Giving Compass' Take:
- Hilary Allen highlights evidence that American youth are becoming increasingly engaged in politics, and suggests what can be done to augment the trend.
- What can you do to engage youth in political discourse?
- Read about strategies for youth engagement.
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It can be difficult to see the bright spots in this challenging year, but for those of us who work to engage college students in civic life, it has been heartening to see the explosion of activism and informed dialogue around the elections, public health and racial justice. Amid pandemic lockdowns and social distancing, these young activists have been adept at mobilizing through digital platforms, tapping social media, online databases and video conferencing to inform their peers on key issues, get out the vote and have their concerns heard by elected officials and community leaders.
These efforts are having an impact and offer promise that young people will turn out in vast numbers for the issues that affect their generation. Early estimates suggest that at least 50 percent and as much as 56 percent of eligible voters between ages 18 and 29 cast ballots this year, compared with 42 percent to 44 percent in 2016. Survey data indicate a whopping 83 percent of youth are confident their generation has the power to create change in this country. These sentiments signal the importance of helping this generation stay informed and connect frequently with key decisionmakers, as the hard work of pursuing change is yet to come.
How do we support and sustain these efforts? How do we motivate students to continue their momentum and make their voices heard by the lawmakers they helped to elect — whose decisions about the nation’s fiscal future will impact generations to come?
Read the full article about youth civic engagement by Hilary Allen at The 74.