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Project Soapbox

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Project Soapbox is Mikva Challenge’s public speaking program that calls young people to speak out on issues that affect them and their communities. These powerful speeches have lasting, transformative impacts on classrooms, schools, and communities.

Along the way, Mikva supports teachers with curriculum, connects community leaders to listen to speeches and give feedback, and facilitates citywide and regional events. Every year, the program culminates with Soapbox Nation, a showcase of the top speeches from around the country.

Mikva Challenge launched its 14th year of Project Soapbox events on November 17, 2021.

Read more about Project Soapbox 2021-2022

How it works

1 Youth identify an issue they are passionate about to create a two-minute speech. Speeches have to include researched evidence about their issue and a call to action for listeners.

2 Students stand up and deliver their two-minute speeches to their peers, and listen to other issues impacting their classrooms.

3 At some schools, representatives from each classroom deliver their speech to their entire school! This step is optional.

4 In a citywide or regional event, students representing their school present their two-minute speech to their peers from across their city/region.

Step up to the Soapbox

Project Soapbox transforms kindergarten through 12th grade classrooms around the country – the program is a for all learners everywhere. Get a site license for the Project Soapbox curriculum.

 

 

For teachers in our Chapters & Partner Sites:

 

Teachers interested in participating in this program in a Mikva Chapter or Partner Site are eligible to receive additional classroom support, resources and access to Mikva-organized events and opportunities. These sites include: Illinois; Washington, DC; New York, NY; Jefferson County, KY; New Hampshire; Rochester, NY; Riverside, CA; Wilmington, DE; Madison, WI; Metro Detroit, MI, Prince George’s County, MD.

To get connected with your local Chapter or Partner Site - or for more information about becoming a Partner Site - contact: partnersites@mikvachallenge.org

Jill Bass

Chief Education Officer

Project Soapbox FAQs

Is there a Project Soapbox curriculum?

Yes! Learn more about our curriculum here.

How does Project Soapbox fit in classroom instruction?

Project Soapbox is a perfect platform for building classroom community at the beginning of the school year while providing social and emotional learning opportunities for teachers to utilize throughout the rest of the year. In addition, the skills that are critical to a young person’s ability to become an advocate for pressing community issues are the skills that will prepare them for an active and engage civic life. Students are invested and engage meaningfully in the writing and revision process and develop skills in persuasive and argumentative writing, research, speaking, listening, and compelling delivery.

Who can participate?

While participation has traditionally occurred in high school Social Studies and English classrooms, students from all grade levels and content areas can participate. Elementary school participation has increased over the last few years, and other content areas such as Art and Science have found a way to leverage youth voice and expertise through Soapbox units.

Do I have to have my students participate in the citywide competition?

Nope! You can have students present speeches in your classroom, to family members, or even the school community, without the competition component. The real value is in acquiring an audience – students speeches need to be heard.

I’ve heard about Project Soapbox and Soapbox Nation — are they the same thing?

Building on the transformative power of Mikva Challenge’s Project Soapbox curriculum, Soapbox Nation adds another dimension to the public speaking program. Every year, students from around the country are invited to share videos of their two-minute speeches about an issue that matters to them on this national platform – and 12 are chosen deliver their speech at the culminating Soapbox Nation Mainstage event. Find out more information about Soapbox Nation and how to participate here!

Soapbox Nation

Every year, youth speakers from all over the country are invited to share their Soapbox speeches on this national platform – and 12 finalists are chosen for the culminating Soapbox Nation Mainstage showcase

Learn More