FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BLACK YOUTH VOTE!
NATIONAL CIVIC EDUCATION TRAINING TOUR PROMOTES VOTING IN IOWA
As part of ongoing efforts to motivate young people to engage in the political process, the League of Young Voters Education Fund (LYVEF) recently teamed up with the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation's (NCBCP) Black Youth Vote! (BYV!) for an innovative civic participation training at North High School in Des Moines, IA.Des Moines, IA 2007-12-14
As part of ongoing efforts to motivate young people
to engage in the political process, the League of Young Voters
Education Fund (LYVEF) recently teamed up with the National Coalition
on Black Civic Participation's (NCBCP) Black Youth Vote! (BYV!) for an
innovative civic participation training at North High School in Des
Moines, IA. The youth later participated in the Black and Brown Forum
Organizers underscored the importance of voting in the Jan. 3, 2008
primary even though people of color make up less than six percent of
the Iowa population. "We are working diligently to educate young
people on the role the primaries play in the political process," said
Rob "Biko" Baker, LYVEF organizing director. "We used edutainment -
spoken word and writing exercises - to tie the struggles faced by
young adults to the power of the vote."
"Young people must learn the entire process. From getting
youth-oriented issues on the table during the primaries, to holding
elected officials accountable once they're in office," adds Melanie L.
Campbell, executive director and CEO of the NCBCP. "This is one of
many trainings we are hosting across the country to educate young
people on the importance of voting and teaching them how to mobilize
their friends and family around issues important to them."
Last month Black Youth Vote! hosted a comprehensive training in
Washington, DC to prepare state BYV! coordinators to go into their
community and galvanize young voters. Nearly 80 youth organizers from
across the country engaged in interactive workshops and panel
discussions to train them on voter registration, mobilizing young
voters, voter protection, and educating the youth on issues impacting
"There are a number of issues important to Black youth including the
unprecedented levels of African American incarceration, high school
expulsion rates, and their economic future," said Jordan Thierry, BYV!
national coordinator. "Black Youth Vote! connects the dots between
voting and resolving issues effecting their everyday life."-
"It's a new day in America. Black youth under 35 represent nearly 50
percent of the Black American electorate," says Campbell. "Black youth
have the power to impact the serious problems confronting the Black
community. Their movement was energized with the historic
participation of young voters in the 2004 election, followed by the
massive demonstration in Jena. Black Youth Vote! is helping to
channel that movement energy into the 2008 election cycle," she adds.
Black Youth Vote!, (www.ncbcp.org ) the youth division of the NCBCP,
is a national grassroots coalition of organizations and individuals
committed to increasing political and civic involvement among Black
men and women aged 18-35. Founded in1996, the youth led organization
educates young adults about the political process and trains them to
identify issues and influence public policy through participation.
BYV! has been instrumental reversing the downward spiral among young
voters and educating voters who are increasingly disenfranchised from
the electoral and legislative process.
The League of Young Voters Education Fund (http://youngvoter.org/iowa
) empowers young people nationwide to participate in the democratic
process –with a focus on non-college youth from low-income communities
and communities of color. Founded in 2003, LYVEF makes civic
engagement relevant by meeting young people where they are, working on
issues that affect their lives, and providing them with tools,
training, and support to become viable players in the civic process.