Fostering Civic Engagement at Oberlin College

The Oberlin YP4 Fellows realized many students on campus were not from Ohio and consequently were not very aware of, or involved in, Ohio politics. The Fellows set a goal of fostering more local civic engagement in Oberlin students. They engaged in a multipart strategy to achieve their goal. First the Fellows created a thinktank in cooperation with the Roosevelt Institution to help students write policy papers and engage in issue advocacy. Secondly the Fellows helped to found the Center on Political Engagement at Oberlin College, a central clearinghouse for youth organizing and civic engagement organizations. Lastly, they tied this work together by organizing and running a large voter registration campaign on the campus and are currently involved in educating students about Ohios voter ID requirements. The Oberlin Fellows broke the story about how Lorainne County, OH, was interpreting state voter identification bill could potentially disenfranchise thousands of Oberlin voters, allowing election protection volunteers to proactively work to address the issue.

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