Tampa-based United Voices for America, a nonprofit, nonpartisan civic
engagement organization dedicated to increasing minority and immigrant
political leadership, is seeking applications for two summer youth
"The U.S. would benefit greatly by having a more
Not just one that serves minorities and people of color, but also one
that includes them in the leadership," says Founder Ahmed Bedier in
advocating for greater diversity among lawmakers and people in power.
, a project of United Voices for America
in Tampa in 2009. The CLA is a summer intensive
program for youth ages 15-24. The program equips young minorities from
around the country with tools to "take civic action, run for office,
engage directly with policy makers, and network with like-minded young
From interactive workshops and mock sessions, to
hands-on training from working professionals in the field of politics,
students are taught how to begin a career in politics, fundamentals to
be implemented into grassroots organizing, public speaking, debating and
leadership skills. The goal is to encourage students to leave feeling
empowered and excited to engage in the political process.
points out that diversity in leadership creates a better representation of
society and democracy. "It empowers those minorities rather than
looking to appeal to the people in power; they themselves become
empowered and they start providing solutions for their own problems,"
There will be two summer class offerings in 2010,
one in Washington, D.C. and one in Tallahassee so that CLA can
incorporate real "Capitol" into its programs.
Washington program, focusing on "Politics and National Security,'' is
scheduled from July 19-23, and will be held at American University
Tallahassee program, "Advanced Campaigning and the Legislative
Process,'' will be at Florida
runs from Aug. 2-6.
are available for both programs.
Ahmed Bedier, Capitol Leadership Academy