Ignite: A movement of young women who are ready and eager to become the next generation of political leaders.
Democracy thrives when young women flex their political power by voting, influencing policy decisions, and running for office - on their campuses and in their communities.
Since the 2016 election, we’ve seen millions of women marching in the streets, tens of thousands declaring their intention to run, and thousands more announcing their fury around a lifetime of sexual harassment. Young people (and especially young women) are leading a national effort around gun violence. They are fed up with the status quo and for the first time, see political power as tenable and desirable. As a country, we need to ensure that we take this moment and turn it into a movement. We must ride the wave of female and youth activism and invest in training young women to run for office.
As the largest and most diverse young women’s political training organization in the country, IGNITE is on the forefront of these efforts. In this historic era of activism we are experiencing a tidal wave of young women who are seeking out IGNITE programming. In 2018-19, IGNITE will train 10,000 young women across 25 states to own their political power by voting, organizing around policies they care about and running for office - on their campuses and in their communities.
IGNITE will train 1,000 young women in 20 states to advocate for legislative solutions to personally relevant policy issues. We will build a cadre of young women who deeply understand the legislative process and are using their voice to create change. By amplifying their voice and coming up with positive solutions, young women strengthen their political leadership and hone the skills they need to later serve in office.
IGNITE has 100+ college chapters in 20 states. IGNITE will train campus chapter members on how the legislative process works, effective advocacy skills, and how to recommend specific legislative solutions to identified problems. Each chapter will identify the policy issue they want to address, meet with organizations and legislators advancing solutions to that issue, and determine which piece of legislation they want to advance. Chapters will host informational events to share findings, train chapter members on advocacy techniques, and garner support across their campus for their legislation. Ultimately, staff and IGNITE Fellows will work with the College Chapters to launch their advocacy efforts via the following:
- Campus wide events and campaigns to engage the student body in advocacy efforts.
- Letter-writing parties on their campuses.
- Testimony or statements of support during public hearings.
- ‘IGNITE the Capital’ advocacy days, to bring young women from across a region to speak with legislators about the bills they support.
To that end these young women will be influencing policy, building networks of peers and elected leaders, and positioning themselves for future political leadership positions.
Planned Use Of Funds
It is imperative that we show young women how powerful they are when they are on the ground advocating for the policies they want to influence. IGNITE is already funded to cover staff costs associated with training our college women and managing the project. Shared Nation funding would be used to cover costs associated with these IGNITE the Capital legislative advocacy trips, each of which brings a busload of students to the state capital for 1-2 days to shadow and meet with legislators as well as provide public testimony on the bills students support. IGNITE is ready and able to implement the training components of the work, but the number of students who show up to the capitol and specifically committee hearings is critical in the legislative advocacy process and influences decision making.
Stage of Development
- Early Stage
- Established Prototype
Organization to Receive Funds