Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Students DO know more about politics than American Idol!

Warped ONE supporters
Originally uploaded by Brande Jackson.
Which isn't to say we are knocking American Idol - it's not my thing, but they are doing a huge promotional event to help raise awareness for ONE and former Idol Chris Daughtry is now a huge ONE supporter. But remember that old 'statistic' thrown around in 04 claiming more people voted for AI than President? Turns out it probably wasn't all that accurate.

This is a repost from the Rock the Vote Blog - good news for those of us whom know that youth are active in a wide variety of social justice causes!

Here is what the report found:

“The stereotype of the self-involved, culture-obsessed U.S. college student is wrong, according to a new study.

American college students today are actually very engaged in politics to the point that they are much more likely to know the names of their U.S. senators or congressional representatives than the names of winners of "American Idol," says political scientist Kent E. Portney of Tufts University.

His analysis of a national survey of 1,000 non-military men and women ages 18 to 24 included equal mixes of college students and non-college students and drew upbeat conclusions about the youngest cohort of potential voters.

"Young people seem to know more about politics than they know about popular culture," he said in a prepared statement. "This level of political knowledge stands in stark contrast to the image of young people as uninterested in and ignorant about politics and government."

You can find the full report here. This report only takes into consideration youth of voting age – and we know from first hand experience how involved and active high school students (and many youth even far younger than that, including our third graders involved with Lokahi’s after school programs!) are in the political process as well.

Anyway, some uplifting news as we get ready to launch into our summer outreach season. As always, stay tuned for more updates, and don’t forget to email us if you want to

Monday, April 02, 2007

Volunteer! With Us! This Summer!

part of our volunteer crew
Originally uploaded by Brande Jackson.
We've been getting a lot of emails inquiring about volunteering, and since we can sometimes lag on responding to all of the messages we get, I though it would be good to post a blog going over some common questions about volunteering.

First off, WE NEED YOU! There are a lot of people that complain about all that is wrong in the world. Then there are those of us that get up and do something about it! Hanging out at a concert and talking to a ton of people about the campaigns and issues you care about may not seem like a big deal, but trust us, it makes a HUGE impact. Never underestimate the power that you, as one individual, has to make a positive impact in the life of another person. Joining us as we reach out and build support makes a huge difference - we can't even begin to try to convey how many times we have people that first learn about a campaign at a show with us, then go on to become leaders in their community. Volunteering, especially at the grassroots level we work at, is critical to any sort of movement. And it's rewarding - you learn new skills, meet new people, and ultimately learn new stuff about yourself.

Anyway, that's my tangent. As far as volunteering with Lokahi goes, here is the low down: during the summer (and sometimes the spring and fall too!) Lokahi goes on the road! We work with lots of different organizations, we take them on tour and build support for them in the process. In the past, we have worked with the ONE Campaign, Oxfam America, a variety of civil rights organizations and voter outreach initiatives. We know for sure we'll be out on the Warped Tour this summer, most likely doing voter and environmental outreach (more info will come as we confirm stuff!) and possibly working on a few other campaigns. We'll also probably end up on one or two other major tours, as well as at lots of festivals. On average, we need about ten volunteers at least at each of these shows to be able to make the impact that we do.

You can check out our volunteer description on our Idealist page for more info, but in a nutshell, here is how volunteering works: you email us to let us know you want to be added to our volunteer list. In that email, include your name, email, phone number, nearest big city/areas you can volunteer in and age if you are under 18 (volunteers aged 16 and up are welcome to join us, those from 12 to 16 are welcome to join us as well but need to be with an adult, older sibling, etc for liability issues!). As we get closer to the dates we'll be working, we'll email you to let you know we're going to be in your town and on what date. if you can come out, you email us back and say 'yeah, put me down!' Once you confirm your availability to volunteer with us, you'll get a super long world famous email from me explaining every little thing you need to know! That email will tell you where to meet, when to meet, what to bring, etc. Once you meet with us on site, you'll get a tee-shirt, go through a training and then take to the streets (well, actually, you'll take to the arena concourse, and in the case of Warped Tour, the dirt field...) talking to hundreds of fans about the campaigns we are working on, getting them signed up and involved. It's a lot of fun and really rewarding (former volunteer vets - feel free to post a comment to confirm this!) and a great way to spend part of your day!

So, again, if you want to join us in volunteering this summer, email us to be added to our list and we'll go from there!

Thanks again - we really need volunteers like yourself joining us to make our outreach efforts and work a success!


PS: for those of you in Los Angeles, Lokahi also runs after school programs in Pasadena at elementary schools, and we are always looking for qualified volunteers to help us out in the classroom. Email us at the same address above if you are interested in joining us for that. We are also in the process of trying to launch a similar program in New Orleans - it should be up by this summer or fall. Again, if interested, please email to let us know!