Kylie Marcum: Encapsulating a World of Love

How junior Kylie Marcum Uses Activism to Promote a Change in the World, Finds Inner Peace Through Art, and Appreciates the Beauty of Nature


Maggie Phelps, Writer

“I think me being a white person specifically, I have a lot of privilege, and I think it’s important to use that privilege to stick up for people who don’t have that privilege,” said Kylie Marcum, a junior at Central Hardin who recognizes her ability to make a difference through activism. 

Marcum finds herself being active in the movements of fighting for Women’s Rights, LGBTQ+ rights, and the Black Lives Matter movement, but above all else she has one movement that she pours her energy into.

“I don’t know exactly what movement this would be,” Marcum said, “but trying to destroy the stigma against Christianity.  In the sense of like most Christians have a bad rap for not being open minded and not sticking up for those kinds of things that I said earlier, but I do and I’m also a Christian.”

Marcum said that social media has given her the platform to become involved with activism and promote the movements that matter to her.  Through sharing posts on social media, Marcum is able to promote information she believes is important for people to know.  She also finds that social media can be a starting place for people to become educated on certain topics. 

“I very much have formed my own political opinions and my own personal moral opinions and I’ve done a lot of that through learning about different things,” Marcum said. “If I’m confused about something I see on Instagram, I’ll see what it means, if that’s something I like or don’t like, agree with or don’t agree with.”

Marcum takes a moment to speak about problems she finds prevalent amongst teens today. 

“People like to make jokes at the expense of others,” Marcum said,  “and I get that, but I just wish people would think before they speak more, like thinking before they act.” 

She continued on to mention how damaging humor about sensitive topic such as rape and other issues can become. 

“I hate that they do that.  I wish they could understand how not okay that is and be open more to learning why that’s not okay without thinking we’re (society) too sensitive.”

Marcum reflects on why we have this kind of indifference in society today.She articulated that this indifference arises through ignorance. 

“I think a lot of it has to do with the way you’re raised.” 

While your childhood plays a major role in shaping your personal views, Marcum says that not all the blame can be placed on the way you were raised alone. 

“I don’t think that that should give you an excuse to not fix that behavior,” she said.  “Someone has to educate people, you can’t just leave it as is or the world is never going to change.” 

She recognizes education as a powerful tool to create more informed individuals and says that personal beliefs shouldn’t be stagnant. 

“Be open minded more, I don’t ever think that you should be set in your ways. I formed my own (political opinions) and I think it’s okay to have different opinions than your family, you shouldn’t have to be confined to what your parents think.”

Marcum shared ways that you can begin forming your personal beliefs. She suggests having conversations with your friend and those you are willing to listen to about topics you differ on without getting mad at the other. She added how urgent it is to start being involved in activism. 

“You can’t be nonchalant about not caring, you can’t do that.”

Marcum connects to her generation through sharing experiences that they have gone through together. 

“We’re born in a world post 9/11,” Marcum shared. “We always hear our parents and our grandparents talking about how the world was before that, so I think we weren’t very lucky in the world we were born into.” 

She shared how her generation has experienced a global pandemic and a rise in school shootings, “things I don’t necessarily think we should have to go through at our age,  but they really shape the way we think.”

She shares the responsibility that her generation carries to be the future of the world and how activism in the youth matters.  She shared how the opinions and movements of her peers should not be dismissed by those older than her. 

“Activism and our opinions do matter because if we don’t fix it if our generation doesn’t fix it then I don’t know, I don’t think I’d want to see what the world looks like in a hundred years.”

Marcum also finds passion in other places apart from activism: art and nature.  Marcum uses art as a method of self expression without fear of judgment from others.  She finds enjoyment in abstract art and not having to abide by a certain structure. 

“I just do as I please,” she said.

Lucky for Marcum, she finds that her two passions of activism and art can be connected. 

“I have a whole Pinterest board full of activism art.”  She noted finding art on the sides of buildings in Downtown cities and being inspired by the messages they provide. 

Earlier this year Marcum was featured in a Central Times Tiny Mic Session video where she exclaimed that her New Year’s Resolution was to visit more National Parks. 

“I never have an exact agenda,” she said.  “I know I want to visit more national parks but I never have an exact ‘I’m gonna do this, this, this, and this’.”

Marcum revealed how being active in nature is like solitude for her. 

“There’s no screens, there’s no negativity, you can’t be negatively impacted by nature.”

Marcum uses her passion for nature to fuel her support to the climate change movement saying it’s one of the movements she finds most important in her life. 

“I care about it alot because it’s really important because eventually it’s going to be irreversible and you’re never going to get that back.”

While she feels strongly about climate change, she expresses how her true goal in life is to make people proud to be themselves. 

“I just care a lot about people just liking themselves for who they are, embracing their individuality and not conforming to everything else in society as a whole.” 

She notices a trend in high school of her peers not being confident in themselves. 

“It’s really negative seeing how much people have a goal like ‘I want to be like this celebrity’ and ‘I wish my body looked like that’.” She added, “You should always keep trying to better yourself physically, mentally, socially, and educationally, you should always be trying to better yourself but that doesn’t mean you have to hate yourself now.”

It is with no doubt that Marcum is an inspiration to those around her.  Her strides towards creating a future that she loves does not go unrecognized, but that ambition to create that future has to come from somewhere first, and it comes from Marcum herself. 

“I tell myself this like everyday.  Just every day try to strive to be better than you were the day before and you may fail but at least you know you tried.”