Empowering Our Youth to Strengthen Our Democracy
Vol. 1 No. 2

As we all wait anxiously to learn the results of Virginia’s statewide election for governor and the house of delegates on November 2, you can rest assured that the college-student interns of Students for Justice have been working hard to increase voter turnout in the African American communities there. Keep reading to find out what our interns have been up to at Students for Justice.

With hope for our democracy,
Claire Ullman
Sandra Radoff
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Reaching thousands of VA voters with our postcards

This fall, our paid student interns have been recruiting volunteers to help them write postcards to over 9,000 African American registered voters in Petersburg, Virginia, to provide them with critically important encouragement and the information necessary to vote. We have already seen a notable increase in early voting among African Americans in Petersburg compared to prior elections. This is a direct result of our postcard campaign, which put a postcard in the hands of virtually every registered African American voter in Petersburg who had not voted since 2014!!!
Photo: Interns Sannai and Ian, both students at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA, mail the cards written at one of their postcard parties
Social media ads encourage voting

Our interns are learning to create paid social media ad campaigns for Facebook to get out the vote. Working in teams of five and taught by experienced political marketers, they developed messaging, graphic designs, and targeting metrics for their ads. The ads were placed in key counties in Virginia on October 19. Performance data for the ads will be provided by Facebook and the intern teams will learn to analyze that data, assessing the effectiveness of their own ads. Our intern-created ads will reach tens of thousands of potential voters with their messages about the importance of voting and we expect to see an uptick in voter turnout in the communities we have targeted.
Up next: phone banking and text banking

With all their postcards in the mail and their ad campaigns launched, Students for Justice interns are now pivoting to using texts and phone calls to reach Virginia voters. Virginia's governor and the entire House of Delegates will be chosen on November 2, with important consequences for voting rights and other legislation. Our goal is to reach as many potential voters in Virginia's communities of color as possible in the days remaining to motivate them to vote.
Photo: Intern Madison phone banking to get out the vote
Impact on our interns

Several of our 38 paid student interns this fall are Virginia residents, most of them attending one of Virginia’s historically Black colleges and universities. For them, this work is especially meaningful. Here, intern Ian Gates talks about how important working to get out the vote in the Virginia election is to him.
Want to make a difference?
The on-going success of the internship program has been made possible by the COVID-friendly fundraising we’ve been doing, with more than 25 virtual house parties held this fall and last spring. (Thank you to our AMAZING house party hosts for pulling their friends together on Zoom to learn more and help raise funds for these paid internships!) Click here to attend, host, or learn more about a house party.

P.S. Help us reach more people! Please forward this newsletter to everyone you know who might want to help young people save our democracy.
Ruther Glen, VA
Tax ID # 82-4589218
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