As we head full-force into the 2018 election year, there is much discussion around the influence Millennials will have deciding the fate—and future—of American leadership. Despite being the largest generation eligible to vote, Millennials voter turnout rates remain low as disengagement from civic life continues to increase.
On March 1, MAP co-hosted a panel, “Millennial Voters in 2018 & Beyond,” with Tufts University’s Tisch College of Civic Life to discuss the most impactful ways to reach young people. The event was held in conjunction with the release of The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE)’s new report, “Millennials’ Diverse Political Views: A Typology of the Rising Generation.”
Speakers—including MAP President Steven Olikara, Congressional Future Caucus Vice Chair Rep. Stephanie Murphy, Tisch College Dean Alan Solomont, CIRCLE’s Director Dr. Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, IDHE Director Nancy Thomas, DoSomething’s Michaela Bethune, and Opportunity Youth United’s Lashon Amado— discussed ways to inspire young people to leverage their power and re-engage in civic life.
The overall consensus on the best way to engage Millennials? “Keep it real.”
Rep. Stephanie Murphy urged leaders to tap into the potential power of young people—who are rapidly transforming our society—by engaging them in meaningful ways rather than using them as a stereotypical scapegoat. Murphy also highlighted the power of youth saying, “Our children are watching us during these challenging times. It’s clear, now more than ever, we need to be watching them, too.”
Dr. Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg reiterated the importance of authenticity, adding, “Young people are looking for leaders who understand them and who know how to share power.”
MAP’s network of elected officials prove that 2018 is a timely opportunity for young leadership to bridge the partisan divide and encourage the civic participation of their peers. We’re seeing the start of a wave of fresh leadership that understands the importance of diversity of opinion. As a country, we need to tap into this momentum and encourage young people to amplify their voices and votes to bring fundamental change.