On Wednesday night, the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Education issued a joint Dear Colleague letter withdrawing federal guidance promising transgender public school students access to use the bathrooms and locker rooms of the gender with which they identify. The Obama administration controversially extended such protection last year, warning that schools that failed to comply were at risk of losing federal funding for violating Title IX’s prohibition of discrimination based on sex.
Yesterday’s letter claimed the previous guidance did not “contain extensive legal analysis or explain how the position is consistent with the express language of Title IX, nor did they undergo any formal public process.” As a result, the Trump administration will give “due regard for the primary role of states and local school districts in establishing educational policy.”
Civil liberties and LGBT rights groups are understandably up in arms after the letter. However, the effect of the withdrawal should not be overstated. The effect of the letter will likely be marginal considering how divisive Obama-era guidance was from the outset.
Read the rest at Rare…
Last fall, Young Voices launched our Campus Pundit Program, rewarding students for advocating for free speech on their college campus. Thanks to the talented work of our applicants and editing team, 18 op-eds were placed in student newspapers across the U.S. at notable schools including Berkeley, William & Mary, the University of Michigan, Clemson, and the University of Alabama.
Young Voices is pleased to announce that we are bringing the program back in the spring with a focus on investigative journalism. From speech-stifling administrators to spendthrift student governments, there is a lot that goes unnoticed at universities today. Young Voices will reward any student who can successfully place an article promoting transparency in their student or local newspaper with $50.
Click here for more information, including how to apply.
That’s the number of young people that Young Voices provided writing training to over the sixth months since our incorporation as a nonprofit organization. That’s more than one young writer per day.
As the end of the year approaches, I’d like to ask for your support helping hundreds more pro-liberty writers with a tax-deductible donation to Young Voices.
Each one of the 259 young writers we’ve helped has a story to tell. Here’s just one:
“Young Voices has genuinely changed my life. Working as an advocate and remote Editorial Assistant from the UK helped me acquire the skills and contacts necessary to launch myself into the American liberty movement. Their team has helped me get published in outlets where I would not have otherwise, honed my op-ed writing skills, and provided low-pressure media training through the Young Voices podcast. If you aspire to become a journalist, pundit, writer, radio host, or work in communications more generally, I’d massively encourage you to become a Young Voices Advocate!” —Daniel Pryor, Young Voices alumni and Media Relations Associate at Students For Liberty
There’s only four days left to support young pro-liberty writers like Daniel in 2016. Make your deductible donation to Young Voices now.
P.S. You can learn more about all the work Young Voices did in 2016 by reading our Midyear Memo.
In collaboration with the Charles Koch Institute (CKI), Young Voices is recruiting talented individuals that will work full-time at our organization while participating in the Media and Journalism Fellowship Program at CKI. This program will provide a year of continuing professional education for creative professionals in media and journalism who are passionate about fostering a free press in society. Below are the open roles:
Interested candidates may learn more about the program and apply here. They are also encouraged to reach out to Young Voices Executive Director Casey Given by emailing [email protected].
It’s hard to believe that six months have passed since Young Voices incorporated as an independent nonprofit. What a journey it’s been! Young Voices has given 259 students and young professionals a voice for liberty this fall through media training and article workshopping.
Here’s what we did:
- Campus Pundit Program It’s no secret that there’s a crisis on college campuses these days. From Yale to Mizzou, students across the United States have started calling for “safe spaces” and “trigger warnings” instead of free speech. To combat this disturbing trend, Young Voices launched our Campus Pundit Program in August, rewarding students with a $50 commission for successfully publishing an op-ed defending freedom in their student newspaper or local publication. Thanks to the generosity of a donor, we doubled the offer in September to $100 for articles specifically defending free speech. In total, we received 32 articles, of which 18 were published in schools like Clemson, Swarthmore, University of Michigan, and my alma mater UC Berkeley.
- Article Workshopping As part of our mission to empower the next generation of pro-liberty writers, Young Voices teamed up with the Charles Koch Institute to train dozens of their interns and fellows in the nuts and bolts of policy op-ed writing. Since June, I’ve delivered four presentations, both in person and online, to approximately 100 young professionals working for libertarian and conservative nonprofits. After each, Managing Editor Stacy Ndlovu and I then personally workshopped articles with 53 participants, pitching their pieces for publication in well-read outlets like Forbes and The Hill.
- Advocate Program Finally, the cornerstone of Young Voices’ programming — our media advocacy program for young writers — has grown in leaps and bounds. As of the time of writing, we have 75 Advocates representing 14 countries. This is a strong list of some of the liberty movement’s brightest young minds, assembled over our years of operations under Students For Liberty. Since our transition, Young Voices’ Managing Editor Stacy Ndlovu and I have put a greater focus on both the quantity and quality of our media hits. As a result, we’ve nearly doubled our output comparing the first six months of our operations to the previous six.
This is just the beginning! In the next six months, Young Voices has ambitious plans to ramp up our media training capabilities, increase our radio and television presence, and potentially double the size of our staff. In these politically uncertain times, it’s critical that a clear voice for liberty is heard from the youth. Young Voices aims to be that microphone, amplifying the message of free minds and free markets across the United States and beyond.
P.S. None of Young Voices’ work is possible without supporters like you. If you would like to make an investment in the next generation of libertarian thought leaders, you can give a tax-deductible gift here. All donations are acknowledged with a thank you letter and IRS receipt. Hurry before tax season starts!