanks to her diaries detailing life under the Taliban regime. Malala has become a global advocate for equality and education since then, and she was named one of Time Magazine’s most influential people in 2013. She brings attention to topics like global female emancipation and gender equality in the classroom.
11. TRINITY MORISETTE @trinity_morisette (592K)
American teenage model and one of the Gen Z activist influencers Trinity Morisette is well-known for posting entertaining TikTok content TikTok. She is also renowned for her work as an advocate against cyberbullying. After facing criticism for posting her videos and photos on numerous platforms, the TikTok star founded the Kindness Matters Movement to fight against cyberbullying. She promotes inner beauty and mental health while encouraging body positivity.
12. MAYA PENN @mayasideas (82.4K)
Maya Penn is a CEO, eco-designer, animator, filmmaker, one of the Gen Z activist influencers, and author of You Got This! At age 8, Penn established her first business, a line of eco-friendly apparel known as Maya’s Ideas. Three years later, she established the nonprofit organization Maya’s Ideas 4 the Planet to fight for good social initiatives such as diversity in STEM and tech fields, environmental justice, and mental health. Numerous magazines have written about her, including Forbes, Huffington Post, Seventeen Magazine, Cosmopolitan, The View, NPR, CNN, TIME, Essence Magazine and CBS This Morning with Gayle King.
13. BLAIR IMANI @blairimani (549K)
Blair Imani is a well-known historian, writer and educator. She is among the most popular Gen Z activist influencers worldwide. She has written extensively on various topics, including intersectionality, gender studies, race, sociology, and American history. Blair Imani is praised by The New York Times for having the ability to develop progressive teachings with eye-catching graphics and an eccentric approach. She has been giving lectures and presentations at numerous universities, including Oxford, Stanford, Brown, Harvard, Duke, and others.
14. ELIJAH MCKENZIE-JACKSON @elijahmckenziejackson (40.2K)
Elijah is one of the most prominent Gen Z activist influencers who is arguably most known for his hunger strike at the proposed coal mine in West Cumbria. Elijah intended to raise awareness about the harmful effects of fossil fuels on the environment. He is currently leading UK climate action, urging the decarbonization of society. Elijah is a crucial player in the Fridays For Future movement and is on a mission to inspire people worldwide to strike for the future and achieve climate justice.
15. EMMA GONZALEZ @emmawise18 (120K)
Emma “X” González is one of the Gen Z activist influencers and a proponent of gun control. The activist’s widely shared “We Call B.S.” speech significantly impacted the pro-gun control demonstrations. Thanks to the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting survivors, the Florida Legislature approved the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act in March 2018. With this law’s passing, the legal age to purchase a handgun is now 21. Emma Gonzalez was named one of Time’s 100 Most Important People of 2018.
16. MAYA GHAZAL @ghazalmia (135K)
Syrian refugee Maya Ghazal achieved her goal of being the first female Syrian refugee pilot when she was 21. By sharing her narrative, Maya fights for refugee inclusion and equal access to school and employment and dispels negative stereotypes about them. Maya sponsored the educational session at the inaugural Global Refugee Forum in 2019, representing UNHCR as a Goodwill Ambassador. As one of the Gen Z activist influencers, Maya has also given speeches at gatherings worldwide, such as the Global Social Conference on Education and the WE Day youth empowerment conference.
17. AMANDA GORMAN @amandascgorman (3.8M)
Amanda Gorman is an American poet and of the most popular Gen Z activist influencers. She became the youngest inaugural poet at 22 when she read “The Hill We Climb” in January 2021. In 2017, the Harvard graduate from Los Angeles was also appointed the First National Youth Poet Laureate. Gorman is the New York Times bestselling author of “Call Us What We Carry,” a lyrical picture book, and a collectable edition of “The Hill We Climb.”
18. HONEY ROSS @honeykinny (57.9K)
Honey is a writer, model, and one of the Gen Z activist influencers dedicated to using her social media platform to promote acceptance and love for all body shapes while combating false beliefs and expectations about our appearance. She co-founded the Pink Protest, an advocacy platform that campaigns for free period products and the abolition of FGM, and she co-hosts the Body Protest podcast. The Body Protest podcast delves into the various challenges that complicate the road to self-love.
19. CHRISTINA ADANE @christina.adane (3.6K)
Christina Adane, one of the most popular Gen Z activist influencers from the United Kingdom, has been campaigning for free school meals and has started a petition to provide free school meals to children who would otherwise go hungry. She is a board member and co-chair of Bite Back 2030, a youth-led organization dedicated to ending child food poverty in the United Kingdom. Bite Back believes every young person deserves healthy, nutritious food, and it also believes that young people are the key to changing and repairing the current system.
