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Project Soapbox IL

Project Soapbox IL – 2020

This fall, students gave speeches in their classrooms and at school-wide celebrations.  Students selected by their peers then moved on to a series of Preliminary Celebrations that culminated in a Project Soapbox IL Mainstage Showcase event on December 10, 2020.

We encourage you to watch and engage with these powerful videos, and share your support in the comments! We want to honor the speakers’ truth, and make sure this experience of making their voice heard on important community issues is just the beginning of a lifetime of civic engagement and advocacy!

Click here to watch speeches

The full Livestream from this year’s culminating virtual Project Soapbox IL Mainstage Showcase event is now available to view online:

IL Project Soapbox 2020 Mainstage Showcase from Mikva Challenge on Vimeo.

Mikva Challenge IL was honored to welcome VIP Civic Partners who participated in the event and provided live feedback to students during the Project Soapbox IL Mainstage Showcase event. VIP Civic Partners included Chicago civic, community, business, and philanthropic leaders, such as:

  • Jahmal Cole, CEO & Founder, My Block My Hood My City
  • Lilah Jones, Head of Corp Sales – North Central US, Google
  • Erica Kirkwood, Vice President and General Counsel, GMA Construction Group
  • Robert McGhee, Vice President of Community Relations, Citibank
  • Ronnie Mosley, Mikva Challenge Alum and Mikva Challenge Board Member/Advocacy and Civic Engagement Organizer
  • Amy Singh, Mikva Challenge Board Member/General Counsel & Secretary, Cameo
  • Andrea Zopp, President & CEO, World Business Chicago

Thank you!

We acknowledge the heroic dedication of teachers and the courage of students to participate, share, and make the Project Soapbox event a powerful space to celebrate and elevate youth voice. We could not do this important work without your courage and vision, and you continue to inspire us! 

We also acknowledge the generous champions and donors of Mikva Challenge. Thanks to the investment of individual donors, foundations, companies, non-profits, government, and other organizations, we are able to uplift the visions, voices and leadership of young people – reaching thousands of youth across Chicago. Our transformational impact is only possible through this support. 

Finally, to all of Project Soapbox attendees, thank you for listening, encouraging and supporting Mikva Challenge students to make Chicago one of the nation’s preeminent cities to empower, elevate, and strengthen youth voice!

Teachers and students who want to learn more about how to participate in upcoming Project Soapbox opportunities in Illinois, please reach out to Karla@mikvachallenge.org


Project Soapbox is a public speaking opportunity that calls on young people to develop and deliver an original speech on an issue that matters to them.

This fall, students from schools across Illinois delivered speeches that answer the question: “What is the biggest issue facing your community, & what should be done about it?” Now more than ever, it’s important that students are empowered to speak and be heard, which is why Mikva IL students, teachers, and staff were so excited to participate in Project Soapbox virtually!