Home McAuliffe announces task force on millennial civic engagement

McAuliffe announces task force on millennial civic engagement


Governor Terry McAuliffe and Secretary of the Commonwealth Kelly Thomasson held the inaugural meeting of the Governor’s Millennial Civic Engagement Task Force on Friday.

terry mcauliffeThis task force will be charged with coordinating and implementing statewide civic engagement initiatives and fostering the development and growth of a culture of civic engagement within Virginia’s colleges and universities.

Last year, First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe invited college and university presidents from across Virginia to gather at the Executive Mansion in celebration of Virginia’s commitment to service in higher education and the “Compact on National Service.”

“Virginia was proud to become the first state in the nation to commit to integrating service years on its campuses and I am honored to take that challenge to the next level by launching the Civic Engagement Task Force,” said Governor McAuliffe. “Virginia millennials will set the course for the future of this Commonwealth. Through this task force, our mission is to find new ways to encourage them to take ownership of their communities and civic institutions.”

The Task Force will be charged with conducting a comprehensive, statewide assessment of current organizations, programs, and services that promote civic engagement throughout Virginia’s college and university campuses; hosting a series of statewide campus roundtables to identify and discuss barriers to civic engagement among college millennials; and providing additional recommendations to achieve the goals of the Task Force.

“A top priority of Governor McAuliffe’s administration has been to build an inclusive Commonwealth that is open and welcoming to everyone,” said Secretary of the Commonwealth Kelly Thomasson. “Millennials are a crucial sector of Virginia’s population, but have historically been under-engaged in civic activity. Growing a new Virginia economy requires effort and participation by people of all ages, especially millennials. I am eager to work with this committed group of young Virginians to foster a greater culture of civic engagement among our students.”

“As a millennial legislator in Virginia, I see every day how the policies we are discussing today will most greatly impact the younger citizens of tomorrow,” said Delegate Lashrecse Aird. “Millennials are redefining norms everywhere and are igniting the change we need in our communities. The formation of the Governor’s Millennial Civic Engagement Task Force provides millennials eager to be engaged with representation from across the state with a formal body to serve as their voice on the issues. I look forward to serving as a resource to this group in the development of unique approaches to better engage our students and younger-adult citizens throughout Virginia.”

The Task Force will be led by the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth and include student representatives from Virginia’s public, private, community, and historically black colleges and universities, along with other key stakeholders.

Governor’s Task Force on Millennial Civic Engagement Members:

  • The Honorable Kelly Thomasson, Secretary of the Commonwealth
  • President Teresa Sullivan, University of Virginia
  • President Jonathan Alger, James Madison University
  • Traci DeShazor, Deputy Secretary of the Commonwealth*
  • Liz Howard, Deputy Commissioner, Virginia Department of Elections
  • Paula Robinson, Assistant Director of College Access and PK-12 Outreach, State Council on Higher Education
  • Jared Calfee, Executive Director, Virginia 21
  • Nakeina Douglas Glenn, PhD, Director, Grace E. Harris Leadership Institute, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Doug Garcia, State Board Member, Virginia Community College System
  • Jay Brown, Board of Visitors Member, Radford University
  • Julia Billingsley, Student Representative, Virginia Tech
  • Alexandra Boone, Student Representative, Norfolk State University
  • Jewel Hurt, Student Representative, James Madison University
  • Kenneth Christopher Kidd, Student Representative, Christopher Newport University
  • Dana Legere, Student Representative, John Tyler Community College
  • Colleen Elizabeth McNickle, Student Representative, Radford University
  • Praise Nyambiya, Student Representative, Longwood University
  • Elizabeth Parker, Student Representative and Governor’s Fellow, University of Virginia
  • Joseph Russell, Student Representative, George Mason University
  • Zaakir Tameez, Student Representative, University of Virginia*
  • Megan Turner, Student Representative, University of Mary Washington
  • Katherine Webb, Student Representative, College of William and Mary
  • Shai West, Student Representative, Virginia State University
  • Kelsey Wilkinson, Student Representative, Randolph Macon College
  • Imani Yeboah, Student Representative, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • TBA, Student Representative, Old Dominion University
  • TBA, Student Representative, Virginia Military Institute

*denotes Co-Chairman

Find the full executive directive here.



Have a guest column, letter to the editor, story idea or a news tip? Email editor Chris Graham at [email protected]. Subscribe to AFP podcasts on Apple PodcastsSpotifyPandora and YouTube.