This section is dedicated for members of the giving community to access knowledge and tools to further the understanding of the youth civic engagement ecosystem. We hope the information contained on this page will help inform your philanthropic leadership and grantmaking strategies as we work together to build and strengthen youth civic participation.
We love talking and connecting all things youth civic engagement! For more info on fundraising and how to be part of YEF’s philanthropic partners circles please email Karla Vazquez at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CENTERING BLACK, INDIGENOUS, YOUTH OF COLOR TOWARDS
A NEW GROUNDING IN TRANSFORMING OUR DEMOCRACY
Young people have paved the way for progressive movements that have led to transformative conversations their elders may have shied away from, reversed narratives about guns, climate, reproductive justice and the direction of education, and driven record voter turnout levels. Many have been playing a leadership role in supporting their communities through the COVID-19 pandemic, and engaging in organizing, mobilizing, and education efforts that center Black liberation and the dismantling of white supremacy. As a philanthropic partner, the Youth Engagement Fund trusts, follows, and funds the leadership of Black, Indigenous, and youth of color.
The global pandemic, the uncertainty of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in the Supreme Court, the uprisings in defense of Black lives, and the expected recession have elevated the importance of the role of young people of color in a key election year that will be defining for the progressive movement and will transform the structures and face of U.S. democracy for years to come. We are in a moment of transformational solidarity and engagement where we need to get behind the leadership and innovation of youth led and focused organizations and leaders who will be harnessing the energy of their peers and their communities into civic participation via local elected offices, the primaries, and the general election. This is a pivotal time for the future of the youth vote in a moment of deep political consciousness and engagement that must not be overlooked and must be resourced robustly.
YEF and our partners are dedicated to building a generation of Black, Indigenous, and young people of color in the South who are activating their communities into civic participation by engaging philanthropic and organizational decision-makers to join us in:
Build State-Based Youth Civic Engagement Capacity & Infrastructures: Invest in BIPOC youth focused organizations to maintain the capacity and talent invested between 2018 – 2020 and continue year-round nonpartisan civic engagement of first-time youth voters, immigrant, LGBTQ, low-income and working class marginalized youth and their communities. Provide an added level of support so that organizations have the capabilities, infrastructure, tools and staff for digital and tele-commuting engagement to reach, educate and activate a new wave of politicized young people during moments of uprisings and crises. Geographic focus of this support prioritizes the states of Arizona, Texas, New Mexico, Georgia, and Florida. YEF aims to support youth civic engagement leadership and infrastructure in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama as we enter this new decade of power building.
Grow and Diversify Civic Leadership Development Pipelines: Build the leadership skills of cohorts of BIPOC youth to work with peers and other civic actors on the issues that impact them. Provide strategic programming opportunities to build movement partners; knowledge, leadership, and organizational strength.
Increase Funding for Youth Voter Engagement and Civic Leadership: Increase philanthropic investments in the centrality of young people’s voice and agency in building progressive governing power that advances democracy, equity, and justice. YEF helps to shift and educate other philanthropic leaders and funders on the best practices to support sustained youth civic engagement across the country with an emphasis on BIPOC youth in Southern states.
Read the Chronicle of Philanthropy op-ed by Executive Director of the Youth Engagement Fund, Alejandra Ruiz and President of the E. Hazen Foundation, Lori Bezahler on how youth organizing is playing a key role in transforming the electorate in battleground states like Arizona, Georgia, and Florida; and the opportunity for philanthropy to center youth of color in transforming our democracy. 10/20/2020