New York, Chicago, Boston to Elevate Youth Voices; Digital Curriculum
Available via Break-a-Thon In A Box: SOTU Edition
In this polarized and dynamic media environment, the upcoming State of the Union is an opportunity to teach media literacy skills and engage the 22 million teenagers who will be newly-eligible to vote in 2020. While data shows youth were 40% more likely to vote after turning 18 if they were taught about elections and voting, only 14% of 18-19 year olds voted in the 2014 midterms.
“The purpose of SOTU is for the President to update the American people on what he or she has done — and has committed to do — to date, but it is also a moment for young people to engage with their elected officials around issues that matter to them,” said D.C. Vito, Executive Director of The LAMP. “The SOTU represents a unique moment to have a conversation about the future of our nation outside of elections and town hall meetings.”
“If we want to dramatically increase democratic participation in this country, we must encourage young people to speak up and actively engage them in meaningful and sustained ways,” says Abby Kiesa, Director of Impact at CIRCLE. “We know that when young people get civically involved, they are more likely to participate in our democracy throughout their lives. There is inspiring youth engagement that happens every day, but to truly broaden and diversify youth electoral participation, a focus on teens will welcome and prepare more youth to be a part of the pressing policy debates that directly impact their lives.”
There are several ways for youth, parents, educators, and interested organizations to get involved in the 22x20 and its SOTU action parties:
Attend or Host a Youth State of the Union Action Party
Action parties are scheduled in New York City, Washington D.C., Austin, Chicago, Boston and San Francisco featuring partners such as Austin Public Library, Mikva Challenge, DoSomething.org, KQED, OZY, Sony, and YVote. Activities at each action party will incorporate digital media and interactive tools to facilitate discussions about political media and the future of the US. Students are encouraged to share their past civic participation, what they are committed to do in the future, and what their views are on the future of the nation. Find more information on action parties and how to host your own event at a school, home, or community center here.
Engage Online with Social Media or Digital Curriculum Tools
The LAMP has also revamped its acclaimed Break-a-Thon In A Box digital curriculum package for the 2018. Educators, parents and students can critique, challenge and even create their own speeches using the video remix editor and other resources. The full digital toolkit can be found here. Those interested should also visit the 22x20 action site for additional digital opportunities, including:
- Sharing opinions on the state of America and reactions to the SOTU in the week leading up to and following the address on January 30 with the hashtag #22x20;
- Livestreaming 22x20’s national “State of the Youth” event the night of January 31st, which will be addressing the issues that youth today care most about;
By attending an action party, speaking up on social media with the hashtag #22×20, or utilizing one of The LAMP’s many digital resource materials, all can participate in this important dialogue. For more information or to get involved with the 22x20 campaign, please visit: 22x20.org.
About The LAMP
The LAMP is a New York City-based nonprofit providing vital, hands-on services that help students, parents, and educators navigate and thrive in a digital age of constant information. The LAMP works to promote four core ideas: access to media literacy education is a basic human right of the technological age, regardless of socioeconomic status; critical thinking skills necessary to dissect advertisements, news, and media are best implemented in the classroom; actively engaging with media instead of censoring it is the key to creating an informed community; and that we are individually responsible as citizens of a democratic society to comprehend, challenge and critique media.
In addition to direct outreach and workshops within NYC-based middle and high schools, The LAMP provides digital support in the form of its MediaBreaker/Studios video remix edtech platform. Since its launch in Spring 2016, over 200 schools and organizations in 45 states and 22 countries have adopted the platform. Learn more at www.thelamp.org.
CIRCLE is a nonpartisan, research-to-practice think tank that focuses on young people in the United States, especially those who are marginalized or disadvantaged in political life. CIRCLE’s independent research informs policy and practice for healthier youth development and a better democracy. CIRCLE is part of Tufts University’s Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life, which offers transformational student learning and service opportunities, conducts groundbreaking research on young people’s civic and political participation, and forges innovative community partnerships.