Empowering our youth to strengthen our democracy.
Students for Justice
is a paid internship program that was developed in 2020 to engage college students in the struggle to fight systemic voter suppression in the United States and to turn out the vote. While it was created in response to the twin challenges of a pandemic and a national election, SFJ has developed a model that continues to be powerfully relevant. That model includes:
EXPANDING THE ELECTORATE:
SFJ interns have a significant impact on voter turnout in communities of color in voter suppression states and among young people more broadly. In 2020, we targeted GA, NC, SC, TX, and AZ primarily. Our interns and the teams of volunteers that they recruited sent over 135,000 postcards and 650,000 texts and made over 130,000 phone calls to help potential voters navigate the voting process. They also reached about three million people via social media posts aimed at getting out the youth vote. In 2021, we will focus on re-registering voters who have been removed from the voter rolls, registering new voters, and increasing turnout in local elections.
As participants in SFJ, college students from diverse backgrounds learn about voting rights, voter suppression, and the electoral process through presentations by speakers including members of Congress, activists, and academic experts. They gain professional skills in leadership, marketing, and adapting technological tools to grassroots organizing.
BUILDING A NATIONAL AND INTERGENERATIONAL COMMUNITY:
Through SFJ, young people from around the country work and learn with and from each other, guided by older volunteer mentors. In 2020, our 200 interns came from over 30 states and over 60 different colleges, ranging from Oklahoma City University to Stanford. As alumni, our interns stay connected to each other, forming an enduring national community, and also continue the nurturing relationships they developed with their older mentors. Through Students for Justice, we give young people a reason to engage with politics and the tools to take action effectively. Most of all, we help them realize and seize their political agency. Our interns become voting rights advocates and grassroots ambassadors for democracy. Learn more at https://www.studentsforjusticevote.org/