Guest post by IGNITE
At IGNITE, we’ve been saying it for years: Young women will save our democracy. And in 2022 we saw the proof. Young women turned out to vote in near-historic numbers, motivated not by party, but by the issues impacting them most: reproductive justice, civil rights, the economy, and gun violence.
While we are still waiting on final voting numbers, we do know that IGNITE women voted at an astounding 96%. IGNITE young women drove change by spending hundreds of hours on the campaign trail, volunteering, and staffing campaigns. At the same time, this election cycle, IGNITE alumni shattered their own glass ceilings. These young women, and tens of thousands more, are ready to take their seats at the table.
IGNITE has always believed in the political power of young women. That’s why, over the last 12 years, we’ve built a pipeline that is 25,000+ strong of young women who are stepping up as community organizers, campaign operatives, policy advocates, commissioners, and candidates. Let’s show these women that we believe in their leadership. Let’s expand the pipeline of young leaders who will flex their political power now, next year, and well into the future. We continue to support these talented young women as they create safe, just, and equitable communities.
GROWING TOWARD A POWERFUL FUTURE
IGNITE is the national leader in young women’s political leadership development. With philanthropy as a partner, the organization has been able to explicitly focus on diverse young women in communities nationwide with the tools, skills, resources, and networks to lead. In the year ahead, we are scaling up to meet demand. In 2023, we will:
Build student-led chapters on 175+ high school and college campuses. IGNITE chapters promote campus-wide civic engagement on campuses by hosting policy workshops, meeting with elected women and candidates, and conducting voter registration and outreach.
Host political leadership conferences in Texas and Washington D.C., convening hundreds of young women to collectively learn concrete civic leadership skills and network with and learn from policymakers.
Orchestrate four state-wide and one national advocacy days where young women learn about personally relevant policies and travel to their respective state capitols and Washington, D.C. to meet with legislators and advocate for bills.
Offer 75 bootcamps to prepare young women to serve their communities as policymakers and organizers.
And we will continue to activate first-time voters, as we are just 18 months away from the start of the 2024 primary season.
We also value the lived experiences of our employees who are working through the third year of a pandemic, and the ongoing stress of being on the front lines of a social justice movement. To this end, alongside our political engagement and leadership development work, IGNITE has built stronger staff support systems, increased salaries, and provided more inclusive care policies and comprehensive health benefits.
Gen Z women are critical players in our communities and their perspectives and stories must be lifted up and valued. As IGNITE grows, we want to make sure young women are shaping national policy conversations and supporting peers who want to be more engaged.
IGNITE is a partner of Crimsonbridge’s Women and Girls Leadership and Civic Engagement program. Learn more at https://ignitenational.org/.