This week The Charlotte Observer is profiling its "Seven To Watch" for 2009. The newspaper chose seven area people that it says is "shaping our region" and is revealing one each day this week. We are proud to announce that CAABJ board member Ayofemi Kirby is one of those seven and she is featured in today's paper. The article is below.
She encourages young voters to get involved
Ayofemi Kirby, Co-community director of GenerationEngage
By Clay Barbour
Photo by Yalonda M. James
The recent presidential election proved just how powerful the youth vote can be. Ayofemi Kirby is determined to not let that momentum slip away.
Kirby, 23, is Charlotte's new co-community director of GenerationEngage, a national nonprofit agency that tries to get young people involved with politics in their community.
The nonpartisan organization, which focuses on 16- to 30-year-olds, holds forums and parties that often give young voters their first chance to meet local elected officials.
“What we want is for young people to take advantage of what they have to offer,” she said. “Their energy and willingness to take chances.”
As proof, Kirby points to the election of Barack Obama this past November. More than 70 percent of younger voters cast their ballots for the new president.
“Without their vote, he would not have won,” she said.
The Charlotte Area Association of Black Journalists (CAABJ) is an affiliate chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), a nonprofit organization focused on establishing strong ties among African-Americans working in the media and expanding and balancing the media's coverage of the African-American community and experience.