A wise man once said, “You don’t have to wait for someday to make a difference. You are the somebody and today is the day…”
That wise man is all of 16 years old, and he said those wise words one night
sitting in his house in Atlanta…probably after finishing his homework.
Or working on his next book…
Or preparing for his latest campaign.
No. This isn’t a politician we’re talking about. Rather, Zach Hunter has chosen to pursue a life fighting for justice and inspiring his generation to open their eyes to the problems around them and then do something about them.
In his new book, Generation: Change, Hunter makes it clear the time is here and now for young people to turn this world upside down. “What I’m hoping to do through Generation: Change is to support artists, their fans and the non-profit organizations by connecting them with each other,” he says. “And helping my generation understand that their voice counts, and they shouldn’t be looking for somebody else to help solve the problems.”
By joining hands with the likes of Natalie Grant, Dan Haseltine (Jars of Clay), Jon Foreman (Switchfoot) and Sara Groves (to name a few), Hunter is harnessing the power of art to compel a generation to awaken to the realities of slavery, human trafficking and other injustices around the globe.
“Art evokes feelings in people,” says Hunter. “If someone makes an incredibly breathtaking piece of art, they can awaken our emotions and our senses to help us discover something on a new level. An artist writing a song about injustice, oppression, poverty or something else can help people think about it more and begin thinking about how they can do something.”
Switchfoot front man Jon Foreman not only wrote the forward in Hunter’s first book, he has also been a mentor to him. “Zach Hunter’s youth brings a glorious ignorance of the status quo, a beautiful indifference to the stone paths of ‘the way it’s always been,’” says Foreman. “When I’m hanging out with Zach, the world gets smaller and bigger at the same time. Zach Hunter reminds me that we all change the world whether we like it or not.”
Already, the world is taking notice of Hunter’s zealous, unrelenting commitment to a better world. He recently spoke at a Washington roundtable on human trafficking; CNN featured him as a hero of his generation; and he was the global spokesperson for The Amazing Change, a social justice campaign launched in conjunction with the movie Amazing Grace.
But for Hunter, it’s not about the kudos or applause or titles. It’s a lot more simple than that. He’s a humble follower of Christ, and as he reflects on the support of artists like Hillsong United, Natalie Grant and Charlie Peacock, he simply says, “These are people who have nothing to gain by being kind and generous to a teenage guy and who are really busy with their own things, but have chosen to encourage me and use their influence to help the poor.”
Just another teen. Just another day. And just another chance to change the world.
Check out myspace.com/lc2lc to learn more about Zach's 'Loose Change to Loosen Chains' campaign.
Caroline Lusk was the editor of CCM Magazine between 2008-2014.