Cal Humanities

"Part of resilience is finding joy, finding beauty, finding love."

— George Takei, Actor, Author, Director, Activist

"Part of resilience is finding joy, finding beauty, finding love."

— George Takei, Actor, Author, Director, Activist

California Humanities Announces Launch of CA 2020: Youth Perspective and the Future of California

March 15, 2018

For Immediate Release

(Oakland, CA) California Humanities is pleased to announce the launch of CA 2020: Youth Perspective and the Future of California, a new statewide initiative focusing on the lives and experiences of young Californians. CA 2020 is designed to engage a broad and representative cross-section of young people in a consideration of the issues that both divide and unite us, as well as the futures they envision for themselves and their communities.

“We want to hear what young people across California have to say about their experiences of life in California, what they care about, what the future looks like to them,” said Julie Fry, President & CEO of California Humanities. “These new programs are one way to share their voices and provide them with opportunities to discover how they can participate in a thriving democracy.”

California is home to an estimated 13.5 million residents under the age of 25—a number more than the total population of 46 other states—who will play an increasingly significant role in shaping the economic, social and political issues that we care about as a state and nation in the coming years. At a time when there are so many new sources of information, it is critical to provide opportunities for young Californians to better understand and make reasoned and informed decisions about issues that directly affect their futures.

CA 2020: Youth Perspective and the Future of California initiative will consist of three multi-faceted, interconnected components designed to ensure meaningful content, depth of engagement, and broad reach.


In partnership with four Californian community collegesCalifornia Humanities will engage a broad cross section of young Californians in a consideration of the vital connections between democracy and journalism through a program that will bring Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists to campuses, provide hands-on media literacy training, and help amplify young people’s voices and perspectives in the public dialogue. This program launches on April 11 with the San Diego Community College District and will continue throughout 2018 with Bakersfield College, Foothill-De Anza Community College District and Shasta College. It is funded in part by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s Democracy and the informed Citizen Initiative, in partnership with the Pulitzer Prizes and administered by the Federation of State Humanities Councils, and the Knight Foundation Fund. 


This original series of short video documentary portraits will highlight the role and power of California’s youth in shaping our state’s future by sharing a diverse range of young Californians’ stories. It will highlight the voices and perspectives of soon-to-be-voting age youth, shedding light not only on the problems we face, but also on the solutions youth are providing. The series will be a centerpiece for a broader statewide conversation about California’s youth and the future of California. This series is supported in part by the Stuart Foundation.


The Humanities for All grant program supports locally-initiated public humanities projects. The Youth Voices strand of the grant program aims to reach and engage with California’s youth. Projects that involve youth as primary program participants or audiences, and address topics or subjects of interest to them will be given special consideration. This program is supported in part by the Stuart Foundation. 

Throughout this new suite of programs, our goal is to encourage critical thinking, civic engagement and active contributions of youth to our democracy and the future well-being of California.


California Humanities, a nonprofit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities, promotes the humanities – focused on ideas, conversation and learning – as relevant, meaningful ways to understand the human condition and connect us to each other in order to help strengthen California. California Humanities has provided grants and programs across the state since 1975. To learn more visit, or follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.



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