By Jessica Press

Think, for a moment, about the fanfare that comes with life’s milestones: marriage, birth, quinceañera, driving, graduation… and so on. The months and years of planning. The hard work. The crowdsourcing on social media! The fervent joy and celebration.

Now, imagine if the same attention was given to voting. Can you picture it, a real 76-trombones-and-a-big-parade-level excitement?

Cultivating that reverence for the act of voting is at the heart of #VoteThatJawn, the grassroots movement to engage first-time voters in Philly that, leading up to the midterm elections in 2018, successfully registered 7,000 youth.

In 2018, the nonpartisan group—spearheaded by author, playwright, Penn professor and Safe Kids Stories founder Lorene Cary—brought together educators, artists, community organizers and students to set off a registration phenomenon.