Ginger Wagoner wasn’t sure what to expect a few years ago when she asked her then-10 year old daughter, Zoë, what she wanted to do over the upcoming summer.
A beach trip? Concerts by her favorite artists? Hanging with her friends?
“Let’s do a Festival for Justice and the Environment!” Zoë told her wide-eyed mom.
Given the flickering attention span and porous priorities of a typical 10-year-old, Ginger gave her daughter a 24-hour “cooling off” period before revisiting the question. But Zoë was no ordinary 10-year-old, and it would be no ordinary summer. Zoë’s FUN Festival (standing for “Fairness and Unity Now”) raised nearly $2,500, which she split evenly between a local soup kitchen and Habitat for Humanity.
Inspired by her success, Zoë told Ginger she wanted to make the festival an annual happening.
“But a tired mom suggested we find a more sustainable method to support the organizations we believe in without it taking months to prepare for a single-day event,” Ginger says. “We decided what we really wanted is to get people talking and using social justice words more frequently and ‘seeding’ important ideas.”
Ginger and Zoë’s own important idea? Allow people to proudly wear their commitment to social justice … literally … on jewelry and t-shirts. With that, JusticeSeeders was born.
Zoë is now 13 and, with her mom, is even more committed to the causes of human trafficking prevention, clean water, education for girls, and access to quality medical care for all, while supporting messages of acceptance and love. Proceeds from the sales of JusticeSeeders items support non-profits whose missions mirror Ginger and Zoë’s passions.
Ginger and Zoë also take an activist approach within their community. They both spoke before their local school board recently, urging leaders to make diversity a priority in a district now dominated by largely single-race schools.
“I think it’s really important for people my age to show the adults who make decisions that we care,” says Zoë. “These decisions affect young people, too, and they will continue to affect us for the rest of our lives.”
Mother and daughter agree that in the face of new waves intolerant rhetoric from politicians and citizens alike, the defense of decency and decorum has never been more important.
“If we don’t take a stand now and show that we have an impact and are impacted, then we are also at fault when things don’t go the way they should,” Zoë says.
And with that, the seeds of justice are sown. Will you join in the effort?