RICHMOND – On Friday, July 28, Governor Terry McAuliffe and Secretary of the Commonwealth Kelly Thomasson held the inaugural meeting of the Governor’s Millennial Civic Engagement Task Force. This task force will be charged with coordinating and implementing statewide civic engagement initiatives and fostering the development and growth of a culture of civic engagement within Virginia’s colleges and universities.
Last year, First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe invited college and university presidents from across Virginia to gather at the Executive Mansion in celebration of Virginia’s commitment to service in higher education and the “Compact on National Service.”
“Virginia was proud to become the first state in the nation to commit to integrating service years on its campuses and I am honored to take that challenge to the next level by launching the Civic Engagement Task Force,” said Governor McAuliffe. “Virginia millennials will set the course for the future of this Commonwealth. Through this task force, our mission is to find new ways to encourage them to take ownership of their communities and civic institutions.”
The Task Force will be charged with conducting a comprehensive, statewide assessment of current organizations, programs, and services that promote civic engagement throughout Virginia’s college and university campuses; hosting a series of statewide campus roundtables to identify and discuss barriers to civic engagement among college millennials; and providing additional recommendations to achieve the goals of the Task Force.
“A top priority of Governor McAuliffe’s administration has been to build an inclusive Commonwealth that is open and welcoming to everyone,” said Secretary of the Commonwealth Kelly Thomasson. “Millennials are a crucial sector of Virginia’s population, but have historically been under-engaged in civic activity. Growing a new Virginia economy requires effort and participation by people of all ages, especially millennials. I am eager to work with this committed group of young Virginians to foster a greater culture of civic engagement among our students.”
“As a millennial legislator in Virginia, I see every day how the policies we are discussing today will most greatly impact the younger citizens of tomorrow,” said Delegate Lashrecse Aird. “Millennials are redefining norms everywhere and are igniting the change we need in our communities. The formation of the Governor’s Millennial Civic Engagement Task Force provides millennials eager to be engaged with representation from across the state with a formal body to serve as their voice on the issues. I look forward to serving as a resource to this group in the development of unique approaches to better engage our students and younger-adult citizens throughout Virginia.”
The Task Force will be led by the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth and include student representatives from Virginia’s public, private, community, and historically black colleges and universities, along with other key stakeholders.
Governor’s Task Force on Millennial Civic Engagement Members:
Find the full executive directive here.