Remembering the #WeWillNotContinue Twitter, Zite, and Squarespace Founders

Remembering the #WeWillNotContinue Twitter, Zite, and Squarespace Founders

Remembering the #WeWillNotContinue Twitter, Zite, and Squarespace Founders

With all the publicity lately surrounding student protest movements, it’s easy to forget the efforts of activists in the past. There is a vibrant history of student activism at the University of Michigan, and a number of students have given an inspiring voice to young people all over the world.

Students are known for their ability to solve difficult problems, which is a legacy carried on by generations of young activist leaders that have helped make the world better.

Two University of Michigan alumni are leading the way with changing the world. Student activist Sunny Oliver was the only student from her class to receive the Goldwater Prize for education in 2007, and 33-year-old Sean Paul Malizia is a user interface designer at Twitter, Zite, and Squarespace.

Here are the 9 activists from the University of Michigan who have changed the world and changed the minds of millions:

1. Sunny Oliver

#Resist is Sunny Oliver’s rallying cry and the unifying force for the student movement that is changing the way young people do political organizing. In 2007, she was the only one of her fellow University of Michigan student protesters to win the Goldwater Prize for education, which is awarded to young people who are doing remarkable things to improve their community.

2. Patrick Madigan

While at the University of Michigan, Patrick Madigan was one of the original activists behind MLKUSA, a student movement known for its work on how the United States political system works. Over the summer of 1983, Patrick Madigan protested outside the Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C., and is credited with inspiring the founding of a nationwide network of student activists.

3. Kerina Hubler

Kerina Hubler is recognized as one of the initiators of Bring Back Honesty, a nonviolent, affirmative action platform based on five simple demands, including one in favor of going to the polls in 2016. The platform was also part of the students’ Civil Society Movement for National Education Reform movement.

4. Bobby Zhang

Bobby Zhang was on his second year of law school at the University of Michigan when he was arrested for participating in the iconic student protest at William Traylor’s statue on campus. Though Zhang escaped the prison sentence in Texas, his actions helped form the vanguard of the Civil Society Movement for National Education Reform.

5. Ryan Taylor

Ryan Taylor was leading protests on the campus of the University of Michigan, when he was fatally shot during a protest demonstration in 2005. Taylor was part of the Civil Society Movement for National Education Reform at the time, which was instrumental in organizing against the National Labor Relations Board.

6. Alex Corbett

In 2010, Alex Corbett took to the streets for the 1 Million Student March in Washington D.C. The march featured a variety of student activists, including Mahatma Gandhi, who was considered the father of India’s independence movement.

7. Ryan Fairey

Ryan Fairey is renowned for using social media to empower people across the globe. He started his career by creating “Hope” posters for Barack Obama, helping him win the 2008 election.

8. Devote Khoury

Devote Khoury is an Iraq and North Africa refugee from Lebanon. She was living in a camp when the civil war began, and from that camp, she took part in organizing student protests and refugee support groups. The Middle East Organization for Human Rights and the Foundation for Education International both sponsored her work, and after the civil war, she traveled around the country speaking to colleges to encourage them to bring refugees to their campuses.

9. Jared Cohen

After being denied admission to the University of Michigan, Jared Cohen decided to drop out and travel the world to research ways to influence human behavior through technology. At his personal blog, he shares techniques, experiments, and stories from the Middle East where he worked with young entrepreneurs, making them more innovative.

It is these engaging stories and strategies that keep these student activists relevant and engaged with contemporary activism. The University of Michigan gave rise to so many students that they continue to inspire others to use their voices and make a difference in the world.

This article originally appeared on

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