• Business Insider exclusively teamed up with the social networking app Yubo and the online learning platform StuDocu to see how Gen Zers and students are responding to the current racial tensions in the US.
  • Yubo found that 88% of Gen Zers feel that Black Americans are treated differently than others, and 78% have used social media to express support for the equality of Black Americans.
  • Meanwhile, StuDocu found that 60% of their student respondents said the racial tensions have impacted their mental health, while 44% of them have started to educate themselves on how to support anti-racism and racial justice causes.
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Gen Zers have been at the forefront of some of the nation's most recent protests. Now, they're at the helm of a new important demonstration: The anti-racism and anti-police-brutality movement sparked by the death of George Floyd last month in Minneapolis after a white police officer violently restrained him.

To see exactly how Gen Z feels about this latest protest, Business Insider teamed up with the social networking app Yubo and the online learning platform StuDocu to poll students and young adults throughout the nation on subjects ranging from the Black Lives Matter movement, how colleges are responding to the events, and their own mental health. The numbers paint a powerful picture of how a generation defined by conflict is reacting to, internalizing, and most importantly, leading the latest historic event.

Most young people support Black Lives Matter

Between June 5 and June 7, Yubo polled 38,919 US-based Gen Zers (those ages 13 to 25) and found that 88% of respondents believe Black Americans are treated differently than others. Thirty-six percent of those who participated in the Yubo poll identified as white, while 19% identified as Black/African American, 18% as Hispanic/Latinx, 12% as Mixed Race, 4% as Asian, and 1% as Native American.

Nearly 90% of those who responded to the Yubo poll said that they support Black Lives Matter, an organization that fights against systemic racism and police brutality against Black Americans. Eighty-three percent of Yubo respondents felt that the police use too much force in the United States. 

Seventy-seven percent of respondents have already attended a protest to support equality for Black Americans, and 62% said they were willing to get arrested during a peaceful protest to support this equality. 

Furthermore, 86% felt that peaceful protests and political demonstrations are necessary to create a significant change. However, only 43% felt protests must be violent in order to create that change; 40% were either unsure or didn't believe that a change will come from the current protests.

The poll also found that Gen Zers are extensively using social media to express their support for Black Lives Matter. Seventy-three percent of Yubo respondents said they are using Instagram to express their support for the equality of Black Americans, while 26% are using TikTok, 25% are using Twitter, and only 13% are using Facebook. 

The racial tensions have also impacted the mental health of students

The online learning platform StuDocu also conducted a survey with Business Insider between June 5 and June 8, to see how the recent racial tensions in the United States have impacted the health of 108 currently enrolled US students between the ages of 18 and 32.

Sixty percent of those who responded to StuDocu said that the recent racial tensions have impacted their overall mental health. However, 64% were hopeful about the future because of the widespread support the Black Lives Matter movement has received.

Furthermore, recent events have made 44% more interested in educating themselves on actions they can take to support anti-racism and racial justice. As Georgetown African-American studies professor Robert J. Patterson previously told Business Insider, "Anti-racism is an active and conscious effort to work against [the] multi-dimensional aspects of racism."

StuDocu also revealed that students are paying close attention to how their colleges and universities are responding to the current civil unrest. Fifty-nine percent of respondents told StuDocu that if their university remains silent about racial inequality and the ongoing protests, this would impact their perception of the school. 

At the same time, 57% revealed there are currently no extracurricular groups at their school dedicated to addressing racial tensions and violence against Black Americans. To fix this, 72% expect their schools to address these issues.

Here are other facts about campus life and education that StuDocu found in regards to the protests: 

  • 44% of students didn't feel comfortable discussing racial inequality with others on campus. 
  • 45% of students were concerned that the current political and social landscape, including the coronavirus pandemic, will inhibit their ability to continue their education in the fall.
  • 68% wanted to see more inclusive topics included in their college curriculum 

Business Insider had previously reported that Gen Zers are more progressive than past generations, citing a recent Pew Research study that was published in May.

Notably, Generation Z were the ones that led the March for Our Lives anti-gun protests, created in response to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in 2018, which saw over 1.2 million people marching in support of gun-control legislation.

And there was also the School Strike for Climate, led by now-17-year-old Greta Thunberg, where students throughout the world left school early to demand action from political leaders to prevent climate change.

Pew Research found that even Gen Z Republicans are more progressive and more pro-government than their older Republicans counterparts. 

For example, 43% of Gen Z Republicans believed Black people are not treated as fairly as white people in the United States, compared to 30% of millennial Republicans, 23% of Gen Xers, and just 20% each of Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation.