The Memphis Youth Union, aka MemYU, includes seven student organizers and one adult ally working to increase youth voice and power in decision-making spaces, specifically by extending voting rights to 16- and 17-year-old youth in Memphis city elections.
“As youth, our entire identity has been marginalized in the political sphere to the point that we have internalized the idea that at some magical number, we automatically begin to matter. We have been told that we do not need to pay attention to current politics. We have believed that because we could not vote, because we couldn’t contribute, our voices do not matter. Yet now we understand how detrimental this rationale is to our society. We must be informed about our community and the systems in control to be able to make sustainable, systemic change.”
2017-18 Memphis Youth Union CHANGE Fellows
Jordan Brown, 11th grade, Central High School
Tyler Brown, 12th grade, Bartlett High School
Isabel Kagoo, 9th grade, Lausanne Collegiate School
David Lee, 11th grade, Germantown High School
Madison Owens, 12th grade, Immaculate Conception High School
Brentley Sandlin, 12th grade, White Station High School
Jennifer Vo, 11th grade, Germantown High School
- Helping them build a network of youth and adult allies across Memphis. “We need these allies to put pressure on city council to approve the referendum for the extension of voting rights to 16- and 17-year-olds and change the culture around youth engagement. When the referendum is approved, we need adult allies to vote for our ordinance to pass.”
- Following them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
- Visiting thememphisyouth.org
- Donating to BRIDGES to support youth-led social change work
More to come soon!