On January 12th, 2019, MAP and the Mississippi Future Caucus hosted students from seven colleges and universities throughout Mississippi to discuss voting on college campuses and civic engagement.
“We are very excited about bringing the next generation of leaders to our Capitol to discuss ways for them to make an impact. I firmly believe that if we give millennials a stronger voice in the direction of our state, they will be more likely to stay here, work here, and raise their families here”, said Future Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Roun McNeal.
Students shared their stories about organizing get out the vote efforts and barriers they’ve faced when voting on campus.
"Events like this to bring us together and start the conversation would definitely help because even though Milsaps is very small, and the University of Mississippi is very large, we're still dealing with similar populations of students," said Anna-Kathryn Singleton, a Milsaps College student.
Throughout the day, speakers included Rep. Jeramey Anderson; Senator David Blount; Caroline Dvorsky, Program Manager at the Millennial Action Project; Mike Burns with the Campus Vote Project; and Jennifer Riley Collins, Executive Director at Mississippi ACLU.
“We wanted to provide an opportunity for our college students who participated, or tried to participate, in our election process to share their experiences, grievances, and ideas about the process. We plan to make the summit a bi-annual event so that we can continue to stay engaged with young voters and keep them engaged in the political process.” said MS Future Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Jeramey Anderson.
In the afternoon, students organized in small groups to discuss legislation addressing online voter registration, absentee voting, college precincts, and other issues.
"This generation, it's kind of a disconnect with the political process and we're not really in-tune with the past how it's been, so this can be the start of the transformation and getting us more connected and in the know, and have college students know what's really going on," said Anthony Jackson, a Mississippi College student.
The MS Future Caucus hopes to move from conversation to action and work on policy solutions to the challenges discussed by connecting students post-summit, introducing democracy reform legislation and hosting the next GENSUMMIT this fall.