A Brand New (Virtual) Community

By Amy Marcus

Vote That Jawn's summer Digital Media Interns meet via Zoom for the first time.

Youth power and passion.

With these words, signed together in American Sign Language on the first pandemic-driven Zoom call of the summer, 23 high school and college students across the country began to build a virtual community around a shared passion: getting out the youth vote in Philadelphia.

In that first group meeting, Vote That Jawn’s digital media interns hit the ground running with our first project— a ten-minute video for Philadelphia’s virtual Juneteenth festival celebrating the day that news of emancipation finally reached all the way down to Texas in 1865. Galveston, TX, was the last community to get the word, on June 19th that the enslaved were now free. As some of us learned the deep history of the holiday for the first time, we also considered why and for whom we vote.