Detroit Action’s VODY (Voices of Detroit Youth) is a committee made up 14-19 year olds from across Metro Detroit working to build a better community for young people. We believe in the potential of our generation to use organizing and advocacy to change politics as usual. We utilize these tools to develop the next generation of young leaders in Detroit.
Voices of Detroit Youth
- Year round Voter Registration and Civic Engagement
- Leadership Development
- Making Elections Matter
- Year-round Fights For Youth Economic Justice
A survey by the Black Youth Project 100 found that in late 2012, the most-common reason young Americans gave for not voting was that they were not registered. Young people who are registered to vote turn out in high numbers, very close to the rate of older voters. Youth voter registration rates are much lower than older age groups’ rates, and as a result, guiding youth through the registration process is one potential step to closing the age-related voting gap. We not only believe in registering young people, but we want to eliminate structural barriers that prevent youth from having their voices heard – at the ballot box and in the halls of power.
Community Organizing + Youth Development = Youth Organizing. If we are interested in developing the leadership of young adults and students in the public arena, then we must focus our attention on engaging them in issue-based campaigns that allow them to be fully ingrained in the full civic process. We’re committed to educating, training, and empowering the next generation of Detroiters and design our programs to act as a springboard for young leaders to enter the life of political and public service.Through leadership development and political education, our youth leaders develop not only the skills necessary for participation in civic life, but also the motivation and inclination to participate.
Organizing doesn’t have to be boring and political education doesn’t have to be civics class. Young people who are contacted by an organization or a campaign are more likely to vote. Through both technological innovations, cultural and traditional organizing, our organization aims to build community and engage members on issues by meeting them where they are.
Youth organizing is crucial for boys and young men of color and must be central to any campaign that tries to address racial inequity.