CEPPS/NDI’s Speak Youth to Power: Solidarity Across Generations is a multi-year initiative promoting intergenerational political collaboration as a key component of creating an inclusive, enabling environment for youth political participation. The exclusion of young people from politics and decision-making based on age has resulted in a fractured relationship between political activists and politicians across generations. Age discrimination stigmatizes all young people, especially those of diverse identities and backgrounds, with negative stereotypes and facilitates their exclusion from both formal and informal political spaces. Additionally, decision-making power and leadership continue to be associated with older males.
Young women and young people of diverse identities and backgrounds face additional barriers to participation and lack advocates and role models in leadership and decision-making positions. Intergenerational political collaboration is an essential dimension of changing social norms and sharing decision-making power. As young people come of age in a very different world than older generations, intergenerational collaboration is an increasingly necessary part of meeting the world’s most intractable challenges, such as economic inequality, environmental degradation and polarization. When they are included, the ideas, imagination, and lived experiences of young people can be valuable resources to achieve sustainable development solutions and. As part of the Speak Youth to Power campaign, CEPPS/NDI is asking older, more established leaders to act in solidarity with young people and pledge to foster intergenerational collaboration. Additionally, in the hopes of presenting inspirational examples to of political leadership to young women and marginalized women, in particular, and to foster cross-generational dialogue, NDI launched the Changing the Face of Politics podcast. In this series of candid conversations recorded from home, an intergenerational, multi-sectoral and multi-national group of established and emerging women activists and politicians from around the world interviewed each other about their experiences of political leadership, and reflect on how the campaign can actively protect and promote women’s political empowerment globally.