Welcome to the launch of Civic Influencers 2024 Let Freedom Ride Program ™ – the 60th Anniversary of Freedom Summer 1964.
Wherever you are, you can volunteer, and use your efforts to help our 2024 Freedom Riders fight “generational gerrymandering,” and protect the freedoms that young people care about through education and voting.
We need your support to grow the “boots on campuses” and digital organizing that we already have from 2023’s successes. [See, Civic Influencers Interactive Biennial Report – On the horizon: Scaling to shift power to the next generation]
Help support our in-person peer-to-peer organizing and ongoing development of digital assets across the country to fight “generational gerrymandering”, but especially in districts where young people have the greatest chance to show their power to influence elections on the freedoms they care about, from democracy and voting, to the environment, choice and justice in their lives.
We invite you to join the fight against voter suppression in Mississippi.
We are also targeting districts in ARIZONA, CALIFORNIA, COLORADO, ILLINOIS, MICHIGAN, NORTH CAROLINA, NEW YORK, and PENNSYLVANIA— all with “Tipping Point Campuses” where the margin of victory in 2022 was sufficiently small such that the student vote would be able to swing those elections.
We will never forget how in June 1964, just one week after the first group of volunteers arrived in Oxford, Mississippi, three civil rights workers – James Earl Chaney, a Black Mississippian, and two white and Jewish northerners, Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman – were brutally killed by white nationalist supremacist terrorists.
Voter registration was the cornerstone of Freedom Summer 1964. The impact of these murders and the freedom uprising across the United States built political momentum for the Voting Rights Act of 1965. We hope the 2024 Let Freedom Ride Program ™ will do the same.
The 2024 Let Freedom Ride Program ™ is inspired by the 1964 Freedom Summer and does not attempt equivalence to the enormity of the sacrifice and contribution of those Civil Rights workers. Rather, we are imagining how we engage, educate, and inspire young people on college campuses, with our history, freedom movement and inheritance.
In 2024, we must now meet young people where they are – riding the internet, on social media platforms and digital spaces, as well as on the ground on community college and other campuses often overlooked by traditional GOTV campaigns – HBCUs, HSIs, Tribal Colleges & Universities, and trade, technical, and vocational schools. If you would like to support the 2024 Let Freedom Ride Program ™, you can double your impact through a special matching gift, thanks to a generous supporter. Your investment will enable us to continue to amplify young voices, fight against generational gerrymandering, and make a lasting impact on the future of our democracy.
Instead of riding buses, community college students in LA, NYC, Cincinnati, Chicago and at various campuses across the country will together “ride/surf” the Internet and social media, create content to energize peers to register and vote, fight back against voter suppression, especially in states and districts with narrow margins of victory — where the students can use their voting power to fight for the freedoms they believe in from democracy and voting, to the environment, choice and justice in their lives.
The “ride” will create connections and give them both competence in civic engagement and first-hand experience of its power, as well as training in content production and opportunity to connect with peers across the country. It will also foster an intergenerational conversation and knowledge transfer between generations.
Civic Influencers’ 2024 Virtual Freedom Summer will connect students (with iconic changemakers) to co-produce social media and other content that will educate and energize interest for civic engagement among both groups, and lead to higher voting rates among young people in tipping point races.
- By providing stipends to community college students at Tipping Point Campuses to participate in the 2024 Freedom Summer Program.
- By working with college administrators to arrange for classroom guidance and school credits for students from both groups to work together to produce and distribute effective social media content designed to educate and energize students on the tipping point campuses, and to encourage those tipping point students to overcome voter obstacles and to register and vote in the 2024 elections.
- By bringing on top media professionals to help guide the program and the 2024 Freedom Summer Riders ™ and to judge contests for best, most effective media efforts.
- By bringing iconic changemakers and the 1964 Freedom Summer alumni to join the virtual ride and participate in building community with current students.
- By awarding the 2024 Freedom Summer Riders money prizes for best social media content, with bonuses for content that goes viral.
The 2024 Freedom Summer Riders co-created content will focus on helping young people suffering voter suppression, especially at community colleges and others, trade and vocational schools, HBCUs, HSIs and Tribal Colleges & Universities. We are laser targeting “Tipping Point Campuses” in swing races where young people can experience both heightened voter suppression as well as the greatest opportunity for young people to use their voting power.
This focus on Tipping Point Campuses – where student votes can actually swing an election – helps rebuild democracy in the long term. Students who experience an early win from their own vote, or from their work to influence others to register and vote, will likely be voters and active pro-democracy citizens for a lifetime.
- Increase the number of young people who are registered to vote and turn out to vote.
- Make the Civic Influencers 2024 Freedom Riders experience a defining moment in student lives.
- Continue to build the Freedom Movement by providing stipend funding, prize money funding, media/communications training, civic engagement/activism training, as well as media industry connections, to 2024 Freedom Summer students and give them a true sense of empowerment.
- Bring significant attention to the generational gerrymandering—systemic obstacles to voting by young people—being put in place today by anti-democracy forces.
- Bring nationwide attention to the systemic obstacles targeting low income and voters of color.