United through National Service will bring 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 unite the country, bridge divides, and restore the soul of the nation.
Given our current political environment, there is tremendous opportunity for a significant investment in national service. However, despite an editorial in the New York Times, countless in-roads with the White House, various Administration officials, and bipartisan progress in Congress, and a drumbeat of public events and media, national service is still not breaking through as a priority issue for the Biden-Harris Administration.
Our time is limited to harness this political energy before the 2022 midterm elections. We need to make the most of a potential reconciliation bill — the American Jobs Plan and the America Families Plan — that is likely to move in Congress and be the last major federal investment in government if Congress flips control in 2022
Simultaneously, we’ve seen increased interest in national service from people across the political spectrum. We’ve had close conversations with one of the most influential youth advocacy organizations, the Sunrise Movement, about a massive investment in AmeriCorps through a new Civilian Climate Corps. In June, Neil Patel, the co-founder of conservative news site, The Daily Caller, wrote a piece calling for mandatory national service to build unity. Meanwhile, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey, two of the most progressive members of Congress, are calling for a massive investment in AmeriCorps for the CCC while Rep. Michael Waltz, a conservative Republican, is a lead co-sponsor of the bipartisan CORPS Act, which would grow national service significantly to help with COVID recovery. Finally, our Serve America Together co-chairs, like Arianna Huffington, Deval Patrick, and former congressman Joe Heck, and coalition members are eager to move forward our vision of making national service part of growing up in America.
We have an engaged and passionate group of high-profile individuals who span the political spectrum and agree on close to nothing — except for national service. These leaders agree that national service has the power to bring Americans together — and their ability to see eye-to-eye on this issue while holding vastly different political views makes that case.
About "United through National Service"
This summer and fall, Serve America Together will highlight the voices of leaders from across the political spectrum as they call for an expansion of national service to help bring the country together. United through National Service will culminate the week leading up to the 20th anniversary of September 11th. The week-long media blitz featuring a mix of national TV hits, videos, social media, op-eds, and local news segments — all with a focus on uniting Americans around and through national service. With the help of a media partner/media partners, we aim to feature a mix of diverse, bipartisan voices through a variety of media to make the case that national service brings Americans together.
Serve America Together will tell the story with the help of thought leaders, national service programs, national service alums who serve in local communities across the country, as well as others who support national service, including military veterans. We will engage Serve America Together co-chairs and Service Year Alliance's Leadership Council, Serve America Together coalition members, supporters who have signed onto our open letters, and alums of national service programs who have first-hand experience of national service effectively bridging divides.
How to get involved?
- Check out our social media toolkit & help spread the word about United through National Service on social media.
Add your voice to this initiative by:
- Authoring an op-ed (feel free to use these talking points & we can help you draft and place it!)
- Serving as a spokesperson or talking head for national TV hits (we will book, brief & prep you!)
- Helping secure a media partner by tapping your network
- Connecting us with other thought leaders or organizations who are supportive of national service and willing to join this effort
By Laura Lauder and Stanley McChrystal
To take advantage of this moment and help ensure that national service rises to the top of the Biden administration agenda, we have kicked off a new campaign — United Through National Service.
This drive will include national media engagements and social media spotlighting diverse high-profile voices from across the country and the political spectrum in calling for an expansion of national service to heal a divided nation. The campaign will culminate during the week leading up to the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks as a reminder that we are strongest when we all stand together...
...In that spirit, we urge President Biden to join us by calling a generation of young people into service to help bridge the divides that threaten to continue to tear our country apart. We hope Congress has the courage to make a bold investment in national service, and we encourage fellow philanthropists and leaders of all types to join us in this work, lending their resources and their voices to this important effort. National service deserves more than a civic moment.