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

CA 2020: Youth Perspective and the Future of California

CA 2020: Youth Perspective and the Future of California is a statewide initiative that focuses on the lives and experiences of young Californians.

If California is at times seen as an indicator of where the United States is headed, then the state’s 13.5 million young people under the age of 25 will play an increasingly significant role in shaping who we are and the issues that we care about both regionally and nationally in coming years. With the goal of amplifying youth voices, we want to hear the insights and perspectives of young Californians on the subjects and issues that both divide and unite us and the futures that they envision.

CA 2020 encourages critical thinking, civic engagement, and active contributions of our young people to our democracy and the future of California.

Four Interconnected Components of CA 2020 

Democracy and the Informed Citizen 

A partnership between California Humanities and community colleges designed to engage a broad cross-section of young Californians in a consideration of the vital connections between journalism and democracy. It brings Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists to community college campuses, provides CA 2020 Journalism Fellowships to emerging student journalists, and strives to amplify young people’s voices and perspectives in public discourse throughout California.

California Documentary Project NextGen (CDP NextGen)

CDP NextGen grants are designed to support California’s next generation of documentary mediamakers age 18 and under. We invite applications from California-based nonprofit organizations, public agencies, schools and libraries to provide training and support to emerging mediamakers in the creation of short, insightful nonfiction films and/or podcasts that tell original stories about life in California today. Eligible applicants may apply for funding up to $15,000.  

For grant guidelines and application deadlines, please visit the California Documentary Project Grants page.

Humanities For All Grants: Youth Voices

The Humanities for All grant program supports locally-initiated public humanities projects. The Youth Voices strand of this grant program aims to reach and engage with California’s youth, specifically projects and activities that involve teens as primary program participants or audiences. Youth Voices aims to open conversations on issues that matter to teens. For grant guidelines and application deadlines, please visit the Humanities for All grants page. 

California Youth Docs

An original series of short documentary films that highlight the voices and perspectives of young Californians as they reflect on the challenges they face and the futures they envision. It highlights 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. 

CA 2020 invites people of all ages to participate in CA 2020. 

CA 2020 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. Additional support for this initiative has been provided by the California Arts Council, Knight Foundation Fund, The McConnell Foundation, Nordson Corporation Foundation, Panta Rhea Foundation, The Parker Foundation, the State of California through the California State Library, Stuart Foundation, The Virginia and Alfred Harrell Foundation, and the Walter & Elise Haas Fund.