20. ANITA CHHIBA @achhib (9K)
Anita is a well-known creator of Diet Paratha, an Instagram account with 48.8K followers highlighting South Asian people in creative areas such as fashion and cosmetics. She is also one of the most significant Gen Z activist influencers. Diet Paratha has been scouted as a talent resource by US Vogue, hosts live events with Soho House and operates a Family Tree Mentorship scheme that matches individuals and established brands with industry professionals to strengthen the community. Chhiba has collaborated with brands like Burberry, Gucci, and Byredo.
21. VANESSA NAKATE @vanessanakate1 (168K)
Vanessa Nakate is a well-known climate campaigner, and she is in the group of popular Gen Z activist influencers.Vanessa started her campaign for climate justice in 2019 with a demonstration inspired by Greta Thunberg in Kampala, Uganda. Vanessa received the title of UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 2022. Vanessa has now utilized her platform to campaign for climate justice for all communities, particularly those most impacted by climate change. She launched the Rise Up Movement to help African climate activists raise their voices and a project that installs solar panels in remote Ugandan schools. Vanessa is the author of A Bigger Picture, an inclusive climate action manifesto and memoir.
22. MYA-ROSE CRAIG @birdgirluk (25.8K)
Mya-Rose Craig is a well-known British-Bangladeshi ornithologist and author. At the age of 11, she launched the popular blog Birdgirl. She writes pieces about birds, environmental issues, books, and her life on her blog. Her passion for bird watching introduced her to the effects of climate change on British wildlife over the previous few decades, and she has been fighting for change ever since. As one of the most eminent Gen Z activist influencers, she is outspoken against using palm oil, GMOs, and oil and plastic pollution. She educates her followers on the loss of biodiversity and other issues.
23. MARI COPENY @littlemissflint (157K)
Mari Copeny is one of the most famous American Gen Z activist influencers and philanthropists on the front lines of empowering children. Instead of feeling useless when the Flint Water Crisis occurred, Mari decided to utilize her voice to aid her community and fight for the children of Flint. She has since expanded her efforts to assist communities nationwide struggling with contaminated water. Mari has recently attended in the Women’s March on Washington, Equality for HER, and the People’s Climate March.
24. AUTUMN PELTIER @autumn.peltier (127K)
Autumn Peltier, one of the Canadian Gen Z activist influencers, inspires young people to defend the environment. After she became the Anishinabek Nation’s chief water commissioner, she started speaking to organizations such as the United Nations and the World Economic Forum about the significance of clean water. Peltier has gained many honors for her activism, such as nominations for the International Children’s Peace Prize.
25. HOWEY OU @howey_ou (4.1K)
Howey Ou, one of the most significant Gen Z activist influencers, has been compared to Greta Thunberg for going to the streets to raise awareness about climate change. She organised a school strike against climate action in 2019 and encouraged her classmates to join her in Guilin, where she lives. Hundreds of people waved homemade banners demanding officials reduce China’s greenhouse gas emissions. In September 2020, she participated in a silent protest outside the Shanghai Exhibition Centre and a hunger strike in Switzerland in 2021.
26. XIUHTEZCATL ROSKE-MARTINEZ @xiuhtezcatl (110K)
Martinez was the youth director of Earth Guardians, a climate change-related youth initiative founded by his mother, Tamara Roske. Martinez is also one of the Gen Z activist influencers, a hip-hop musician and a public speaker, having spoken at the United Nations General Assembly on Climate Change in 2015. He was speaking about how fossil fuels affect indigenous and other marginalized groups.
27. NYOMBI MORRIS @mnyomb1 (5.2K)
Nyombi Morris is one of the Ugandan Gen Z activist influencers, CEO of Earth Volunteers, a UNOCHA Ambassador, and a CNN Environmentalist. After floods destroyed his parents’ source of income and forced them to migrate, he became drawn to activism. Since then, Nyombi has urged international leaders and polluters to do more to combat climate change. Among other media sites, his narrative has appeared on the BBC, CBC, CNN, The Verge and Global Citizens.
28. LESEIN MUTUNKEI @trees4goals (1.7K)
Mutunkei became one of the Gen Z activist influencers after learning about the destructive effects of pollution and deforestation on the environment. He’s connected his advocacy with his passion for football after learning that his country loses the equivalent of 50 football fields worth of forest daily. His non-profit organization Trees4Goals has a premise to urge amateur and professional football players to plant a tree for every goal, an initiative that FIFA described as necessary. His vision is for world-famous football clubs to measure their success by the extent of the woods they’ve planted rather than trophies.
