Since the election of Donald Trump, we’ve seen a nearly unprecedented wave of progressive activism—much of it led, organized, and sustained by young people. While conservatives now lead across the White House, Congress, and the majority of state legislatures, young progressives are organizing from the ground up, leading and winning campaigns in their hometowns and beyond. Here, we’ll profile the Millennials making a difference in their communities. And as the resistance to Donald Trump’s agenda continues, we’ll continue highlighting the work of young resisters building progressive change nationwide.
Brittany Carmelle is a 30-year-old activist and the CEO of Brittany Carmelle Services, Inc., the communications and events execution firm she owns in Atlanta, GA. She graduated from Albany State University with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and a concentration in electronic media. Today, she has incorporated resistance into her everyday life, working with organizations such as the Young League of Voters, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Color of Change, MoveOn.org, and Generation Progress to champion progressive solutions to issues plaguing Atlanta and this country. Throughout this interview, we discuss some of the work Brittany is involved in and what inspires her to fight for progressive change.
Amidst pursuing a law degree at NYU School of Law, 26-year old Aditi Juneja co-created the popularly Resistance Manual, an open-source website used to monitor Trump-era federal and state policy updates and provide resources to activists seeking to organize a resistance around these issues. Aditi is also co-creator of Ourstates.org, a mapping tool that tracks where Trump policies are taking hold in states across the country and builds a network of advocates pushing for equality and justice in their states. Aditi hopped on the phone with us to flesh out the tools our generation has in our progressive arsenal to begin the work of bridging activist energy with legal structures, and ultimately, creating legislative change.
Carly Grimes is a 20-year-old junior at Pomona College double majoring in politics and cognitive science. She is involved in student government as an elected student representative on the Board of Trustees for the college. Additionally, she is a QuestBridge scholar and has held various leadership roles within Pomona’s QuestBridge chapter. In the past she has been part of the Pomona College Advocates for Survivors of Sexual Assault and was a curator of TEDxClaremontColleges, where she worked on increasing the diversity of speakers and financial accessibility of the event. Carly is interested in political framing and other ways that cognitive science research can help inform campaigns and political strategy. She spoke with us about ways to young people can integrate resistance into their daily lives and really make our progressive voices heard in this era of Trump.
Travis Nembhard is the youngest judge in Washington, D.C. and is currently considering a run for the District of Columbia’s City Council. Generation Progress connected with Travis, a seasoned activist on education issues, to talk about what he’s learned from the White House to his local government experience and his ideas for the Millennial generation to build power in the short term and over the next four years.
Zachary Ackerman is currently a City Council member in Ann Arbor, Michigan and is running for re-election in Ann Arbor’s 2017 election. Only two years ago, Zachary was a student at the University of Michigan when he first decided to take the plunge in running for office. Here, we talk with Zachary on his experiences going local to foster big change, armed with only city budgets and the desire to make progressive voices heard.
Emma Tayloe is a student at Davidson College, where she majors in Chemistry. While at Davidson, she has been a part of the Divestment Campaign, which seeks to change the college’s outlook on fossil fuel investment; she has helped in developing Orta Culture, an organization that seeks to get students directly involved with activism to combat the struggles of marginalized communities and institutional problems on campus and in the greater Charlotte area; she has also organized for students to be able to attend the “People’s Climate March” in D.C. and the “A Day Without Immigrants” marches in Charlotte. In addition to intentionally fighting injustice through her work as an activist, she is involved on campus as a member of the Davidson Refugee Support organization and she is the Business Manager of the Civic Engagement Council.