#VOTETHATJAWN Goes Digital, With Hopes to Register First-Time Voters in Philadelphia and Beyond

The youth voter registration initiative includes upcoming Instagram challenges, a virtual voter registration “House Party,” and more.

Celebrated author, scholar, and community activist Lorene Cary’s #VOTETHATJAWN initiative wants to use the power of youth voice and connection to bring 18-year-olds and other first time voters to the polls.  The program, which launched in 2018, encourages youth to take a stance on civic engagement and to advocate for youth safety, agency, and inclusion.


Given the current COVID-19 health crisis, #VOTETHATJAWN has created an online youth voter registration “House Party” for Saturday, May 16th, from 5-8pm on #VOTETHATJAWN’s Facebook Live. North Philly positive rapper LGP Qua will host and freestyle, and great DJs will spin: @djjazzyjeff, @djdiamondkuts, @itsbobbyflowers, and 12-year-old phenom @djsophiarocks, with guest @Aijeecello. While music plays, youth all over the city will be texting friends and helping them register to vote online in real time.

Starting this month and running through the election cycle, youth will create and present a variety of digital content that will be available via votethatjawn.com.  Especially given the virtual nature that many schools and educational facilities have had to adapt given the COVID-19 crisis, #VOTETHATJAWN is seeking student writers, artists, organizers, and teachers looking for virtual activities to participate in the program. Interested parties can email VoteThatJawn@gmail.com to get more information, or to submit their ideas to be shared.


#VOTETHATJAWN hopes to launch a number of exciting initiatives for 2020, including citywide readings of March: Book Three by Congressman John Lewis and a program with the Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra featuring composer Kenji Bunch’s new commission inspired by Walt Whitman’s poem “Election Day, November 1884.”


For fun, organizers are planning summer games, created by college students: Voter Bingo and  “President for a Day” on Instagram, where youth will “nominate”  their friends to become President for a day, choosing attributes that they believe leaders need.


For more information on #VOTETHATJAWN, visit votethatjawn.com.

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