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.
Our programs develop community organizing skills for young people ages 13-35. Each year, dozens of young people start out in our workshop series UPTURN, where they learn about social justice, social movements, and building power in order to show up for their communities. Many go on to join our year-round Youth Action Team and Community Action Team, to continue organizing on the issues they care about. Through these programs, we create a far-reaching network of young people working together to advocate for change.
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 to make 72,000 calls and send over 216,000 texts. This investment helped lead to a historic 11% increase in youth voter turnout in our state. We are building on that momentum in the 2022 midterm elections to get out the vote.
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, allowing election day drop-off, 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. Our work centers the voices and organizing of BIPOC and intersectional youth including disabled youth, low-income youth, immigrant youth, LGBTQ+ youth, and youth survivors. Our approach includes developing our curricula with an anti-oppression and intersectional lens, and partnering with values-aligned organizations working towards social, racial, gender, and economic justice.
Additionally, 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 also now compensate all members of our UPTURN and Youth Action Team cohorts.
For each person donating $10 or more, you'll receive a 4x6 custom art print by Stacie Balkaran and a link to a hand-picked playlist of Next Up's fave songs!
On November 17th (a Big Give Day): the first 4 donors ages 35 & under will each get 2 ride bracelets for all-day rides at Oaks Park, and the 20th donor (21+) will get a Westward Whiskey tasting & tour for four.
The last 5 donors to contribute and help us reach our goal: $20 gift cards to Music Millennium, to buy your own favorite jams.
Plus, on November 29th (Giving Tuesday & a Big Give Day): up to $1,000 in donations will be matched by Dregs Vodka!
Dregs Vodka - a locally distilled potato vodka that gives 100% of profits to local charities that support low income youth.
Westward Whiskey - bold, robust, award-winning whiskeys, including Westward American Single Malt, Westward Oregon Stout Cask, and Westward Pinot Noir Cask.
Music Millennium - the oldest record store in the Pacific Northwest.