Every summer, I draw renewed hope for our future from Marguerite Casey Foundation’s new cohort of Sargent Shriver Youth Warriors Against Poverty Leadership Award recipients. These young leaders always reaffirm my belief that together we can build a more just and equitable society for all families.
This month, we welcomed one of the most inspiring and diverse groups in the Award’s history, 20 youth who are already leading change and becoming tomorrow’s leaders today. The Foundation’s Award recognizes their vision, passion and dedication to improving the lives of their families and their communities.
Across the country, they are working for a fairer juvenile justice system and greater equity and access in higher education, mobilizing voters and fighting for immigrant and LGBTQ+ rights. They are improving child care, demanding affordable housing and striving to dismantle environmental racism and systemic injustice for all families. And they are supporting the next generation of leaders coming right behind them. This barely introduces the changes these young people are leading in our country. Please read their stories on the Foundation’s website to find out more about their work.
Now, they are members of the Shriver youth network, more than 100 young organizers who have been recognized for their resolve and courage in standing up for those who are too often neglected by society. Marguerite Casey Foundation stands with them, regularly engaging their network and supporting their work in communities.
Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to spend time with these young leaders, and I was struck by how they powerfully carry on the legacy of Sargent Shriver, the architect of the War on Poverty who worked to provide opportunities for low-income families. They truly reflect and live the Foundation’s mission of a national movement of low-income families advocating on their own behalf for change.
This year’s Shriver awardees are an incredibly diverse group who come from all over the country, including Chicago, Illinois; Baltimore, Maryland; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Montgomery, Alabama; Berea, Kentucky; Tunica, Mississippi; Parkin, Arkansas; Morristown, Tennessee; El Paso and Rio Grande Valley, Texas; and San Francisco, Oakland, Fresno, Los Angeles and San Diego in California.
Together, the 2019 Sargent Shriver Youth Warriors Against Poverty Leadership Award recipients are bringing energy, courage, solutions and power that will help continue to build the movement of low-income families leading change in their communities. The movement and our future are in good hands.