An Update from Kristen Bennett, CEO of Service Year Alliance on the Serve America Together Campaign:
Service Year Alliance launched the Serve America Together campaign during the 2020 presidential primary to urge the presidential candidates to help make national service part of growing up in America.
Against the backdrop of enormous challenges for our country — a global pandemic, overwhelming polarization and division, and an uncertain economic situation — the campaign won tremendous successes...
...As part of our organization’s new strategic direction, and ahead of the upcoming midterms when we expect the political winds to shift, we are winding down the Serve America Together campaign. It was always intended to be a time-bound effort to inform the next President’s priorities, and we’ve reached the outer bounds of that timeframe. But our vision to make national service part of growing up in America is not lost. In fact, Service Year Alliance as an organization has adopted the campaign’s vision as our organization’s overall vision — it’s what our team wakes up every morning working to make a reality...
Service Year Alliance released the following statement in response to President Biden’s call for a new era of national service at the United We Stand Summit:
“President Biden’s call for a new era of national service today at the United We Stand Summit was a massive victory for our vision of making national service part of growing up in America. Service Year Alliance applauds President Biden for this bold call to action — and specifically for calling for a $15/hour living allowance for all AmeriCorps members..."
Over 120 Labor, Conservation, Youth, National Service, and Racial, Economic, and Climate Justice Organizations Call on Congress to Pass $30B Civilian Climate Corps
The diverse coalition calls for a bold investment in the CCC in the currently moving reconciliation bill
WASHINGTON, DC (September 2, 2021) – Today, over 120 organizations released a letter calling on Senator Schumer and Speaker Pelosi to include at least $30B for a bold, ambitious Civilian Climate Corps (CCC) in the final reconciliation package. Congress has the opportunity to mobilize a generation of young people to serve their communities and tackle the climate crisis while developing the skills they need to succeed in a 21st century economy through the CCC. The letter brings together conservation, labor, youth, and national service organizations as well as racial, economic, and climate justice movements in support of the CCC.
Trust is the backbone of American democracy. But trust in the media, the federal government and our neighbors is hard to come by, and our democracy continues to face growing threats from misinformation and polarization.
Anew report from More in Common foundthat less than 30% of Americans in the past 15 years have confidence in the federal government to do what is right for the country — down from 80% of Americans in the 1960s. Trust in the media and our neighbors fared no better.
There is an entire generation that will do whatever it takes to stop the climate crisis and improve our communities. We understand that the task that lies before us is historic: There are millions of buildings that need to be retrofitted, homes to be rewired, miles of shoreline to be prepared for rising waters, and forests and parks to be conserved.
We are ready to take on the responsibility. It’s time for the federal government to put us to work solving the climate crisis and rebuilding our economy.
Serve America Together campaign launches “United through National Service” to bring together unexpected voices in support of national service in lead up to 20th anniversary of September 11th
The initiative aims to show the full spectrum of support for national service and its potential to unite the country, bridge divides, and restore the soul of the nation.
WASHINGTON, DC (July 13, 2021) – Today, the Serve America Together campaign formally launched United through National Service — a major initiative aimed at bringing unexpected voices together in the lead up to the 20th anniversary of September 11th to show the full spectrum of support for national service and its potential to restore the soul of the nation.
Serve America Together is a campaign to make national service part of growing up in America. Campaign co-chairs Stan McChrystal and Laura Lauder formally launched United for National Service in an op-ed in the Chronicle of Philanthropy today stating:
National service is having a civic moment. People across the political spectrum are calling for expanded national service as a means to unify a polarized nation and tackle problems such as climate change. A $1 billion federal investment in AmeriCorps was included in the stimulus measure passed this year. And philanthropic organizations have invested in innovative national-service approaches to address need during the pandemic and in its aftermath.
This level of support was hard to imagine nine years ago when Stan spoke at the Aspen Ideas Festival to a group of 3,000 business and philanthropic leaders, including Laura, about the lack of shared experience and connection between Americans. Noting that such connection came through military service in previous generations, Stan, who commanded international forces in Afghanistan, called for universal national service following high school or college to create that common experience among all Americans.
The United States, long grounded in the idea of individual liberty, also boasts a deep, cross-partisan history of national service. Building on a belief he first shared at the 2012 Aspen Ideas Festival, retired General Stanley McChrystal recently called on the president to invest in national service for one million young Americans annually “to ensure the strength and security of our nation.” At a time of mounting political division and innumerable shared challenges, this conversation explores what it would take to implement a national service program of this scale, and what it could mean for the future of American society.
Serve America Together Coalition Sends Letter to Cabinet Secretaries Urging Use of Expanded National Service in American Jobs Plan
Twenty organizations — from civilian and military service organizations to faith-based groups — signed onto the letter to five cabinet secretaries
WASHINGTON, DC (June 24, 2021) –Today, twentymembers of the Serve America Together coalition wrote a letter to the Secretaries of Commerce, Energy, Housing and Urban Development, Labor, and Transportation to encourage them to use national service as a tool in addressing their American Jobs Plan priorities.
