Today is an exciting day for the future of the network. I’m excited to introduce you to our wonderful new National Director, Nehemiah Rolle!
In 2014, I had the incredible honor of becoming the National Director of Roosevelt’s network. As an alumna of the network, I was excited to draw from my experiences—and from those of many other Roosevelters—to continue to uplift as many critical voices and ideas as possible and to make real policy change. After three years, I am proud to say that Roosevelt has made strides to live under a bold mantra: It matters not only what rules are written but who gets to write them.
- We got off the sidelines: Roosevelters pushed our ideas into the most important political debates in the country, including the 2016 election. Incorporating the ideas of 1,000 Roosevelters, the Next Generation Blueprint for 2016 was a bold vision for reimagining the way political leaders engage us and rewriting policy to reflect our values. Roosevelters took the Blueprint to 170+ elected officials, appeared on the local news and produced content that appeared in places like the Nation, FoxBusiness and Politico. Our vision and ideas reached the highest levels. We met with multiple Presidential campaigns and a Presidential candidate. Our Blueprint agenda was recommended reading for briefing incoming campaign staff on our generation.
- We made a real impact: We have steadily increased the number of Roosevelters turning their ideas into projects and campaigns. From reinvesting their university endowments to changing polling locations to passing state legislation, Roosevelters are emboldened to take action in their cities and states.
- We refined the Roosevelt experience. By listening to our students and alumni, we made strategic adjustments to our long-standing Summer Academy and 10 Ideas programs. Roosevelt now hosts both a summer internship and summer policy fellowship and has developed an online platform to host all of our policy and chapter trainings.
- We centered the systemic challenges that hold back our communities: We have built new programs and initiatives that support Roosevelters where they are. Our Chicago Leaders Class, launched in Spring 2016, just graduated its third class of Chicagoans who are ready to tackle policy problems in their city. In Spring of this year, we launched our resistance-allied project, the Re:Public project. Our framework and the projects we are sponsoring this summer combat the threat of privatization that is holding many of us back from economic opportunity and full lives.
Roosevelt’s network has grown in size and efficacy over the past few years–bringing in more public institutions, more states and more diverse experiences. We’ve become bolder in our willingness to act on our ideas, challenge decision-makers and stand up for more just and equitable rules.
Our future is bright and our team is ready to take it on. Today, I am proud to pass the mantle to Nehemiah.
Nehemiah is a proud alumnus of Roosevelt @ Wake Forest University. He served as the president of the chapter at Wake Forest University and in two national student leadership positions. After graduating, he worked on student diversity and civic leadership initiatives in the office of the President at Wake Forest and the office of the President at New York University. This past year on staff, he led the creation of our new three-year strategy on diversity, equity and inclusion.
Nehemiah’s vision for the network includes the centering of diversity, equity and inclusion into the leadership development, organizing and policy change work of Roosevelt: “In an uncertain political climate marked by the wide-scale activation of young people taking action to protect their communities, this strategy is part of our commitment to practicing a new kind of solidarity. Now more than ever, we are committed to leveraging our resources to harness the collective power of diverse voices and youth-driven leadership.”
It has been my privilege to work alongside Nehemiah and the entire team for the past several years. The network team is full of passionate, hardworking and talented people who are committed to changing who writes the rules. I look forward to the next chapter of Roosevelt they will usher in.
Roosevelt @ UCLA ‘12
Also published on Medium.