Activate for Democracy in 2020
As we approach the 2020 elections in the United States, it is important that UNA-USA chapters are equipped to participate in effective and responsible civic engagement. Democracy is key to respecting human rights and fundamental freedoms. It only works if everyone is well-represented.
Democracy is a core value of the United Nations. The UN supports democracy by promoting human rights, development, and peace and security. As a nonpartisan organization, UNA-USA encourages chapters to reach out to their communities and help everyone get involved in the democratic process.
The UN as an institution has done more to support and strengthen democracy around the world than any other global organization. Every year, the UN recognizes the International Day of Democracy on September 15. International Day of Democracy is an opportunity to urge all governments to respect their citizens’ right to active, substantive and meaningful participation in democracy.
Celebrate Day of Democracy with your chapter and surrounding community!
WHAT TO PLAN:
- Host a voter registration drive.
- Encourage and help people utilize absentee voting to stay safe during COVID-19.
- Be a part of democracy and share information on how to work at the polls on Election Day.
- Promote voter engagement by educating members and the community on ballot issues, hosting Get out the Vote events, and holding presentations relating to civic awareness. You can do this virtually via social media and virtual meetings/presentations!
- Participate in National Voter Education Week (October 5-9).
- Learn how to advocate as a nonprofit or individual citizen with UNA-USA’s advocacy guide.
- Make your chapter aware of the challenges to democracy in our present times, how the UN supports democracy, and how your chapter can promote democracy around the world. Watch this video of the UN Secretary-General calling for secure human rights during this pandemic.
- Use these talking points for your Get out the Vote activities.
- Utilize Youth Service America’s civic engagement resources for many more ideas on how to get involved.
- Join the US Youth Working Group to the UN’s Youth Can campaign, which has many resources for youth to get involved in civic engagement.
- Read the Students Learn Students Vote resources on student voting on campuses, including reports on student voting and how to engage students on voting.
- Amplify the Better World Campaign’s Vote Like the World campaign
While celebrating democracy, you can also celebrate that 2020 is the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in the United States! Women’s suffrage was instated on August 18th, 1920 via the 19th Amendment, which reads:
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
It’s important that we reflect on the history of the women’s movement and the important role women play in every society around the world.
WHAT TO PLAN:
- Host a women’s panel on suffrage and democracy.
- Host a Women’s Suffrage coffee chat.
- Fundraise for organizations that help women around the world, such as CARE, the Association for Women’s Rights in Development, the Global Fund for Women, or any local organization for women in your area.
- Get involved in your state by participating in the Women’s Vote Centennial Initiative’s state suffrage projects.
- Join UNA Women, a UNA-USA affinity group.
- Explore the 2020 Women’s Vote Centennial Initiative for suffrage quizzes, exhibits, and other resources.
- View the Library of Congress’s exhibit on the American women’s rights movement.
- Watch this Crash Course video about the women’s rights movement in the United States.
- Show a video from UNA-USA’s video library to educate members with videos relating to SDG 5: Gender Equality.
- Feature stories from the Equal Everywhere campaign.