What is Juneteenth?

On June 19, 1865, troops entered Galveston, Texas to ensure that all enslaved people were freed. Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery and is considered the longest-running African American holiday according to History.com

Traditionally, Juneteenth is a day of celebrating freedom, with festivals and marches taking place across the country in honor of the day. Although Juneteenth is not recognized as a federal holiday yet, 47 states recognize it as a state holiday or observance according to PBS. And more and more businesses and companies are giving employees the day off to celebrate. 

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Fellow Spotlight: Anais Franco

After learning about the lack of female leadership in politics during a presentation from a previous Fellow, Anais Franco knew what she had to do. “I knew that I wanted to be part of the fight towards gender parity in our political system to help create much needed change in our society.” She applied to become the IGNITE Southern California Fellow, motivated by the idea of creating a space for young leaders to spark change in their communities. 

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Fellow Spotlight: Anna Del Castillo

After attending the National Young Women Run conference in D.C., Anna Del Castillo felt inspired by seeing other women own their political power. Later on, she and her best friend ended up running for student body president and vice president on campus, and she realized she wanted to join a collective of women running for office or who were interested in leadership. She had continued to stay up to date with IGNITE throughout the school year and decided to reach out.

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Fellow Spotlight: Abriana Kirt

Abriana Kirt wasn’t always interested in politics, but her political journey started soon after the 2016 election -- the first election she was able to vote in. While scrolling through Instagram one day, Abriana stumbled upon some posts by her good friend and previous IGNITE Atlanta Fellow, Kirsten Jackson. As Kirsten continued to post about her work as an IGNITE Fellow, Abriana’s interest in becoming a Fellow herself grew. IGNITE wasn’t in her area at the time, but after a year, the Fellowship opened up in Birmingham and Abriana jumped at the opportunity to become the very first Fellow in the area. 

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Rep. Lauren Underwoods calls on young women to vote

Do you know that voting is the bedrock of our democracy and our voting block has incredible power? Join Illinois Representative Lauren Underwood and IGNITE for Young Women Vote Virtual Summit. Learn from experts and elected leaders about how to mobilize your peers to get registered, educated, and organized to get to the polls. Get ready to #IGNITEtheVote in the 2020 election and beyond.

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Fellow Spotlight: Saha Salahi

Growing up in Nevada as the child of Afghani-immigrant parents, Saha Salahi always felt as though she was trying to find her sense of self, but didn’t think she’d find herself in politics. “I never thought I would be interested in politics, mostly because I’ve never seen someone like myself in the political realm.” shares Saha. 

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5 things you didn’t know about voting

You have the power to decide elections at the local and federal level. Make your voice heard. With the upcoming election taking place in less than 150 days, here are some important things you may not know about voting.

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Black Lives Matter Resources

At IGNITE National, we are learning how to become better allies everyday and want to uplift the voices of our Black community who are leading the way. This blog post contains a list of resources for Black Lives Matter, including educational resources, ways to get involved and more. 

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How to be a digital advocate for Black Lives Matter

Being a digital advocate is a great way to create change using the power of social media. Whether you have 100 followers or 1000 followers, you can use your platform to speak out about issues you’re passionate about and reach people who will in turn engage with the content. Here are some ways you can be a digital advocate, as well as some things to remember about the spaces you’re advocating in. 

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Black Lives Matter

The constant assault on our Black community must stop. At IGNITE, we support the #BlackLivesMatter movement. We will do what it takes to amplify the voices of Black women and men of all ages, and especially our IGNITE program participants and alumni who are leading protests and making concrete recommendations for systemic change in response to the deep racism in this country. We stand in solidarity with our youth leaders and their solutions. 

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