For 30 years, Rock the Vote has revolutionized the way we use pop culture, music, art, and technology to engage young people in politics and build our collective power.
Empowering Young People
In 1990, music executives founded Rock the Vote in response to the censorship of hip-hop and rap artists. Our first partnership, with MTV, promoted the message that “Censorship is Un-American” and activated millions of young people across the country to exercise their rights and represent their interests. For thirty years, we have continuously adapted to the changing landscapes of media, technology and culture to breakthrough and empower each new generation.
We are drawing on our decades of experience to deploy the most effective and impactful messages, tactics, and technology to uplift and empower the largest, most diverse generation in U.S. history. We do this while also pioneering innovative ways to make democratic participation more accessible and defending young people’s right to vote.
Young voters are new voters and as new voters they face unique obstacles to voting that result in turnout that is historically 20 to 30 points below older voters. This discrepancy is even greater in midterms, state and local elections. As a result, our democracy continuously fails to represent youth, generation after generation.
As young voters overcome these challenges to break turnout records as they did in 2018 and 2020, they’ve become the target of voter suppression efforts. From the rise of voter ID laws to intensified efforts to remove polling sites from college campuses, young people must navigate obstacles designed to keep them from making their voices heard.
We Know What Works
The challenges young voters face as new voters are not insurmountable. Our efforts focus on research-driven programs and innovative solutions to right the system and ensure each youth generation is represented in our democracy.
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