MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Even though voter turnout among young people during the 2018 U.S. midterm election was the highest it had been in decades, only about 35 percent of eligible voters between the ages of 18 and 29 voted in the election. The problem, experts say, is not apathy but access. Educators have an opportunity to help shape this experience for young people through accurate lessons about the civil rights struggle and by creating spaces for students to meaningfully engage in the democratic process, according to the latest issue of Teaching Tolerance magazine.
The Fall 2020 issue of the magazine, released this week, features several articles about the power of student engagement in the democratic process. “Uplifting the Student Vote” explores how educators can counter voter suppression tactics that impact young people, including the elimination of pre-registration for 16- and 17-year-olds in some states, by expanding their schools’ values to include voting and voter registration drives.
“The events of the last several months have pushed many communities, teachers and their students to take action,” said Jey Ehrenhalt, school-based programming and grants manager for the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance project, which publishes the magazine. “We applaud and support these efforts. When educators and students are engaged, our education process is transformed and our democracy advanced.”
Other articles in the magazine:
- Examine how whiteness operates—and is weaponized—in schools to over-police and discipline Black students;
- Show how educators can draw on the lessons of the civil rights movement to support meaningful social change today;
- Profile two sanctuary school districts offering critical protection for students from immigrant families; and
- Feature a Q&A with Tiffany Jewell, best-selling author of This Book is Anti-Racist:20 Lessons on How to Wake Up, Take Action, and Do the Work.
Reaching hundreds of thousands of educators nationwide through each issue, Teaching Tolerance is the nation’s leading magazine serving K-12 educators on a wide range of social justice education topics. Current and past issues of the magazine are available at tolerance.org.