For Immediate Release:
November 2, 2022
WASHINGTON—Ahead of the 2022 midterms, Alliance for Youth Action Executive Director Dakota Hall joined MTV News correspondent Dometi Pongo, and a panel of youth organizers to discuss voting, why getting involved locally is crucial to affect real change, and more.
Highlights from Dakota Hall’s Interview:
“We’re not only trying to reimagine democracy, but reimagining what this country could be, and I think what we’re seeing is the intersectional movement of young people who are saying we’re not just one-issue votres—we care abortion, we care about the enviornment, we care about the ecnomy. We are pushing the gas pedal on social change faster than some people are comfortable with.”
“We have a generation of young people who are sick and tired of seeing tragedy happen and only thoughts and prayers given. These are young people who have seen school shooting after school shooting, the planet turn for the worst, the killing of unarmed Black people contiuously shown to our face on social media—and we had an action point with the election.”
“One of the things I’ve seen young people [and their] energy really go towards is local change. Federal change has been proven to be really hard, and there are a lot of issues that impact that, including gerrymandering—that we see has literally divided this country into racial boundaries on who gets to be represented.”
“What I’ve also seen over the last four years is young people really hone what they can impact locally. Whethers it’s CRT and local school boards, whether it’s removing police out of schools—there is so much energy happening where young people are like ‘okay, well if we can’t get the win here federally…what we know we can do is go to our school board meeting on a Thursday night and tell them we need better education, we need better lunches.’”
“What we can do to combat voter suppression right now is to be more informed, and often times that information lies with your local municipal clerk or you can get involved with an organization in your community.”
“One of the groups in our network, Chicago Votes, does this amazing program, Unlock Civics, that literally goes inside of Cook County jail to register voters, because they haven’t been charged with the crime yet, and they still have the right to vote…and they run civics classes inside Cook Country jail—it’s the only program in the nation like this.”
“To me, community is really folks coming together to weave together their dreams for a common liberation.”
“Being young, Black, Indigenous, and a leader in often a lot of circles where I could be 10 years older…or 40 years younger than the closest person to my age—there is a lot of imposter syndrome. Am I suppose to be here in this moment? Is this the right call for me to be a leader? To be an organizer? You’re not taught at an early age, being a person of color, that you can really succeed in mainstream society…and I want to see a generation of young, beautiful Black and Brown people who don’t have those thoughts—who know they’re meant for this leadership.”
“For me, the hope is understanding the future truly is young, Black, Brown—and is going to be amazing.”
If you’re interested in booking an interview with Dakota Hall, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.