American Youth Congress – 1935 – Students formed a youth organization to discuss problems the youth faced. They discussed problems across the country such as the draft.

Vietnam War Protests/Students for Democratic Society (SDS) – 1960’s – This was a student activism movement that protested for civil rights and against the Vietnam War.

Greensboro sit-ins – February 1 – July 25, 1960 – In order to gain equal rights, African American students sat in lunch counters at Greensboro, NC and refused to leave after not being served.

Free Speech Movement – 1964 – 1965 – This movement was formed in response to a struggle of civil rights. They tried to impose a ban on on-campus political activity.

East L. A. Student Walkout – 1968 – This was a protest against teacher prejudice against mostly Hispanic students. Students were arguing for equal treatment from the teachers.

Kent State Protest- 1970- After the formal announcement of the invasion of Cambodia, Kent state students took to the campus commons in protest. Trying to diffuse the situation, about 100 Ohio National Guardsmen arrived on campus. The exchange of tear gas canisters and rocks eventually lead to shots being fired and killing four students.

Student Strike Against Invasion of Cambodia – April 30, 1970 – Students from the University of Washington marched out of school, onto the freeway, yelling anti-Vietnam-War slogans to the Federal Courthouse.

Deaf President Now – 1988 – This was a student protest at Gallaudet University, a university to serve the deaf, after a decision to appoint a hearing person over a deaf person as president.

Campus Antiwar Network- 2003- This is a college/university based anti-war organization. From 2003 to 2011, students spoke out against the occupation of Iraq. They held conferences, organized speaking events, and picketed military recruiters in school.

Students of Democratic Society revival- 2006- A movement to revive the 1960s student activists group started with two high school students. They sought to re-establish this organization to build a radical multi-issue organization grounded in participatory democracy.

UC Berkeley- 2009- When the California Board of Regents approved a 32% tuition increase, students took to the streets. With signs and chants, they demanded reasonable prices for education. The protest finally ended with the arrest of 41 students.

DREAM Act – Dec. 8, 2010 – Immigrant students fought for the passing of the DREAM Act. This act allowed student immigrants to have legal residency in America and get an education.

The University of Virginia – June, 2012 – Students organized a rally after the school board announced the resignation of the university’s president due to “philosophical differences.”

Clemson Protests – 2016 – this was a sit-in protest conducted at Clemson University where 100 students gathered for nine weeks to fight against racism, ending with the arrest of five people.

National Gun Walkout Day – March 14, 2018 – This was a national walkout in response to the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School to protest against gun violence specifically in schools.

Godwin organizations in action

Junior Statesmen of America sponsor Julie Richardson

“[JSA] meetings include discussions about current U.S. and world events. The club consists of students with a wide range of political perspectives. The organization is completely student led and run. I am just there to be a facilitator. They plan all meetings and the agenda for all meetings.”

Model United Nations president senior Katie Zhang

“What you do learn in Model UN [foreign affairs, world dynamics, etc] gives you perspectives that help you understand larger forces that are at play in government. We definitely promote civil participation in whatever issues that you believe to be important.”

Student Government Day attendee senior Nick Aaron

“It was a great opportunity to be able to see the ins and outs of local government and how their actions have a daily impact on our lives.”

Students at the ballot

Voter turnout is less than 50 percent for local communities.


In 2012, less than 50 percent of eligible voters between the ages of 18-29 cast a vote.


Young people (18-29) make up 21 percent of eligible voters.


In the past gubernatorial election, only 34 percent of eligible voters cast a ballot.


One-third of high school seniors do not have an understanding of how the government operates.


31 percent of voters are ages 18-35.


1 out of 3 students does not know that there are more than two people who run for president.


50 percent of teens have experience polling with their parents.


53 percent of teens feel they have a voice in politics.


70 percent of students get exposure to politics from their parents.

*These are all national statistics



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