Next Gen was founded by high school junior Ryan Adell as a youth-led organization in the Summer of 2016. Soon afterwards, Ryan connected with high school sophomore Nick Sawicki, who had recently taking over the Atlas Business Journal, which provided in-depth commentary and news reporting by teens on business, entrepreneurship, and politics. They recognized their shared aims and soon joined forces and re-branded ABJ as NGP Blog. Its founders went on to built a national and global network of young people committed to positive civic engagement across various divides.
Next Gen utilized its blog as a forum for members to share political news, hold town halls with elected government officials, host debates and roundtable discussions, and interview civic leaders. Next Gen’s leaders succeeded in launching and establishing a powerful movement with limited financial resources.
Meanwhile, a group of civically-minded adults founded Civic Forums in 2017 in recognition of the depth of civic breakdown in our country, the degree to which civic education is absent in schools, and the absence of spaces for youth to gather to grapple with complex civic issues and current events. Civic Forums bring together racially, socioeconomically, and politically diverse teens from a range of public and private partner schools to rethink and rebuild civil society through engaging with perspectives and life experiences different than one’s own in order to evolve more effective, inclusive civic solutions. Civic Forums provide opportunities for cross-partisan deliberation, enabling high school students to speak openly while gathering the tools and confidence to make informed political decisions.
With similar missions and shared goals, Next Gen and Civics Unplugged merged into a single entity under the name Next Generation Politics in the Summer 2018. Our mission: to provide information and tools to enable our nation’s youth to fulfill their obligations as citizens and develop into an empowered, politically informed, and socially aware generation.
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