Valencia Richardson, a student at Georgetown University Law Center and a Puffin Fellow for the Andrew Goodman Foundation, is a guest contributor for the ALL IN Challenge
When I was a freshman at Louisiana State University (LSU), I founded the organization Geaux Vote LSU. Our goal was simple: to educate all 30,000 LSU students about their civic duty and promote participation in the political process. This effort was created in response to the apathy I assumed students were feeling towards the process; during a non-presidential year, turnout in Louisiana could get as low as 10-15% for students aged 18-20.
On May 5th and 6th, thousands of women, girls, and allies will convene in Los Angeles for the 2018 USOW Summit to inspire and be inspired, to motivate and be motivated, to teach and to learn from hands-on training, tools, and resources needed to make change at all levels. Attendees will connect with leading organizations to channel their energy into action, leaving with new ideas and partners, hands-on training, and the tools and resources they need to make change at all levels.
On Wednesday, April 18th, It’s On Us and the Biden Foundation hosted the Courage Awards at the Russian Tea Room in New York City. Activists, influencers, and movement leaders gathered to celebrate four student leaders for their dedicated work to stop sexual assault in their communities.
The Biden Courage Awards recognized students in four categories of action: Policy Change, Greek Student Organizing, Campus Organizing, and Bystander Intervention. We received over 800 nominations from students across the country. It’s On Us works with over 500 college campuses in the United States, and over 440,000 students have taken our pledge to stand against sexual violence in their communities. Out of this network of changemakers, four students stood out to us as leaders who embodied Vice President Biden’s mission to put an end to campus sexual assault. The Biden Courage Awards were dedicated to these four students and their leadership, action, and commitment to end sexual violence.
On Wednesday, May 2, former First Lady Michelle Obama joined Reach Higher for her 5th annual College Signing Day celebration in Philadelphia to celebrate 7,000 high school seniors making a commitment to attend a 2 year college, a 4 year college, a trade school, or join the military. She was joined by an incredible assortment of actors, musicians, athletes, and influencers like Bradley Cooper, Zendaya, Camila Cabello, Dikembe Mutumbo, Questlove, and Karlie Kloss, among others, who all joined Mrs. Obama to lift up and celebrate the student attendees. In addition to Mrs. Obama’s event, 2,000 events with over 600,000 students are happening throughout May in all 50 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and even a few international events (Rwanda and Niger).
Last week was a busy one over at Reach Higher.
The Reach Higher Advisory Board gathered for its first-ever salon dinner Thursday evening at Hogan Lovells to discuss plans for the future and celebrate the 2017 successes since departing the White House. Food Network Chef Amanda Freitag created the menu for over sixty guests who engaged in an intimate conversation about the state of education and the future of Reach Higher. Several board members attended, including former U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King, Jr., ACT CEO Marten Roorda, as well as celebrity guests such as Food Network’s Ted Allen and Friday Night Lights star Connie Britton.
Robert Moser, Executive Officer of the Cadets Against Sexual Harassment and Assault program at the Military Academy at West Point, is a guest contributor for It’s On Us.
In the national effort to eliminate sexual harassment and assault, the United States Military Academy at West Point has taken great strides to lead the charge. One of the ways in which the Academy has undertaken this initiative is by partnering with It’s On Us, the national nonprofit organization against sexual assault. On February 10th, West Point will host its annual It’s On Us basketball games as Army takes on Navy at Christl Arena. Since its launch in 2014, It’s On Us has developed a national footprint, and West Point hosts IOU-sponsored sporting events every season.
Newly arrived to the US at age four, I would watch the news in order to learn English. By age five, I could read, so I would devour anything I got my hands on.
One of the most impactful moments in my life was reading President Obama’s biography. I was in the 5th grade and learning about the Civil War. That a black man was to be President of the United States proved to me that despite any institutionalized barrier, despite any seemingly overwhelming setback, anything was possible. I read that President Obama graduated from Columbia University, so despite being undocumented, I decided I too would graduate from Columbia.
Together, we’ve built the women’s empowerment movement into a powerful force. And with the help of supporters across the country, the United State of Women is bringing resources to women and girls in their communities to turn their passion into action. We’re training women through our Galvanize Program, arming people with the tools to take action with our Action Network, and empowering the next generation of leaders to be catalysts for change.
The United State of Women team is committed to making sure the movement for gender equality is accessible—which is why we strive to keep our resources free and provide scholarship opportunities to our low-cost trainings like the Galvanize program. But we need your support to make that happen.
Civic Nation announced today that the team is hiring an Executive Assistant. This position will work for the Executive Director and manage multiple components of the day-to-day operations of the organization.
Here is the official description: Job Announcement – Executive Assistant.
Check out full coverage on Variety.
The new-model Erase the Hate is a much-expanded effort to be conducted in partnership with Civic Nation, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that tackles social ills through organization and civic engagement. The initiative to revive Erase the Hate was spearheaded by NBCUniversal Cable chairman Bonnie Hammer, who launched the original campaign during her tenure as head of USA.
“When we launched Erase The Hate over 20 years ago, it was truly inspiring to see so many people rally around the call for inclusion over prejudice. We’ve dedicated a lot of thought for a very long time re-imagining this campaign for today’s digitally-connected world because sadly, this work feels more urgent now than ever before,” said Hammer. “I’ve always believed people aren’t born knowing how to hate…they are taught to hate. It’s time to channel our energy into doing what we can to break this destructive cycle.”
Erase the Hate and Civic Nation will administer an “accelerator” program that will offer grants, coaching and mentoring support for activists working on a range of causes. A discretionary fund has been assembled to offer micro-grants to organizations that take action in moments of crisis.
Erase the Hate-related promos and programming will air on the linear networks and digital extensions of all channels in the entertainment cable group that Hammer oversees for NBCUniversal, including USA, Syfy, Bravo, Oxygen and E! The Universal Cable Productions and Wilshire Studios production entities will also contribute to the campaign that marks a seven-figure commitment of air time and marketing support from NBC.
The larger goal of Erase the Hate is to combat prejudice, hate crimes, and the spread of hate speech via digital and social media. NBCU has assembled an advisory counsel to help guide the effort and help select grant recipients. The members include GLAAD’s Sarah Kate Ellis, Republican strategist Ana Navarro, the Anti-Defamation League’s Jonathan Greenblatt, Voto Latino’s Maria Teresa Kumar, UnidosUS’ Janet Murguia, and Teach for America’s Brittany Packnett.
Civic Nation in the past has focused on encouraging voter participation in elections, campaigns to help underprivileged youth attend college, female leadership development, and efforts to end sexual assault on college campuses.
The original Erase the Hate initiative earned USA Network the Governors Award from the Television Academy in 1996.