The United States faces a crisis in youth media literacy and civic participation. Youth electoral participation is regularly lower than those of older age groups; Fifty percent of 18-29 year olds did not vote in the 2016 election. US democracy requires an informed public, but young people today are inundated with politically-driven media. As Stanford education scholars find, American “youth are duped by sponsored content and don’t always recognize political bias of social messages.”
Why 22×20 is Needed
Hope for political change and resilient democracy can rest in new generations’ ability to envision and build relationships, habits and culture to create different realities. Early and equitable opportunities for democratic engagement among teens leads to increased attention to issues now AND engagement later in life. However, youth voting has plateaued in presidential elections, is decreasing in midterms, and is historically highly unequal by some demographics. High quality civic education increases voting, but is not widespread, nor is media literacy education, so many youth lack the critical analysis skills to deploy in civic life. Historic and systemic marginalization of youth, especially young people of color, discourage engagement and motivation. Finally, there is a lack of strategic intersection between civic education, media literacy, and democratic practice when we need a wide range of stakeholders supporting and uplifting youth as today’s problem solvers and the future of a stronger democracy.
22×20 focuses on activating and facilitating youth voice and leadership in the democratic process. The 22×20 is a nonpartisan media literacy and civics education campaign aimed at equipping the 22 million first time voting teens to become informed and engaged first-time voters by 2020. We are building and mobilizing a coalition that will work towards increasing and diversifying teen voice and engagement in national and local conversations and electoral processes in order to be informed and active participants in US democracy, leading up to the 2020 election cycle and beyond.
Join us! There are many opportunities for youth, educators, media and community organizations to be involved in the campaign.
2. Join the conversation using #22×20 across all social platforms.
3. Sign up to stay updated on the campaign.
4. Join a working group! The LAMP launched the 22×20 campaign with a summit of youth leaders and partner organizations at the David and Helen Gurley Brown Institute for Media Innovation at Columbia University in New York City on September 15th and 16th, 2017. One result of the summit is a series of collaborative working groups to lead various elements of this cultural, educational and media outreach campaign.
5. See what educators specifically can do to be supported and support their students. Go here.
Planning Summit Highlights
September 15-16, 2017
Brown Institute for Media Innovation
Media literacy today
Michelle Ciulla Lipkin, Executive Director,
National Association for Media Literacy Education
Pathways of youth civic engagement
Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, Director, CIRCLE
Activating youth civic engagement
Debi Lombardi, National Program Director at Campus Vote Project
Innovation and emerging media
Latoya Peterson, Deputy Editor for Digital Innovation,
How media cover communities
Hamdan Azhar, Founder & Data Scientist,
Visualizing News Inequality, data scientist, emoji, human behavior
What the data?
Farhan Mustafa, Co-Founder & CEO, Grafiti
Future forward; what we need next
Douglas Rushkoff, Team Human
Think young people are powerful? Empower us
Ziad Ahmed, founder @redefy and CVO, Juv Consulting
Working Groups developed their vision and complete their first work plan.