Millenials have power to make a difference

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The president of Cultural Cans, a group of graffiti artists who work with the community by painting street art, loves to break down stereotypes. This time he’s breaking down the stigma associated with being a millennial.

Michael Ulibarri, who prefers to go by Uli-one, was a speaker at a Pizza and Politics event organized by UVU’s political action committee Jan. 26. The event focused on the millennial generation.

“As millennials, we have a lot of power to make a difference,” he said. “I’ve been able to do that with Cultural Cans. How we have taken a graffiti art to be something that was seen as a weapon or a threat to a conservative community such as we have here. Now we’re painting all over the place.”

People born between 1982-2000 are all a part of the millennial generation, says Uli-one.

Uli-one stressed the importance of mobilizing instead of staying at home and using social media. He cited the historic Women’s March as a great example of action. “I want to inspire everybody else here to be the next future leaders, because we need them now more than ever to put down the phone, and not text your opinions. Actually go and talk to people who are just like you, who also want to see change,” he said.

Rebeka Grulich, whose area of research includes the millennial generation, discussed the political differences between millennials and generations such as baby boomers and Xers.

“You’re [millennials] socially liberal and politically conservative, and we don’t get it,” she said. “Typically for Xers and boomers, their social views align with their politics. You all do a much better job of separating those two things out. They aren’t the same thing to you.”

While Xers and baby boomers tend to want to fix issues on a government level, millennials prefer grassroot movements as a way to promote change, according to Grulich.

Contrary to popular belief, not all millennials preferred Bernie Sanders for president over Hillary Clinton.“He talked about free education, reducing your education debt and getting you into jobs. That’s what you guys are worried about, right? Those are the struggles that you’re facing,” she said.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 83.1 million millennials in the U.S., making them one quarter of the nation’s population and half of the U.S. workforce.