We are thrilled to have merged with, and become a program of, Next Generation Politics (Next Gen) through an official merger, marking the next phase of our effort to bolster youth civic engagement on the broadest scale possible.
Next Generation Politics Civic Forums bring together high school students who have been selected as Civic Fellows from 14 partner schools–half public, half private. On monthly Sundays, Civic Fellows grapple with complex civic issues and current events through which they build their knowledge and capacity to be “civic spark plugs” and change-makers in their schools and communities. Beyond the in-person Civic Forums (which are streamed for teens around the country), Next Gen unites youth across regional divides through writing and editing a thrice-weekly blog, producing a weekly podcast, and participating in a Women’s Caucus with members from 25+ states.
YVote and Next Gen have great synergy. Both organizations launched in the Spring of 2017 in response to the complex times we are living in, the vulnerability of democracy being demonstrated, and the desire to support young people in being on the front lines of change. Both aim to help equip the leaders of tomorrow for their roles and responsibilities as citizens shaping a more just world. Both are committed to supporting teens from a broad range of backgrounds in grappling with the critical issues of our time in order to become activists and change-makers—and voters! Both bring together racially, socioeconomically, and politically diverse teens to engage in deep dialogue about crucial civic issues and to expose them to a range of different perspectives, nurturing their ability to appreciate multiple points of view, promote empathy, and foster civic discourse. Both are led by talented, driven young people who play vital roles in decision-making and facilitating every Forum. While YVote puts a premium on activism, organizing, and advocacy, Next Gen Politics focuses on critical-thinking, perspective-taking, and deliberative discourse. Together, we are a formidable force better equipped to build a movement of young people committed to building bridges through dialogue and shared action across various divides.
In Fall 2019, following this merger, we launched a joint Advisory Board of extraordinary human beings and citizens, and look forward to how they will help shape our future.
Alongside this merger, we have transferred to a new fiscal sponsor– the Social Good Fund–which ensures that all donations to YVote are tax-deductible. We appreciate your interest and support to date, and hope you will consider contributing to our 2020 Vision for Change campaign to support our expanded and enhanced scope of work.
Many thanks for your support to date in building a brighter tomorrow!