Rolling Out

Stephanie L. Young discusses voting and the Culture of Democracy Summit

Stephanie L. Young discusses voting and the Culture of Democracy Summit
Photo courtesy of Stephanie Young

Now more than ever, exercising your right to vote is critical. Over the years, multiple voter suppression tactics have been used to attack, intimidate, and take away people’s right to vote. It is clear that there is a need for a neutral, unbiased platform that advocates for voters’ rights and the integrity of our democracy and the democratic process. Rolling out had the privilege of speaking with Stephanie L. Young, the executive director of When We All Vote, a national nonpartisan organization created by former first lady Michelle Obama.

Young discusses the importance of voting and the Culture of Democracy Summit that kicks off today in Los Angeles.

Tell us about When We All Vote and what you do at the organization.

Michelle Obama created When We All Vote in 2018, and we are on a mission to change the culture around voting and to increase participation in each election by closing the race in the age voting gap. That means that we focus on young people, we focus on communities and people of color, getting them educated, getting them registered, getting them organized, getting them volunteering and out to vote, and we love to do it by infusing culture into the work that we do. We have a number of awesome celebrity co-chairs [who] joined this effort, including Mrs. Obama, Janelle Monae to Steph Curry to Chris Paul to H.E.R. to Jennifer Lopez, and the list goes on and on.

How effective has it been in maintaining a focus on the cultural component of representation when discussing various demographics?

When We All Vote is a nonpartisan organization, we are not telling you who to vote for; we’re not telling you how to vote and are not affiliated with any type of party. We did that on purpose. Elections, voting, and civic engagement participation holistically cannot be based on one person, one party, one moment, or one election. That’s what we [When We All Vote] do. Think about it; everybody got super excited to see President Obama [elected] in 2008. Everybody went out, and we had our highest voter turnout. Then they went out again in 2012, and it was the highest voter turnout. It is important for us that people who want to participate be a part of the process. You are the best influencer [on] the people in your life, and that’s why it’s so important for you to get engaged.

How can people tune in to the Culture of Democracy Summit?

It’s called the Culture of Democracy Summit. Go to, and you can click there; it’s right at the top of the homepage, and you can find all the information. Things kick off on June 10 at 9 a.m. [PDT].

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