YVote Change Makers 2022-2023

YVote Change Makers 2022-2023

Our Change Makers Institute is back for another year of civics & advocacy programs held on Tuesday evenings via Zoom and once-a-month Saturday Afternoons of Action in person around NYC! We invite you to check out topics and a few highlights from this year’s program below.

PS – Interested in joining next year? Applications go live in August! Follow us on social media @YVoteNY or subscribe to our monthly newsletter to be notified.

Change Maker Sessions

DateThemesKey Goals
October 4th
Check out the session here
Voting in the USA
Voter Registration
Barriers to Voting and Accessibility
Explore voter registration
Discuss barriers to voting
Gauge knowledge of civics and civic engagement across the US
November 1st
Identity and Politics
Having Tough Conversations about Politics and Voting
Reconnect and continue to build skills, knowledge, and community
Explore and experiment with how to tackle tough conversations about politics and voting
Reflect on our identities and how they impact the way we interact with each other and experience the world.
Learn more about the 2022 midterms, what’s at stake, and why it should matter to you
November 29th
Check out the session here
Media Consumption & Sources
Intro to Media Literacy
Social Media and the News
To identify and distinguish between credible media sources
To examine the components of what makes a source credible and the implications for elections and political coverage—and being civically informed and engaged
January 10th
Check out the session here
Stereotypes & Narratives reflection
Intro to Public Policy
Exploring Community Issues
Understanding how policy is created
Understanding how we, as young advocates, may play a role in advancing public policy
Assessing how our lived experiences differ from our peers
Positioning the implications of our similarities and differences through investigating issues faced in our communities
February 7th
Check out the session here
NYC Youth Agenda Recommendations
Personal Testimtony in a Political System
To encourage YVoters to think critically about community issues
To engage with advocating for themselves and their communities
March 7thIdentifying Community Change Makers
Research on Borough Issues
To explore data points relating to community needs and activism surrounding them
To create conversation regarding resources available and ways to use them
April 4th
Check out the session here
Identifying Issue-Based Power Players
Types of Power & Use of Power
To develop an understanding of the different types of power
To identify power players specifically related to key issue areas
May 2nd
Check out the session here
The Art of Persuasion
The Role of Influence in Enacting Change
To develop an understanding of the difference between power and influence
To explore how to use influence to advocate on behalf of others
May 30th
Check out the session here
Changemakers Personified: Building the Next GenerationTo demonstrate knowledge of different forms of discrimination, bias, and systemic inequities, including implicit bias
To reflect on and assess one’s own proximity to power, privilege and oppression
To identify root causes of an issue (environmental racism in NYC, educational equity, mental health education in schools)

Days of Action

In October, YVote Change Makers celebrated Vote Early Day with a Haunted House of Democracy at Lehman College in the Bronx. YVote youth led hundreds of Lehman students through interactive learning rooms on the “mad science” of voter suppression, scary low youth voting rate, and skeletons of civil society.

Every year, we bring YVote alumni back to join us for an end-of-year / holiday celebration! Current change makers and alumni had fun celebrating all that was accomplished in 2022 (like our first Democracy Camp! And a fantastic NYC Youth Agenda Policy Breakfast!) and thinking through their civic resolutions for the new year.

Many of our Change Makers sessions this year focused on the power of persuasive speaking, testimonials, and storytelling to enact change at and beyond the ballot box. These skills came in handy as our Change Makers created short films about democracy in February and March to enter into the Youth Collective Film Festival. We invite you to view the films yourself below!

In May, YVote youth took on the challenge of securing 5,000 votes in The People’s Money citywide participatory budgeting campaign. They heard directly from the NYC Civic Engagement Commission about the campaign and then created their own Get Out The Vote plans!

We ended a fantastic 2022-23 year of programming with our Senior Step Up Ceremony, honoring and celebrating all of the work our graduating seniors put into YVote/Next Gen and the many ways in which they helped us grow. We loved hearing reflections on what their time in these programs has meant to them and the lessons they’ll take with them in this new and exciting chapter of life!