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 our first six months alone, 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, SFJ’s voter outreach focused on the state-wide election in Virginia, achieving record-high voter turnout in the areas we targeted. For 2022, SFJ is focusing on voter registration and turnout in North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.
: As participants in SFJ, college students learn about voting rights, voter suppression, and the electoral process through presentations by speakers including members of Congress, political consultants, marketing strategists, activists, and organizers. They gain professional skills in political organizing and social media marketing. There are opportunities for promotion within the program along with a leadership skills workshop for interns who manage teams. SFJ builds resumes and changes lives.
BUILDING A NATIONAL AND INTERGENERATIONALCOMMUNITY
: Through SFJ, young people from different colleges work and learn with and from each other, guided by older volunteer mentors. In 2022, our intern recruitment will center on the HBCUs of North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. As alumni, our interns stay connected to each other, forming an enduring network out of which will emerge future leaders of the fight for voting rights. They 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. Learn more at https://www.studentsforjusticevote.org
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