The current state of the world necessitates collective action. However, as a young person, you may find it hard to figure out where you fit in that narrative of change. You can organize protests, work on grassroots campaigns, but the most effective way to create change in our democracy is to vote and encourage those around you to be involved in the civic process.
This election season, even if you are too young to vote, we want to remind you that you can still make sure that your vision for the future is heard. Now, you may be asking, exactly how will I do that? And we know it’s not easy to figure out how to use your voice and your skills to effect change. Luckily, we’ve tapped actor and activist Logan Browning to help inspire you to go out in your community and ask adults to engage in the civic process on your behalf.
Too Young to vote? Learn how to create change within your network
Logan stars in the Netflix series “Dear White People” and is a strong voting rights activist. Her work as an actor increases pathways for BIPOC representation in film. And her work as an activist empowers young people to talk to their community about the importance of voting.
“How do we ask other people to vote? It’s being honest. It’s sharing our own experiences. And understand that our own experience is a shared experience. You are not on an island by yourself. There are people who share your experience. It’s important to tell other people, find common ground, and ask them to support you,” she explained.
Creating Change Comes from Personal Stories
The video includes true-to-life role-playing exercises with students from Da Vinci RISE High to prepare young people how to interact with adults when they go and encourage people in their community to vote. Through these exercises, the students remind us that all young people can utilize their voices to create change in their communities.
Zakariyah—in open and vulnerable discussion—explains that learning about civic engagement allowed him to see the power of his community more clearly: “I learned the hard way that being in the hood is more of a mentality than an actuality. It’s something that I manifested into myself. This realization allowed me to see that my voice and my power were manifested into my environment through voting.”
Similarly, Kijera discusses how encouraging older generations to engage in this election allows her to share her voice and hope for the future. “I’m fifteen and I can’t vote. But, it’s important for me to encourage older generations to vote in order to support changes for the homelessness crisis in Los Angeles.”
Collaboration for an uncertain world
You may feel that your area of influence is small. However, it’s important to remember that change happens through collective action and that you can make a difference. All you have to do is learn to leverage your voice, express your perspective, and illuminate your vision for the future. Remember to talk to the people you know—and even those you don’t—and remind them of the importance of voting. There’s a powerful kind of magic when we ask those around us to think, work, and vote collectively.
And be sure to join the conversation on the Rethink Together Forum about how to make sure your voice is heard this election season. Tell us about your experience encouraging people in your community to vote and check out our resources on voter registration too!
Are you a student itching to get involved in change this election season? Do you have something to say, but no platform to do so? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us what you want to say!
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