Investment in the next generation of leaders is key to creating lasting change. We are grateful that the Crimsonbridge Foundation has generously continued their investment in IGNITE for the 2023-24 program year. The Crimsonbridge Foundation works towards solutions that help youth across America thrive, focusing on education, leadership, environment sustainability, and capacity-building to support their vision of social change. The Crimsonbridge Foundation funds IGNITE through the Women and Girls’ Leadership and Civic Engagement strand, which helps us support IGNITE’s political leadership and civic engagement of young women. The grant IGNITE received from the Crimsonbridge Foundation for the 2022-23 program year supported 6 Northeast IGNITE high school programs. These programs raise political awareness and civic activation amongst high school students and provide them with essential information and guidance to build their political power. Investing in this rising generation as civic and political leaders is crucial to communities across the country. Participants in IGNITE programs will become the leaders, representatives, advocates, board members, commissioners, and campaign managers of tomorrow.
IGNITE high school programs empower students to get involved through chapters, clubs, and via our High School Council series. Students work alongside IGNITE staff and their peers to gain a comprehensive introduction to the political process. As IGNITE continues to empower young leaders with the support of the Crimsonbridge Foundation, we will train many more high school students in activating and mobilizing the vote in their communities during what promises to be a crucial election year. Our national #IGNITEtheVote campaign teaches young people the importance of voting in every election, guiding them through the steps of registering to vote, and training them on ways to research ballot initiatives and candidate platforms. This campaign will prepare participants to mobilize their peers and family members to vote during the 2024 primaries, election, and beyond. In 2020, our #IGNITEtheVote campaign reached 6.5 million voters.
In addition to our high school programs, a portion of the Crimsonbridge Foundation grant will be distributed to our Dr. Anne Moses IGNITE Fellow’s efforts in the D.C./Maryland/Virginia area. The Dr. Anne Moses IGNITE Fellows serve as campus organizers to recruit politically motivated young women on college campuses. Ryane Jones, the 2023-24 Dr. Anne Moses IGNITE Fellow for the D.C./Maryland/Virginia area explains the impact of her Fellowship work, stating, "Working with IGNITE as a Dr. Anne Moses IGNITE Fellow has been such a rewarding and gratifying experience. I have had the opportunity to host events on the campus of Howard University and I have been so pleased with the engagement from students and youth as they learn how to get civically involved in their community and how to run for office at the local, state, and federal level. At these events, students are not only receiving political information and resources, but there has also been a great sense of community, solidarity, and sisterhood within the conversations and connections being made at these events." During Fall 2023, Ryane organized the “Lets Get on Board, Boards and Commission Event” at Howard University. This sold-out event included attendees from the University of Maryland and The George Washington University. Young women from many different walks of life had the opportunity to meet and discuss the shared interests that drew them together. Ryane has done an amazing job in her role as a Fellow through creating spaces where young women can meet and build community.
IGNITE is grateful to the Crimsonbridge Foundation for their continued investment in young women like Ryane and the community members she supports. With Crimsonbridge Foundation’s generous financial support, we will inspire even more young people across the country to own their political power. We look forward to continuing to provide the tools and resources young women need to launch their civic and political leadership journeys.