2008 “Young Voices” Book

Something Deeper Happened: Young Voices and the 2008 U.S. Election

Foreword by Archbishop Desmond Tutu

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Politics are often left to the older generations. Young people saw campaigns and elections as something that didn’t effect them, something boring, something their parents cared about. But that changed during the 2008 presidential election. Unprecedented numbers of young people mobilized around the campaigns. Suddenly, they saw politics as something directly relevant to their own lives. They decided that they could make their voices heard, and they did.

What was it that motivated so many young people to get involved in a political campaign? How were our youth effected by the experiences of local leadership, community involvement, and working to support something they believed in?

Something Deeper Happened: Young Voices and the 2008 U.S. Election begins to answer some of these questions. The book is a compilation of submissions from young people ages 6 to 25, detailing how their lives were impacted by the 2008 presidential campaigns and election.

“The book you are about to read offers a glimpse into that ‘something deeper’. It reflects a profound hope.”
– Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Each one of the contributors was effected in a different way, but we can begin to see some of the broader brush strokes of those effects. In the essays, poems, art and photography of Young Voices, we see that young people’s involvement brought them a new understanding of their roles in American society and in the world. We see the power of a moment in history; we see the effects of hope; we see how young people can rise to the occasion when they are challenged.

“This milestone is as important as the Emancipation Proclamation and the civil rights legislation signed under Johnson, because it shows an African-American can reach the highest position in the world.”
— Matthew True Haynes, Age 14
“Obama’s most lasting contribution to America will be his effect on the youth of our nation.”
— Tess Kerwin, Age 16
“I did not vote for my country, I voted for the world.”
— Olivia Bozik, Age 18

The lessons learned by the young eyewitnesses to the 2008 election go far beyond — and far deeper than — the partisan nature of routine elections. They give us a glimpse of the vision of millions of future leaders, and what they learned by being a part of such an important national event. The inspiration and power behind the submissions in Young Voices is infectious, and readers will feel that inspiration spilling over into their own lives.

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