4 ways to take action for 4th of July

Everyone has political power, and it’s time to flex it! This 4th of July, own your political power by taking action to make a difference in your community. Here are some ways you can get involved and shape the future for yourself and others.  

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Fellow Spotlight: Jeneisha Harris

Activist and organizer Jeneisha Harris is no stranger to being a leader in her community. During her time at the Equity Alliance, the founders of the organization recommended that she apply to the IGNITE Fellowship. Seeing it as a chance to develop her leadership skills and work with other young women, Jeneisha applied and became the first Nashville Fellow. The position quickly developed into a Tennessee Fellowship, as she mobilized women from across the state. “I was especially motivated by the lack of political engagement I saw in those cities and I wanted to be part of the process to help others get involved,” she shares. 

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Fellow Spotlight: Stephanie Nava

Starting college, Stephanie Nava wanted to do more than just attend classes, she wanted to be involved in her community. She heard about IGNITE through her friend who was a program participant during high school. During her time in college, she and her friend decided to start the first San Antonio chapter at their university. Soon after, Stephanie realized she wanted to be a leader in her community, and applied to become the next San Antonio Fellow. 

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Fellow Spotlight: Sydney Lee

As the daughter of an elected official, Sydney Lee is no stranger to the political realm. In fact, when she was applying to be an IGNITE Fellow, she was also running for student body president at the same time. Sydney ended up winning the student body president position by the highest margin her university had ever seen, becoming the second black person to hold that position. 

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Fellow Spotlight: Chiquita Jackson

Chiquita Jackson has always been an advocate for her community, and wanted to find ways to become even more involved. As she was researching political fellowships, she stumbled across IGNITE and decided to attend the National Young Women Run conference last year. While there, she learned that the IGNITE Fellowship was coming to her city, and knew that this was her chance to seize the opportunity. 

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Fellow Spotlight: Kaya Jones

After attending the National Young Women Run conference in D.C., Kaya Jones was inspired to become an IGNITE Fellow.  “Being around all those great women really motivated me, I just wanted to be in an environment like that,” she shares. When it was announced that the IGNITE Fellowship would come to Philadelphia, Kaya jumped at the opportunity to lead her community. 

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Fellow Spotlight: A. Mayleen Mermea

At a political conference in 2015, one of the hosts came up to Mayleen Mermea and told her that she should run for office. This comment was something Mayleen had never expected. “I had never in my life been told that. She didn’t know it at the time, but she planted a seed,” she says. Since then, Mayleen told herself that she would run for office, and took it upon herself to learn more about what it really means to be political. When she heard about IGNITE’s National Young Women Run conference in D.C. in 2017, Mayleen knew she would let nothing stop her from going. 

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Fellow Spotlight: Shradha Parekh

Shradha wasn’t always interested in politics while growing up, but she quickly became interested after the 2016 election. She realized she was passionate about a lot of political issues in her community, but didn’t know where to find other people who had those same passions. When she stumbled upon the IGNITE Fellowship, she knew she was presented with an opportunity to connect with other like-minded individuals. She applied to the Fellowship and became the first Columbus Fellow over two years ago. 

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Fellow Spotlight: Cecilia Ruesta

When Cecilia Ruesta came across IGNITE through an email from her professor over two years ago, she knew she wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to continue helping her community. “What caught my eye in the email was IGNITE’s mission. Empowering young women and trying to reach gender parity is something that I was passionate about as well,” shares Cecilia. She has served as the Central Valley Fellow for over two years. 

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How to talk politics with your friends and family

When you’re with your friends and family, you might talk about upcoming plans, a favorite TV show, or something funny you saw online. Do you find yourself avoiding topics that are stressful, like politics? It’s hard to do these days when everything feels political! With Gen Z and Millennials making up 37% of the electorate, talking politics is one way to flex your power and educate friends and family members on the issues you care about. 

Talking politics isn’t easy but it doesn’t have to be stressful or uncomfortable. It’s important to have open, non-judgmental conversations with the people you care about. You may not change their minds, but we promise everyone involved will learn something in the process! Here are some tips for talking politics with your friends and family. 

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