Youth Day at the Capitol (YDAC) is an annual event where hundreds of students from across the state come together to learn how to effectively advocate for an issue of their choosing and practice those advocacy skills during a meeting with their local elected official(s).
This year, YDAC took place on February 23 and included meetings with their local elected representatives, a 600-student march from the Minnesota History Center to the Minnesota State Capitol and a chance to meet some of Minnesota’s Constitutional officers.
Different than many other “days on the hill,” YDAC is unique in that youth participants aren’t given a list of predetermined legislative priorities. Rather, they start the day by working in their delegation to identify issues that impact their local community. Youth advocates from Minneapolis will likely end up focusing on different issues than youth advocates from Big Lake or Duluth, for example. All participants attend a one-hour, youth-led “Advocacy Best Practices” workshop and then have the opportunity to practice those skills in small pre-arranged meetings with their local elected official(s).
“I didn’t realize that legislators are willing to meet with people, even young people,” said 2021 YDAC participant Thay See from Como High School. “Now I know that anytime my family or I am concerned about something in our community, we know how to reach out and meet with them about it.”
The Center for Youth Voice leads YDAC in partnership with the Minnesota Alliance with Youth, Minnesota Community Education Association, Minnesota Prevention Alliance, YWCA Minneapolis, the Minnesota Secretary of State’s Office and the Minnesota History Center.
Teachers, school administrators, or youth leaders who are interested in bringing a group of young people and who need more information can reach out to Michael Wall at Michael.Wall@ymcanorth.org or 612-263-9893 or register using the link below.
Register for YDAC
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The Youth Day at the Capitol Planning Team is made up of the YMCA Center for Youth Voice, Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State, Minnesota Alliance With Youth, young people from the Minnesota Youth Council, Minnesota Community Education Association, YWCA Minneapolis, Minnesota Prevention Alliance, and the Minnesota History Center.
Please email Michael.Wall@YMCANorth.org with any questions. We look forward to seeing you there!
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