29. SAMEER JHA @sameerhjha (1.1K)
Sameer Jha started the Empathy Alliance at the age of 14 to support students who are bullied because of their LGBTQ+ identities and to make schools safer for LGBTQ+ adolescents. As one of the most recognizable Gen Z activist influencers, his vision is to educate teachers about the LGBTQ+ community and collaborate with some of the largest LBGTQ+ organizations in the US to advocate youth mental health. Jha initiated this campaign and continues to impact the LGBTQ+ community today positively.
30. DESMOND NAPOLES @desmondisamazing (151K)
Desmond Napoles is a drag performance artist and one of the Gen Z activist influencers who significantly influenced the LGBTQ+ community, with over 151K Instagram followers. Desmond walked New York City runways, started their clothing line, and founded online forums for LGBTQ+ adolescents, among other things. Desmond has appeared in major publications such as The New York Times, NBC News, Teen Vogue, and OUT Magazine.
In addition to these well-known figures, countless other Gen Z activist influencers make a difference in their communities and on social media. Platforms like TikTok and Instagram have given young activists the tools to reach a global audience and make their voices heard. As these Gen Z activist influencers continue to make their voices heard, they will undoubtedly face pushback and resistance from those seeking to maintain the status quo. However, the energy and passion of Generation Z suggest that the opposition will not deter these activists but will continue to push for progress and inspire others to do the same.
Gen Z activist influencers have a lot of impact on the people around them, especially the younger generation. They have enormous followings on platforms such as Instagram and Twitter, and their messages reach thousands or even millions of young people across the globe. They also have a great influence on social media trends and culture, meaning they can mobilize a vast number of followers to support causes they deem worthy.
The Gen Z activist influencers not only inspire their followers to be more active on important issues, but they also provide them with valuable insights on how to go about tackling these issues. Through their social media content, they educate their followers on problems facing society and offer ideas and solutions on how to address them.
In 2023, we can expect Gen Z activist influencers to impact the world, shaping history for years to come.
TOP GEN Z ACTIVIST INFLUENCERS IN 2023- FAQ’s:
Why are Gen Z activist influencers so popular?
One of the critical reasons why Gen Z’s activist influencers have gained so much popularity and importance is their inherent ability to mobilize crowds and spark conversations on critical social issues. With their diverse backgrounds and upbringings, they offer a unique perspective that resonates with many people globally. Furthermore, they have grown up surrounded by technology and the internet, giving them the tools to create and disseminate their messages globally without the need for traditional media outlets.
Another essential factor in their success is the passion and commitment that they have displayed to their causes. Unlike previous generations, Gen Z’s looking for more than just material gratification, instead, they are driven by their values and beliefs. Activist influencers such as Greta Thunberg or Malala Yousafzai have become role models for their dedication to their respective causes of climate change and education, inspiring others to join their movements.
Furthermore, Gen Z activists have been successful in influencing political decisions and policies with their concerted efforts to bring attention to social issues worldwide. Their activism has grown stronger with the internet, giving them a platform to communicate their grievances and raise awareness. Recently, their political influence has been demonstrated through movements like Black Lives Matter, #MeToo, and March for Our Lives, which have attracted massive support from people worldwide.
What do Gen Z activist influencers do?
One of the ways that Gen Z activist influencers make an impact is by sharing information and raising awareness of important issues. Gen Z activist influencers use their social media accounts to post about current events, political developments, and social injustices, often providing their followers with insightful analysis and perspective. By sharing their experiences and opinions, these influencers can inspire others to take action or get involved in their communities.
Additionally, many Gen Z activist influencers use their platforms to organize and mobilize others to support a particular cause. They may start a movement, create a campaign or hashtag, or collaborate with other activists to bring attention to an issue and demand change.
Educational content is one of the most popular types of social media content produced by Gen Z activist influencers. They provide statistics, facts, and figures that help their followers understand the issue’s importance and its impact on society. Educational content is often accompanied by calls to action, such as signing petitions, donating, or participating in protests.
Another type of social media content produced by Gen Z activist influencers is advocacy content. This kind of content aims to create awareness and inspire followers to take action. Advocacy content may feature the influencers discussing their personal experiences or highlighting individuals affected by the cause they advocate for. Advocacy content often inspires followers to become more involved, such as joining groups, contacting lawmakers, or participating in protests.
Gen Z activist influencers also produce event-related content. This can include live streaming events, rallies or protests, or hosting Q&A sessions. Live event content has become more popular with the ongoing pandemic. Gen Z activist influencers now leverage various live-stream platforms to connect with their followers and create engagement around social and political causes. The live aspect of such content helps to develop a sense of community engagement.