The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation


Tomorrow: House to Vote on Legislation to Expand Service and Volunteer Opportunities for Students

By William Kellibrew on 03/17/2009 @ 06:37 PM

Congressman George Miller, Chairman
Advisory for Wednesday,  March 18, 2009
Press Office, 202-226-0853

TOMORROW – House to Vote on Legislation to Expand Service and Volunteer Opportunities for Students
Legislation Answers President Obama’s call for Americans to Serve

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Tomorrow, the U.S. House of Representatives will vote on legislation that provides the most significant expansion of national service and volunteer opportunities for college students in generations. The bill, titled the GIVE Act, will help our nation get through the economic crisis by making Americans of all ages a part of the solution to the many challenges we face.

The legislation comes as nearly 65,000 college students prepare to volunteer and serve on alternative Spring Breaks this year – up 11 percent over last year. Young Americans are serving in record numbers – and facing a difficult job market in today’s economy. Of the 1.2 million jobs lost last year, 60 percent were held by workers under the age of 25.

National and community service and volunteerism among college students is especially high. From September 2001 to 2006, the overall percent of college students who volunteer has increased to over 30 percent, exceeding the volunteer rate for adults. According to a 2006 report by the Corporation for National and Community Service, college students are twice as likely to volunteer as Americans of the same age who are not enrolled in an institution of higher education.

Specifically, the bill (H.R. 1388) will more than triple the number of volunteer opportunities for Americans, from 75,000 to 250,000, in key areas like education, clean energy, health care, and assistance for veterans. The bill will also increase the education reward they receive from $4,725 to $5,350 for next year, the same as the maximum Pell Grant scholarship award. The education award will be linked to match future boosts in the Pell Grant scholarship in order to keep up with rising college costs.

President Obama called for Congress to take quick action on legislation to strengthen service. This bill answers his call. It is expected to be passed with bipartisan support in the next month in both the House and Senate – putting it on track to be one of the next major initiatives President Obama signs into law. For more information on the bill, click here to view the PDF.

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Winding Down Only to Wind Back Up

By William Kellibrew on 12/11/2008 @ 05:37 PM

Things are certainly winding down here at Black Youth Vote, but that is only the beginning. After the Black Youth Vote Civic Leadership Training Conference held in November, participants helped to give direction to the future of the program as well as enlist themselves in the preparation of preparing recommendations to the Obama transition team/administration and the 11th Congress. We are currently working on that plan now. You will hear more soon.

If you are interested in helping to draft this very important document, do not hesitate to contact me at

Also, we are planning a Pre-Inaugural Black Youth Vote Mixer, if you will. We still haven't formally named the event, but it is sure to be a "not missed" opportunity to meet a few important people and be important yourself.

I look forward to seeing you there.

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Black Youth Vote! Teleconferences for Post Conference Agenda

By William Kellibrew on 11/21/2008 @ 05:37 PM

The Post Black Youth Vote! Civic Leadership Training Conference Teleconference had 12 attendees discussing, planning and organizing. The agenda involved introducing new ideas conceived since the conference, going over volunteer assignments in the areas of building and maintaining a strong foundation and infrastructure, gearing up for an external campaign to brand and expand Black Youth Vote! and prepare for the April legislative based conference in 2009.

BYV! is reignited and energised to prepare it's agenda/recommendations for the new administration and 111th Congress as well as State plans.

It is essential that we begin the work now and follow-through once our elected leaders take office. This is the beginning of a process and Black Youth Vote! is committed throughout the process.

If you are interested in assisting or joining our efforts please email me at

Let's not sit idly by while others plan our future. We must engage, engage, engage.

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Kevin Powell Visits the Black Youth Vote! Conference in DC

By William Kellibrew on 11/17/2008 @ 05:37 PM

William Kellibrew: Let’s get right down to business. Young people are dealing with the question, “We voted, now what?” What do you suggest might be next steps to voting in this especially historic election?

