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YLI moderates the Summit for Future of Civic Engagement

The Youth Leadership Initiative facilitated a conversation on the future of youth civic engagement on behalf of America's Mock Election (AME). The event took place on Tuesday, August 18 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.c. America's Mock Election is a non-partisan, non-profit organization whose mission is to generate 3-5 million voters in the 2016 mock election and increase youth civic engagement beyond the election. AME plans to do this by promoting the work of organizations such as YLI and creating collaborations and programs that will energize and motivate teachers and students to get involved in the Presidential Election.

YLI Director of Instruction Meg Heubeck moderated a six person panel discussiong issues of importance to youth voting. Panel members included:

  • Karin Agness-Founder and President, Network of Enlightened Women
  • Marcellus Alexander- President, National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation
  • Maggie Bush-Senior Elections Manager, National League of Women Voters
  • Ronnie Cho- Vice President, MTV Networks
  • Kevin Jenkins-Social Studies Content Specialist, Discovery Education
  • Julie Silverbrook-Executive Director, The Constitutional Sources Project

The panelists addressed a group of approximately fifty-five guests who were selectively invited for their support of civic engagement and education. The conversation addressed the current state of youth civic engagement. Julie Silverbrook took the floor to review highlights from an article she had written about what is causing young people to disengage from the political scene. The conversation continued with a look at what has been done in the past; what has worked and what hasn't. Both Ron Cho and Marcellus Alexander outlined what they see as being a challenge in 2016 and what the media industry can do to effectively reach young people. Kevin Jenkins spoke of the need for authentic civic learning and for programs that meet students where they are especially in terms of technology. Maggie Bush highlighted the need for more involvement on the part of communities and schools to get young people registered and to actively model good citizenship.

The purpose of the Summit on the Future of Civic Engagement was to build momentum for America's Mock Election and its programs for 2016. Programs include the 2016 YLI Mock Election, Interactive Kiosks hosted in Presidential Libraries, live Election Night Event featuring youth voting results, opportunties for students to have inaugural balls and much more. It is hoped that support can be raised to promote all of these activities for the 2016 election cycle. Groups working with AME other than YLI include Discovery Education, the American Constitution Society, the National Association of Broadcasters, and the National Archives. By working together we are hoping to create energy around youth voting!

For more information on America's Mock Election please visit, www.americasmockelection.org. To see the Summit on the Future of Civic Education please Click Here