SCARSDALE, New York — Amelie Zilber, the 19-year-old daughter of film producer Laurent Zilber and actress Christina Zilber, has grown on social media over the past few years. Unlike most influencers, Amelie has used her platform as a way of educating followers on politics, foreign affairs and society’s most pressing issues. Zilber has over two million followers on Instagram, TikTok and YouTube.
How Did Zilber’s Interests in Global Issues Start?
Zilber’s interests in world issues, specifically Middle Eastern affairs, stem from her family dinners. In one of Zilber’s YouTube videos, she explains that growing up, her mom and brother used to have passionate political discussions and she simply wanted to be able to participate. As a result, she took up learning about politics and societal issues in the sixth grade. Zilber tried having conversations about global affairs with her friends, but when none of them had meaningful contributions, she taught herself more about the problems of the world through online articles.
Zilber understood the difficulty that children face when trying to comprehend articles written by mainstream news sources. Because of this, she took it upon herself to create a platform called the Two Minute Times, which she founded when she was 12 years old in 2014. A newsletter is mailed out to subscribers of the Two Minute Times every Sunday which summarizes the top five headlines in five to seven sentences.
Amelie Zilber believes education is incredibly important in shaping and driving society. She believes “the only way to have a well-functioning society is by having educated citizens.” As a result, Zilber has ensured that alongside social media and her news platform, she works hard in school. In fall 2020, she started Georgetown University as a freshman.
As Zilber educated herself on global affairs, she found that Middle Eastern politics and foreign policy intrigued her the most. Outside of high school, she taught herself Arabic and now will be majoring in Middle Eastern affairs and minoring in Arabic.
How Has Amelie Zilber Advocated?
- White House Interview with Jen Psaki: On June 4, 2021, Amelie Zilber attended the Social Media Briefing with Press Secretary Jen Psaki. The briefing was set up so that several figures on social media could pose questions and address societal issues in the United States. During Zilber’s conversation with Jen Psaki, Zilber asked about the American Families Plan. More specifically, she wanted to know how the United States government would aid families out of structural poverty. Psaki responded by addressing the multiple situations in which a person may need government funding to attend college. Additionally, she touched on childcare and, overall, addressed President Biden’s plan to address poverty through the American Families Plan.
- Maria Shriver’s Sunday Paper: In addition to Two Minute Times, Zilber also writes for another paper that strives to share news in a thought-provoking manner. It has also spoken to the mission of Move Humanity Forward. Zilber has written articles addressing poverty; recently, she wrote an article on her interview with Nadya Okamoto discussing period poverty.
- Instagram Post: On February 8, 2021, Amelie Zilber advocates on Instagram with a caption that spoke to the importance of laws in aiding Americans in poverty: “just a reminder that raising the minimum wage to $15 would lift 900,000 out of poverty. hug hug kiss kiss have a good rest of ur day?? ”
- UNICEF Young Ambassador: Zilber advocates for social justice and child poverty through her role as a Youth Ambassador for UNICEF.
Amelie’s following on social media is primarily GenZers, and by following her interests in politics and social justice, she believes that change is possible. Teenagers across the world look to Zilber for guidance in understanding how they can take action. Zilber has established a global platform and hopes to inspire and teach her generation about the importance of taking action.
– Shamolie Panjwani