Kevin Powell: Wow! I think that young people have to really make voting and civic participation as natural as breathing and brushing their teeth. You know, someone said that the local elections are really crucial between the presidential election every four years. That means that we have to become educated about who our local elected officials are, what they do or don’t do and when they are up for re-election and if there are other viable candidates for that particular position. I also think that young people have to be a member of at least one community based organization outside their religious institution, join something.

William Kellibrew: So, getting involved is important. I definitely agree with that. What does an African-American president mean to this country?

Kevin Powell: it means that there is a thing called possibility in America. It means that a progressive multicultural coalition in America can come together to affect change. I also think that it says this is the beginning of some real work. That is the continuation of what we fought for in the civil rights movement. But we need to be clear that we are not a post racial or past racism society just because Barak is president. We still have systemic racism in our country. You see it in public school education funding in inner-city areas. You see it in the images in the mass media culture other than Barak and Michelle and you see it in the discrepancies around housing, healthcare and the record number of young people of colour in the prison pipeline. So Obama’s victory is a start, not the end.

William Kellibrew: You know you said some very important things that young people can take a hold of and propel themselves to organize. What are your next steps? I know you ran for Congress and that must be an honor to work so hard to serve the people. What’s next for you?

Kevin Powell: Running for Congress again (with an honest smile and chuckle). We haven’t stopped, the website is up. We are going to fundraise on Monday (chuckling). We are running for Congress in 2010. I say, “We” because we are a team. On top of that I just published my ninth book, The Black Male Handbook. We have to promote that with a national tour and a national college tour in 2009 and whole bunch of multi-media stuff with Apple. We will make a CD project around the book and really just carry the message around the country of the need to redefine black manhood.

There is something called the employment project in Brooklyn. When I was running for Congress young people asked can they have a job. For young people civic engagement is tied to how well they are doing. We would go around the room and survey all the young people. Where are they now? Vocation, trade school, college – a needs assessment in the projects is important. Number two, are you willing to take a basic entry level job to start a living or for a regular salary. A lot of people don’t have regular job experience. They have been out of the job market for a while. Number three, how to dress, how to sit and how to act.

William Kellibrew: It is always a pleasure to see you and an honor to speak with you. Black Youth Vote! wishes you much success. I wish you success personally and it was great seeing you in Tougaloo at the Nissan Student Government Executive Leadership Program where you really affected young leaders and glad to have you here at our Black Youth Vote! Civic Leadership Training Conference.

Kevin Powell: I love and appreciate you all and I want to continue this intergenerational work because we are leaders together.

William Kellibrew:
Thanks Kevin.

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Illai's Conversations Via IM on Black Planet

By William Kellibrew on 11/04/2008 @ 05:37 PM

NCBCP: Have you voted?

RobDee: yes

NCBCP: Great, how was it?

RobDee: It was a beautiful thing. The reason it was is because I know I'm voicing my opinion and it could be beneficial to my desires.

NCBCP: Awesome! Any other message?

RobDee: Anyone who has a belief in whatever it is in life should not be afraid to satnd for it. We're in the land of democracy and it should be utilized to the fullest!

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By William Kellibrew on 11/04/2008 @ 05:37 PM

Black Youth Vote! would like to officially Congratulate Senator and President-elect Barak Obama. If we ever thought about giving up Senator Obama reminded us tonight that giving up is only something that can be discarded. We must claim and define ourselves. Thank you Barak for your unwavering lesson.

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Faye Anderson reporting about the 1-866-MYVOTE1 Hotline

By William Kellibrew on 11/04/2008 @ 05:37 PM

Faye Anderson reporting about the 1-866-MYVOTE1 Hotline

Calls are pouring into the voter assistance hotline, 1-866-MYVOTE1.

The top five hot spots are Cook County (Chicago), Illinois; Harris County (Houston), Jefferson County (Birmingham), Broward County (Fort Lauderdale) and Orleans Parish (New Orleans).

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