PHILADELPHIA —  On Thursday, October 6, the Millennial Advisory Committee (MAC) is partnering with the Mayor’s Office of Youth Engagement (OYE), the Philadelphia Youth Commission, Temple University, the Philadelphia 76ers, the Office of the City Commissioners, Philadelphia City Council, the Philadelphia 76ers and numerous Temple University student organizations to host a community conversation engaging Gen-Z voters ahead of the critical 2022 midterm elections and Pennsylvania’s October 24 voter registration deadline.

The GroupChat 2022: Midterm Edition will be a space where young people can register to vote, obtain various resources from partners, and tap into an important conversation about why youth voice and vote is always so critical. Temple’s Black Student Union will co-host a panel discussion with the Philadelphia Youth Commission that highlights the importance of Gen-Z voices, voting and youth civic participation – while unpacking the truth about the state of our democracy and how we can get it back on track.

This event will be hosted under the banner of the Mayor’s Office of Youth Engagement’s First Vote initiative, the City’s successful campaign used to engage young residents around the 2020 Presidential Election.

“There are so many issues on the ballot box this upcoming election cycle that directly affect the millennial population not only in the city of Philadelphia, but the state and nation,” said Dominique Waters, Director of GOTV for the Philadelphia Millennial Advisory Committee. “Here at the Millennial Advisory Committee for the City of Philadelphia we want to make sure we are engaging millennials to get involved to change the issues that matter most to them via the civic process.”

“Events like these are crucial for the wellbeing of the community. Voting is the cornerstone of our democracy, and the open dialogue between the youth of the city and its council members allows for various perspectives to be heard on the issues we all see around us,” said Stephen (Obi) Nwogwugwu, Temple University Student (Senior, Health Profession major and Black Student Union Vice President). “It is important that citizens and organizations come together and show unity on these matters.”

“Leveraging partnerships like this one is critical for our community, bringing together leaders and community organizations with one common goal,” explained DaVonti’ D. Haynes, Assistant Professor, School of Social Work at Temple University. “As social workers, we are committed to supporting and building more equitable communities across the city and that begins educating the community about what’s on the ballot and providing them with the tools and resources to be involved.”

“I continue to be inspired by incredible work the Millennial Advisory Committee, Philadelphia Youth Commission, and civically engaged young people all over this city are doing to ensure that their voices are heard in this critical election,” said Jeanette Bavwidinsi, the Director of the Mayor’s Office of Youth Engagement. “Of course, Temple University students, attending an incredible institution in the heart of our city, are ready to lead the charge! We are so grateful to the City and community partners joining us in this effort to elevate young leaders and engage young voters!”

Using the hashtag #PHLYouthVote, partners will chronicle the experiences of first-time registrants and young Philadelphians as they engage their peers and become more civically engaged individuals.

About the Millennial Advisory Committee

The Millennial Advisory Committee (MAC) serves as the voice of Philadelphia’s millennial population within City government. We convene millennials from around the city to share resources and information in order to spark civic engagement. We advocate on behalf of millennials on issues relevant to our generation. In everything we do we amplify and center those who have historically been – and continue to be – excluded or oppressed by our social and economic systems, including but not limited to BIPOC; immigrants; women; and LGBTQ+ and gender non-conforming Philadelphia millennials.

About the Philadelphia Youth Commission

The Philadelphia Youth Commission (PYC) is made up of 21 Commissioners ages 12-23. PYC works with City government, community organizations, nonprofits and private entities to improve the lives of Gen-Z Philadelphians by: 1) Advising the Mayor, City Council, the Philadelphia School District, and other decision-makers on issues relating to young people, 2) Consulting on legislation and policies that impact youth, 3) Creating programs and public spaces for co-design & collaboration, 4) Monitoring and measuring the effectiveness of the City’s youth-focused programs and policies, and 5) Developing and maintaining relevant community partnerships to increase youth civic participation.

About the Mayor’s Office of Youth Engagement

The Mayor’s Office of Youth Engagement (OYE) was created in 2017 to be a megaphone for the voices of young people in Philadelphia. OYE does this by creating original programming, providing policy recommendations, forging relevant partnerships, and elevating the amazing work of Philadelphia’s youth & youth-serving organizations. OYE houses the Philadelphia Youth Commission and the Millennial Advisory Committee.

About Temple University School of Social Work

Established in 1969, the School of Social Work at Temple University is dedicated to societal transformations and committed to eliminating social, political and economic injustices for oppressed populations and advancing the quality of life for all. Our faculty are committed to fostering societal transformation through education that emphasizes solutions and action; research that generates evidence-based strategies to resolve problems at local, national, and global levels; and public service that shares this knowledge with a wider audience. In all of our work, we closely partner with communities, agencies and organizations to ensure that the needs of our constituents are represented and met.

About the Philadelphia 76ers

The Philadelphia 76ers, colloquially known as the Sixers, are an American professional basketball team based in the Philadelphia metropolitan area. Sixers Strong has a goal using the power of basketball and the influence of the Philadelphia 76ers brand to inspire future generations in the communities where our fans live, work and play.

About the Black Student Union at Temple University

Founded in 1966 as the Black Student League, the Black Student Union (BSU) at Temple University strives to build and unite the student body at Temple and the North Philadelphia community in an effort to educate through programs, events, community service, and cultural experiences. BSU helps to provide an environment for students to strive for excellence by understanding their past, improving the present, and securing their future.