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1875 K Street NW, 5th Floor                                                                                               ...
1875 K Street NW, 5th Floor                                                                                               ...
1875 K Street NW, 5th Floor                                                                                               ...
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MCE Press Release

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MCE Press Release

  1. 1. 1875 K Street NW, 5th Floor Washington, DC 20006 Office: 202.642.4320 Fax: 202.729.8100 www.Mobilize.orgPRESS RELEASE CONTACTJanessa Goldbeck, 760.518.7447, Janessa@Mobilize.orgAugust 28, 2012 Amber Goodwin, 512.820.8613, Goodwin@Mobilize.orgFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Five Student Ideas for Increasing Millennial Civic Engagement Win Funding at Charlotte Summit Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, Representative Bakari Sellers and other leaders in attendance as members of Millennial generation discuss generational challenges and propose solutions. . More than 100 Millennials – Americans born between 1976-1996 - gathered at a historic summit in Charlotte, NC, over the weekend to discuss challenges preventing their generation from realizing their civic and electoral potentials. Millennials, who are the largest generation in American history, will play a critical role in the upcoming 2012 presidential election and are already making an impact in their communities. The top five project ideas, proposed and voted on by summit participants, won a share of $25,000 and a year of expert support to implement the projects on campus, in communities, or online. Ideas were judged on potential social impact, creativity and innovation, sustainability, and the use of new and social media. The “Millennial Civic Engagement Summit: Our Generation, Our Communities,” was hosted by Mobilize.org with the generous support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and OrthoCarolina. The summit was the first of its kind, bringing together young leaders from five states - California, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina and Pennsylvania - to determine ways in which Millennials can capitalize on the energy surrounding the election to create lasting change in their communities. “The ideas presented by Millennials at the MCE summit were reflective of this generation’s creativity, technological savvy and interest in strengthening our connections to one another,” said Maya Enista Smith, CEO of Mobilize.org. “Participants at the summit demonstrated that while we face some tough economic challenges as a generation, we’re meeting them head on by engaging in our communities.” The entry of most Millennials into careers and first jobs has been badly set back by the Great Recession, but research shows that they are more upbeat than their elders about the overall state of the nation. Nearly two million more Americans under the age of 30 voted in the 2008 presidential election as compared to 2004. Project proposals ranged from a national initiative to sponsor trains filled with civic-minded Millennials to travel across America, holding whistle-stop trainings in communities along the way, to a center in Raleigh that activates volunteers to help causes in the local community. Five projects were selected from North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Florida by summit participants via interactive keypad voting to receive funding and a year of expert support from Mobilize.org. The winning projects are: • The Artist Spring (North Carolina) : This project will encourage all types of performance artists to utilize their medium to make a difference. It would be two-fold. We would a have website that would allow artists to upload videos, submit blogs, and discuss the arts and civic engagement. This will be a social network that encourages peaceful, meaningful change. Locally, we would plan a fun stage show where various artists would Mobilize.org empowers and invests in Millennials to create and implement solutions to social problems
  2. 2. 1875 K Street NW, 5th Floor Washington, DC 20006 Office: 202.642.4320 Fax: 202.729.8100 www.Mobilize.org perform for their family, friends, and neighbors about topics that encourage voting and civic engagement. We would have canvassers there to register voters, and an accurate account of all in attendance would be used to for further communication to provide information about voting and future programs and opportunities to stay involved. • Activate Good (North Carolina) : Less than 1 in 4 citizens in Raleigh volunteer. The idea is to help transform Raleigh, NC, into an engaged volunteer network using our innovative online platform as the basis of our efforts. The beta version of our online platform (called the “Volunteer Community”) launched in 2011, but due to limited resources we have not yet been able to develop the platform to its full potential. In building the next phase of the Volunteer Community (Volunteer Community 2.0) we’ll make it easy and fun for citizens to act as “volunteer ambassadors” and recruit friends, coworkers and neighbors to get involved. In doing so, the Activate Good team aims to make volunteerism “viral,” engaging 25,000+ Raleigh citizens by 2017. • The Co.Space (Pennsylvania) : The co.space is a program where university students and experienced change-makers live together for two years. The purpose of the project is to grow and nurture future world- changers. Through the program, students are given opportunities to apply sustainability innovation and social entrepreneurship to local community projects and global internships. The co.space is particularly important to the millennial generation because more and more young people are passionate about becoming a global changemaker but are unsure of where to start. The co.space is designed to create an environment where the barriers to taking those first steps are removed. • Know Your Vote (Florida) : The idea is to make a fun, stylish mobile app that can enable users to quickly become familiar with a topic, test their knowledge of political trivia and current events, and even contribute content that’s relevant locally. In addition, one of the goals of this project is to diligently document the application development process and share it, for free, as a contribution to the greater good of common knowledge, which could inspire people to use the code to create their own versions of the app, or simply teach someone a useful skill (mobile app development). • Service and Youth (Florida): The idea is to implement service learning and social sciences throughout primary and secondary education. We believe that by combining service learning with an education that promotes learning about ourselves and others (e.g. civics, psychology, sociology), students will have a higher tendency to care about one another. If students care for each other, then they will have a higher chance of being civically engaged because they will want to make a positive difference in each other’s lives.Summit participants were also addressed by notable Millennial leaders, including Pulitzer Prize winning journalist JoseAntonio Vargas and Representative Bakari Sellers (D-SC), who was elected to the House of Representatives at the ageof 22. Elected leaders from North Carolina gave remarks at the summit, including North Carolina Lieutenant Governorand current candidate for Governor, Walter Dalton.“Having the opportunity to hear directly from other Millennial leaders and meet face-to-face with peers who are workingjust as hard to change the world is an invaluable experience,” said Susan Patterson, Charlotte program director forKnight Foundation. “We need to open more doors, provide more invitations like Mobilize.org does, to engage them toget involved in our communities." Mobilize.org empowers and invests in Millennials to create and implement solutions to social problems
  3. 3. 1875 K Street NW, 5th Floor Washington, DC 20006 Office: 202.642.4320 Fax: 202.729.8100 www.Mobilize.org Following the event, one participant tweeted, “I had the most life changing event happen probably in my 29 years at the MCE Summit. Meeting all of you is truly inspiring.” ###About Mobilize.orgMobilize.org is a 501c3 non-profit organization that empowers and invests in Millennials to create and implement solutions tosocial problems. Mobilize.org believes Millennials are crucial in creating long-term, sustainable, community based solutions tothe challenges facing our society. For more info, visit http://www.Mobilize.orgAbout the John S. and James L. Knight FoundationKnight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engagecommunities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informedand engaged. For more, visit KnightFoundation.org. ### Mobilize.org empowers and invests in Millennials to create and implement solutions to social problems

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