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Empowering our youth to strengthen our democracy

Students for Voting Justice (SVJ) is a paid internship program for college students that was created in 2020 to engage young people in the effort to get out the vote and to train them to be the leaders of tomorrow.


SVJ’s voter outreach is centered on African-American voters in Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia, and on youth 18-24 more generally.  Our interns are recruited largely from Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the South and over 90% identify as people of color. 

“Fighting for everyone’s voice to be heard will never stop being important to me now.”  – Yumtso B., intern

Students for Voting Justice does three things simultaneously:  

  • It accomplishes significant voter outreach, having a very real impact on turnout in important elections.  

  • It provides an educational experience and professional growth opportunity for college students, including (because it is paid) low-income students.  

  • It educates the future leaders of the fight for voting rights in America.  


We have provided almost 500 paid internships to date. Our interns have:

  • recruited more than 3,300 volunteers to help them write postcards to voters.

  • along with their volunteers, written and mailed over 230,000 postcards to voters.

  • made close to 250,000 phone calls to voters with important information about when, where, and how to vote.

  • sent 850,000 text messages to voters.

  • reached more than 4 million young people via social media with messages about the importance of voting.

  • in all, contacted a total 6 million potential voters -- or an average of 12,500 potential voters per intern.


Our interns:

  • learn political organizing skills by recruiting volunteers to write postcards to voters and by engaging in phone banking

  • learn leadership skills when promoted to managing teams of new interns and by participating in leadership skills workshops

  • learn political marketing skills through workshops and by designing social media outreach to increase voting among youth

  • benefit from a speakers’ series focused on developing an understanding of and involvement in the democratic process

  • are mentored one-on-one by older volunteers who meet with their interns weekly to provide supervision, encouragement, time-management coaching, and career advice

Plans for 2024:  Our next internship sessions will take place in the summer and fall of 2024 when we will focus on getting out the vote in Georgia and North Carolina, two states where Black and youth voter turnout will be key to the future of our country.  Applications for the summer session will be available in February.


SVJ is an initiative of the Center for Common Ground, a person-of-color-led 501(c)(3) non-profit, non-partisan organization committed to getting out the vote in communities of color in voter suppression states.

“I liked creating TikToks because I think they are a great way to connect to younger voters who may not know how to vote or its importance. Young voters are a very important population because they are the next adults and their concerns are important, yet they are the biggest group that does not vote.” – Maya M., intern

(c) 2024 Students for Voting Justice,

a campaign of the Center for Common Ground

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