With less than 100 days until the 2012 election, the League of Young Voters is hitting the road with some of the nation’s most dynamic bloggers and activists to launch the #Ignite2012 cultural engagement campaign. Combining field training, expert panelists and live musical performance, their goal is to reignite the youth vote and inspire 100,000 new and young voters to participate this fall.
To make #Ignite2012 a success, the League of Young Voters is partnering with AllHipHop.com and UStream.TV to broadcast the events live and engage young audiences in person and online. The League has lined up groundbreaking activists and national tastemakers, including Dream Hampton, the revered hip-hop journalist; Kim Osorio, Editor-in-Chief of Source Magazine, Janee Bolden, Senior Editor at Bossip; Andreas Hale, founder of The Well Versed; Goldie Taylor, frequent contributor to CNN and MSNBC; Malik Rhasaan, founder of #OccupytheHood; and Chuck Creekmur, founder of AllHipHop.com. The events will be moderated by League of Young Voters Executive Director Biko Baker.
“Every day, young leaders call us, Facebook us, and e-mail us asking how they can get involved in the movement. We decided to bring the League to their doorsteps,” says Carey Jenkins, Deputy Director for the League of Young Voters. “We’re taking our show everywhere from Philadelphia’s historic City Hall to some of the most celebrated hip-hop clubs to party with a purpose and move our generation in this critical election year. We’re going to reach thousands of people in person and a hundred thousand online, and give them the skills, and the networks, to change their communities.”
For the last year, the League of Young Voters has refined its cultural and political engagement through a series of breakthrough panels and performances that reached more than 100,000 activists via the League’s YoungVoterLive platform. To reach their goals, the League combines the best new media practices from the political arena with their cultural connections to today’s most vibrant, independent artists, including Dee-1, a New Orleans rapper/activist who will be performing at the events.
“As artists, we’re used to getting the streets talking for the big day,” Dee-1 said. “Usually, that means a release date. This time, it’s Election Day, and we need everyone to step up to the mic and represent their communities.”
Each #Ignite2012 tour stop will include an interactive training course that teaches the Millennial Generation to employ courageous storytelling to mobilize their peers and create positive change. The workshop curriculum was designed by the international nonprofit organization, Million Person Project.
“As young people, we need to step up and be leaders,” Heather Box, co-founder of the Million Person Project, said. “Sharing our stories and our motivation to create change is a critical part of that leadership.”
The trainings will be followed by interactive panels of influential media figures discussing the hottest political and cultural issues. Each tour stop will conclude with a live performance starring Jasiri X, Aliesa Nicole, and Dee-1.
The tour begins in Milwaukee, the home base for the Wisconsin League of Young Voters, and continues throughout September and October. Each date will be livestreamed on Ignite2012.com. Ignite 2012 is paid for in part by the Nathan Cummings Foundation and the Compton Foundation.
IGNITE 2012 Dates:
9/18 – Milwaukee, WI – Milwaukee Area Technical College
9/22 – Pittsburgh, PA – The Shadow Lounge
9/25 – Cincinnati, OH – Elementz Hip-Hop
10/6 – Philadelphia, PA – at City Hall