As part of the nation’s founding, Black Americans were, and in many ways continue to be, intentionally excluded from meaningful, transformative civic participation. As a result, many lack basic information about: 1) how the American political and civics systems works; and 2) how these systems are directly connected to their overall quality of life. Worse, some avoid civic or political engagement due to a belief that the system does not exist for their benefit; they operate under the mistaken belief that political and civic engagement will neither impact nor improve their daily lives. This lack of civic information and alienation from political processes contribute significantly to racially inequitable outcomes across a range of issues.
CLSJ's Solution: Our Future, Our Vote Campaign
When organizers are able to demonstrate how civic processes are connected to real issues that affect their lives, Black and Brown New Yorkers are much more likely to increase their civic and political engagement. The same is true when civic information is presented in a way that values and centers their lived experiences.
CLSJ’s Our Future, Our Vote campaign educates Black and Brown youth, with a primary focus on ages 17 - 35, about specific civic processes and trains them to organize and encourage their communities to participate.
By training young people to use their activism, voices and votes to achieve their civic and community building goals, this grassroots initiative builds electoral power and energizes democracy. Your support for this program would be deeply appreciated.