As the UNA-USA Youth Observer to the United Nations for 2020-21, Dustin Liu is on a mission to recruit young changemakers who can help meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). And Liu will share his story and ideas for sparking global social change on the local level in the Sullivan Foundation’s first Ignite Masterclass for the Spring 2021 semester next week.
Liu will be the featured presenter in the virtual masterclass, titled “How to Use SDGs to Localize Innovation,” on Wednesday, Feb. 17. The class will be offered in two sessions at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. (ET). All Ignite Masterclasses are free and open to the public. Click here to register for session 1, and click here to sign up for session 2.
In his role as Youth Observer to the UN, Liu focuses on amplifying youth voices in the global policy dialogue around international issues. In the Feb. 17 Ignite Masterclass, he’ll share examples of how young changemakers can localize the SDGs based on what he discovered through a listening tour that he led with young people across the U.S.
“As Youth Observer, I hope to build and engage youths in opportunities that support their identity as global changemakers,” Liu said in an article on the UNA-USA website. “I strongly believe that it is through active participation in social change efforts that our capacity to make change develops. Every individual has gifts and strengths that can push us towards the UN’s SDGs. I look forward to using my platform as the Youth Observer to lift up narratives and recognize the great work led by youths across the United States. Together, I believe we can build a better world.”
Liu earned his B.S. in industrial and labor relations at Cornell University before pursuing his master’s degree in education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. To serve as the Youth Observer, he was selected from a competitive pool of more than 200 applicants. In his role, he connects young people to the work of the UN and represents youth voices at the UN General Assembly and at other UN events.
Liu is the son of two Taiwanese immigrants who always encouraged him to believe that individuals can inspire social change. He’s also a certified Zumba instructor and a cellist.
He also hosts the UNA-USA’s Changemaker Compass podcast, in which he leads discussions with leading changemakers who are tackling today’s most pressing challenges. Click here to learn more about the podcast.
“As our country navigates numerous global challenges, we need young leaders like Dustin who have shown their commitment to acting locally to foster social change,” said Rachel Bowen Pittman, the executive director of UNA-USA. “We are excited for Dustin to use this platform to represent young American voices on the world stage and to encourage more young people to act on the issues they care about most.”