Welcome to Our Launch Issue!

4 mins read

We are Kidizenship — a non-partisan, non-profit media organization for young people
interested in civics and politics. We are where civics education, creative expression and
community action merge. If you’ve been looking for a place that will amplify the voices
of engaged teens and tweens, welcome! You’re here.

Kidizenship values artistic vision, diversity of opinions, listening, compassionate learning, and agreeing to disagree so that we can better understand America’s challenges from different perspectives. Kidizenship publishes content created by and for kids about the power that young people have in our democracy. We spotlight what kids are doing in their communities. Our content aims to inform, empower, and inspire the rising generation to bridge political divides and create a better world. 

The name of our magazine, WATCH US RISE, connects all of our content. Each piece we publish tells the story of young citizens coming of age, overcoming challenges, and listening to each other while making themselves heard.

We introduced Kidizenship to the world a year ago with a series of creative contests:
We asked kids ages 8-18 to design their own American flags, write about their civic heroes,
deliver presidential speeches, and perform their own national anthems.

Submissions poured in from students nationwide in 3rd to 12th grades. Judged by politically
diverse artists, scholars, and public figures including Jon Favreau, Darius Rucker, Jill
Lepore, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and National Young Republicans leader Lila Nieves-Lee,
each contest drew incredible submissions. They showed us how inspiring this
generation is — how discerning, how informed, how inclusive, and how capable of
healing a polarized nation. We’ve woven some of these amazing contest submissions
into our first issue.

Our magazine is a space for storytelling and creative expression in which kids learn to
value communities — their own and those of others — and to understand the
importance of the collective over the individual, which is the very essence of a healthy
democracy. Civics is not an individual sport — it is, and must be, a team effort.

With this in mind, we’ve organized our content into five sections:

ROOT — Ground your knowledge of the present in the stories of the past
LISTEN — Sharpen communication skills and engage in civil discourse
LEARN — Get informed about protecting and improving our democracy
CREATE — Envision the communities and country you want to inhabit
ACT — Celebrate the youth leaders who are making change today

We will publish four issues of the digital magazine in 2022, and next year we’ll move to
monthly content. In the meantime, our social media channels on Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok will be updated frequently. In this first issue, you’ll see personal essays, profiles, videos, quizzes, reviews, how-tos and troves of resources — all of it produced by Gen Z contributors and an amazing team of young editors. You’ll also see syndicated selections from high school student newspapers nationwide, and calls for submissions from our audience members. Yes, that means you — we want to publish your voice in our digital pages. Subscribe to our newsletter to learn how.

We hope you enjoy this first taste of our youth-powered magazine — the first of its kind, as far as we know — and we can’t wait to watch it rise, together.

— Amanda Little, founder, and the Kidizenship Team

Amanda Little

Amanda Little is a professor of journalism and science writing at Vanderbilt University and a columnist for Bloomberg, where she writes about the environment, agriculture and innovation. Amanda has a particular fondness for far-flung and hard-to-stomach reporting that takes her to ultradeep oil rigs, down manholes, into sewage plants, and inside monsoon clouds.

She is the author of The Fate of Food: What We’ll Eat in a Bigger, Hotter, Smarter World, which explores how to feed humanity sustainably and equitably in the climate change era. Her recent TED Talk, based on this book, has more than one million views. She also wrote the book Power Trip: The Story of America's Love Affair With Energy. Amanda has published her reporting and commentary in the New York Times, Washington Post, Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, Wired, New York Magazine, NewYorker.com and elsewhere. A former columnist for Outside magazine and Grist.org, she is a recipient of the Nautilus Book Award, a Rachel Carson Environment Book Award from the Society for Environmental Journalists, and the Jane Bagley Lehman Award for excellence in environmental journalism.

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