Service Year Alliance Statement for the Record for the House Armed Services Committee Hearing on:
Recommendations and Report of the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service
Thursday, May 19, 2021
Chairman Smith, Ranking Member Rogers and members of the Armed Services Committee,
Service Year Alliance is pleased to submit this testimony for the record for the hearing on the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service.
Service Year Alliance is an organization working to make a year of paid, full-time national service — a service year — a common expectation and opportunity for all young Americans. We do that through our Serve America Together campaign, which brings together a coalition of military and civilian service organizations, among others, to advocate to make civilian national service part of growing up in America. We also support service year programs and help stand up new innovative models, and maintain the only online portal — ServiceYear.org — that connects young people to all different types of available service year opportunities, including AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, YouthBuild and non-federally funded programs.
American presidents have long vied to echo John Kennedy’s “Ask not what your country can do for you.”
The spirit of service,declaredRonald Reagan, “flows like a deep and mighty river through the history of our nation.” Bill Clinton createdAmeriCorps. George H.W. Bush likened volunteer organizations to “a thousand points of light.” George W. Bush created theUSA Freedom Corps. Barack Obama called on Americans to “ground our politics in the notion of a common good.”
Their arguments are all the more compelling today, in a bitterly divided America struggling with a pandemic...
...Mr. Biden has an opportunity to make some version of this a reality. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, a former commander of international forces in Afghanistan and head of the “Serve America. Together” campaign, recently called on the president to invest in universal national service for one million young Americans annually as “the most important strategy we can implement to ensure the strength and security of our nation.”
Service Year Alliance Releases New Report that Reimagines National Service and Calls on President Biden to be the “Service President”
The new report, “Reimagining National Service: A Roadmap to a Service Presidency” outlines six recommendations for the Biden-Harris Administration to utilize national service to meet our nation’s top priorities
WASHINGTON, DC (April 26, 2021) – Service Year Alliance, a national nonprofit organization that is working to make national service a common expectation and opportunity for all young Americans, released a new report on national service entitled: “Reimagining National Service: A Roadmap to a Service Presidency.” The report provides a recommended roadmap for how the Biden Administration can reimagine national service to meet the nation’s top priorities and make national service a cornerstone issue of his presidency.
“This new report aims to reimagine what it means to serve our country and serves as a roadmap to make national service a central part of the Biden Administration. As a lifelong public servant and advocate for service in all its forms, President Biden has an opportunity to become the Service President and make a bold investment in national service as a solution to today’s convergent crises,” said Jesse Colvin, CEO of Service Year Alliance.
New Report Details Power of National Service and Public-Private Partnership to Respond to Community Needs Resulting from COVID-19 Crisis
Schultz Family Foundation, Service Year Alliance and Serve Washington release report on innovative program that combines federal and state government resources with philanthropic support to respond quickly to the pandemic, offers recommendations to scale public-private service model to additional states as officials deploy $1 billion in new funding for national service
Partnership announces Request for Proposals to extend program for a second year of service focused on widespread effects of COVID-19 on the most impacted communities
SEATTLE, WA (March 29, 2021) – The Schultz Family Foundation, Service Year Alliance and Serve Washington, released a report today detailing learnings from the first six months of the Washington COVID Response Corps, a first-of-its-kind youth service program created to quickly respond to record levels of community need resulting from the COVID-19 crisis. The report, which follows $1 billion in investment from the federal government for AmeriCorps in the new stimulus package, describes the program, details preliminary findings from the initial implementation period and offers recommendations with the hope of expanding the innovative public-private model to additional states.
In times of crisis, America’s leaders have historically relied on national service to recover and rebuild. During the Great Depression, President Roosevelt created the Civilian Conservation Corps mobilizing millions of unemployed Americans. After 9/11, President Bush expanded AmeriCorps and the Peace Corps. Now, amid the worst public health crisis in our lifetime, President Biden has signed the largest investment in national service in decades.
If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that people need other people. Membership in community helps us see our stake in our neighbors’ dreams and struggles, as well as our own. It deepens our understanding of others. We could use that in America right now. And that healing can begin with a robust investment in national service.
The American Rescue Plan, signed into law by President Biden this month, includes $1 billion for national service, the largest amount in decades. This funding will help provide living wages to young Americans and create additional positions that are accessible to Americans regardless of their financial means. Now we need to find the best ways to put that money to work in communities. And no one knows how to do that better than local leaders who are on the ground. That’s why everyone from the leaders in the statehouse to those in the schoolhouse should be at the forefront of deciding where to direct national service resources.
National Service Opportunities to be Expanded with Passage of American Rescue Plan COVID-19 Relief Bill
Serve America Together Celebrates Major Step Forward in Effort to Make National Service More Accessible
WASHINGTON, DC (March 10, 2021) – Serve America Together, a campaign working to make national service part of growing up in America, released the following statements today applauding congressional leaders on the passage of the American Rescue Plan COVID-19 relief bill. The legislation, which now awaits the signature of President Joe Biden, prioritizes $1 billion to help communities across the country recover from the pandemic through the expansion of national service opportunities. This additional funding allows for an increase in the national service living allowance, making the opportunity to serve more accessible to all Americans, and represents the largest investment in national service in decades.