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We Are Not At-Risk

Take our pledge: Let's watch our words when talking about young people

We Are Not at Risk is a youth-led, social media campaign to build awareness and change linguistic behaviors. The campaign calls attention to, and changes, the harmful rhetoric around youth and lifts up the voices of young leaders.

We Are Not at Risk challenges our communities – especially the media and nonprofits – to “Watch Your Words” and stop using coded racist and colonialist language to describe and talk about youth.

#wearenotatrisk  #y4l  #youth4liberation 

Take the pledge

I will watch my words.

I pledge to be intentional in my words when I speak to or about young people. I pledge to correct media, nonprofits, and funders when they use coded language to describe youth. I pledge to stand with young leaders as they work to transcend the harmful narratives around youth, as they take control of their own stories. 



Anti-racist decolonizing framework for talking about and describing young people

Check out our guide for organizations, funders, educational institutions, and media outlets.

Download the handout [PDF]


"We Are Not" signs and posters

Download and print signs in six different languages. Share a photo of yourself holding one on social media. 


Meet some of the young leaders behind the campaign

Facebook Live Video

3 ways to support our campaign

Since we launched our We Are Not at Risk campaign, youth around the world have facilitated discussions, exhibits, and other social action projects to spread the word.

Here's what you can do:

1. Download, print, and create your own “We are not at risk” sign. Take a photo of yourself holding it, and share it on social media using #wearenotatrisk,  #y4l, and #youth4liberation.

2. Share messages, images, and videos from young people on social media by reposting from the #wearenotatrisk, #y4l, and #youth4liberation hashtags.

3. Plan social actions related to the We Are Not At Risk campaign in your community, including panel discussions, roundtables, art exhibits, day of silence, poetry slams, etc. Share photos and stories on social media using our hashtags. Click here for some ideas.

And don't forget to take the pledge! Get your community to join us in this global ask to stop the harmful words we use to talk about young people.

Learn more

Join young people in communities around the world in pledging to watch our words. 



How organizations are answering the call to watch their words

Here are some examples of the changes our campaign has inspired. 


The power of words

We explore the racist and colonialist roots of words used to dehumanize communities and maintain power and control.

Learn more

Youth in Action

Meet the global network of youth leaders working together to strengthen their capacity to transform their respective communities.


Hear from people who support our campaign

"It's indeed important that we all ask why? Most of us get labelled based on manifestations of what's happening rather than the root causes of the challenges, situations & spaces the youth are in."  —Patricia Njagi‏  

"From now on, I choose to be aware of the unchosen, dehumanizing words and thoughts my culture planted within me, and to prevent them from leading me into robot-like, violent actions."— Samuel Karuita‏

"'Until the lion tells his side of the story, the tale of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.' As young people we need to create our own counter-narrative that #WeAreNotAtRisk"  — Wanjiku Lenah

"#WeAreNotAtRisk is such a powerful/profound statement! 'At-risk' as a student identifier lacks critical examination. The narrative and dialogue around 'at-risk' students is inaccurate and racially/economically biased & discriminatory. And I’m glad youth are organizing against it!" — Melinda Anderson‏