Civic Participation Rates Climb for Latino Youth

by Nicole Akoukou Thompson, the Latin Post

Civic participation rates may be lower for Latinos than other ethnic/racial groups, but it’s higher than ever for the population. Improved educational opportunities, unparalleled social media engagement and community involvement demonstrates Latinos’ aptitude for greater civic involvement. The National Conference on Citizenship prepared a report showing that Latino youth, also known as the ‘Sleeping Giant’ of the U.S. Latino population, show the promise of increased civic engagement, as they’re increasingly participating in improved educational opportunities, English language proficiency and higher than average rates of social media usage, creating increased walks for youth engagement. Even as Latino civic participation rates have jumped, participation rates are lagging behind other groups. The Latinos Civic Health Index Report examined trends regarding volunteerism, political participation and neighborhood trust, while also weighing immigration status, income, age, race and national origin. Hispanic internet users use social networking sites at higher rates (80 percent) than non-Latino whites (70 percent) and African Americans (75 percent). Additionally, low-income Latino youth, more than higher-income Latino youth, are likely to use social media for the purposes of new opportunities for civic engagement. “Latinos are the fastest growing demographic group in America, and their active civic participation is critical to the future of the Latino community and our nation,” said Ilir Zherka, NCoC Executive Director, in a statement. “Latino youth are the next generation of community leaders and the prospects for their greater involvement in civic health is bright.” ~1@BODYURL[id=114jbcurl1361]@

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