Next Up amplifies the voices of diverse young people to achieve a more just and equitable Oregon. We create opportunities for young people to build their individual and collective power, centering Black, Indigenous, youth of color, and intersectional youth including disabled youth, low-income youth, immigrant youth, LGBTQ+ youth, and youth survivors.
YOUTH ORGANIZING: Our programs develop community organizing skills for young people ages 13-35. Through our cohort model, we create a far-reaching network of young people working together to advocate for change.
CIVIC ENGAGEMENT: Every year is an election year where youth are important stakeholders – and we work year-round to engage young people on the power of their vote. In 2020, we reached out to the majority of 18-29 year olds in Oregon with nonpartisan voting information, employing 35 high school and college students who gave hundreds of virtual classroom presentations, made 72,000 calls and sent over 216,000 texts to young voters. This investment helped lead to a historic 11% increase in youth voter turnout in our state. We built on that momentum in the 2022 midterm elections to get out the vote.
ISSUE ADVOCACY: Our work to dismantle systemic barriers contributed to making Oregon the easiest state to vote in. This includes championing and passing 8+ statewide policies, such as the nation’s first-ever Automatic Voter Registration law and paid postage on ballots.
Bottom Line for Portland
Next Up brings young people together to develop as leaders and shift power. By involving young people in organizing roles, including leadership roles in local community organizations and decision-making bodies, we scaffold the next generation of advocates and leaders building a more equitable Portland.
“Not only did I learn about the basics as a community organizer [with Next Up], but I also was exposed to so many great opportunities! This basic understanding led me to join other grassroots organizations around my area advocating for different policies such as climate resilience and immigration rights."
— Aishiki Nag, youth advocate and member of Next Up’s Youth Action Team
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
We are committed to the work of creating a more equitable Oregon for Black, Indigenous, people of color, people living with disabilities, LGBTQ+ people, and other groups facing historic and ongoing oppression. We develop our curricula with an anti-oppression and intersectional lens, and partner with values-aligned organizations working towards social, racial, gender, and economic justice.
Black, Indigenous, youth of color and intersectional youth deserve to be paid fairly, equitably and with abundance and thriving in mind. As an organization where many leaders get their start, we aim to set an example for what it means to equitably compensate and value young people. We now compensate all youth in our organizing cohorts, as a volunteer model creates barriers for low-income youth. To ensure that we continue to be accountable to our program participants and our values, this year we implemented a Participatory Budgeting process that gives youth members more democratic control over a portion of our budget.
More coming soon.
More coming soon.