Civic engagement is taking responsibility for improving your community. It’s any activity that works to address a public concern. Many people start by connecting with others who share the same mission and values. It can be as simple as starting a conversation about local issues (in-person or on social media), or you can take some action. You can work together to provide value and improve the quality of life for the public.
How do you engage with your community? There are many ways to stay up to date with current events, like mobile news apps and podcasts. There are also tons of ways to participate in your community and advocate for the causes you believe in. You can contact local officials to voice your concerns. Or, you can vote in local, state, and national elections. Many others prefer to volunteer around their communities. What is your style of civic engagement? Take this quiz to find out:
Young adults are innovators, change-makers, and believers. From racial inequality to climate change to fiscal policy, Millennials and Generation Z are shaking the scene and shaping the social and political landscape.
47% of youth and young adult voters participated in the 2018 midterm election. With civic engagement at an all-time high, Millennials and Generation Z are participating in social activism in a multitude of ways. Despite high voter turn-out, many young Americans felt unsure of how their actions could create change. 55% of Generation Z stated that uncertainty in actions stopped them from participating in various causes.
Check out these ten ways you make a difference in your community (in addition to voting in your local election!)
Become a Community Leader
The world is full of different causes and movements ranging in topic, size, and exposure. In fact, 95% of young people believe that collaborating with other young people has the ability to create positive change. Creating a dialogue with other youth, elected officials, and professionals can provide the mobility necessary for change.
Get involved in the local government: By attending local city council and town hall meetings and taking part in efforts at headquarters for political and social movements, young adults can begin the process for change by interacting with local officials.
Start conversations: From speaking 1-on-1 to individuals about issues and current events to organizing groups to meet and discuss different movements, change can start through something as simple as a conversation.
Canvas for a cause you believe in: A person’s words can speak volumes. Whether it be participating in conversations on Twitter, endorsing a political candidate or movement through an Instagram story, or handing out flyers and brochures and starting conversations in public spaces, young adults have the power to canvass through different mediums.
Volunteer your time: Giving time can be the best way to interact with others, receive education on issues, and be an active part of a movement. Find an organization or institution that aligns with your beliefs and spend time building your opinion.
Education as a Tool for Advocacy
82% of Generation Z use various forms of online media to become informed about issues and current events. With news readily available in the hands of young adults, it has become increasingly important to create spaces to learn, listen, and talk.
Subscribe and follow: Finding a reliable source of news can help to solidify your ideas about what is going on in the world. Media news sources, influencers, politicians, celebrities, and foundations and institutions have an important role in shaping opinions.
Learn the other side: Your beliefs are shaped by factors like your culture, education, community and community, but it is also important to look beyond that and hear varying ideas. Talking to people with opposing views or researching statistics and viewpoints can diversify and solidify your own thoughts.
Know your community: Educate yourself on who your elected officials are, what your district is, and what their opinions are on different issues.
Be Your Own Political Force
Only 13% of millennials have considered running for office, but this younger generation understands that there is power behind their voice. 69% of young Americans stated that they believed voting will lead to changes. By believing in the power of one’s voice, young adults can help to shape the future.
Get in touch: Utilize your words to inspire change. Write to local official officials and candidates about what’s important to you or participate in phone or social media campaigns for political issues.
Increase voter registration: Getting involved with ensuring that people are registered to vote can empower people to shape their communities.
Mobilize the movement: From being on the battlefield and pounding the pavement to joining organizations and teams that represent your ideals, there is strength in numbers.
It’s never too late or too early to begin advocating for what you believe in. The economy and fiscal policy trickle down and affect every aspect of our government. Up to Us allows young adults to discuss and find solutions for the national debt issue. Get involved and see what other young adults are doing to initiate change.