Project Soapbox IL

Project Soapbox IL – 2021

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?” 

After presenting speeches in their classrooms and communities, ten outstanding students were selected by their peers to present at Soapbox IL Mainstage Showcase on December 9, 2021:

Kennedy A.      Ximena T.      Esmeralda H.      Trudy B.      Lariel W.      Julieta R.

Yamileth V.      Imani A.      Susana C.      Indigo Blu G.      Benjamin N.

We encourage you to watch and engage with these powerful videos and partner with us in honoring the speakers’ truth!

Congratulations to all of the courageous youth speakers! Many thanks to our teachers for the hard work and preparation that went into engaging students in Project Soapbox. We appreciate everything you do to support and uplift student voices.

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

Watch the livestream.

A Student presents at the Project Soapbox IL Mainstage 2021 event.

Mikva Challenge IL was honored to welcome VIP Civic Partners who participated in the event and provided live feedback to students during the event, including:


Renetta McCann, Chief Inclusion Experience Officer, Publicis Groupe

Omar Brown, Senior Vice President, People & Culture Officer, Big Ten Conference

Cindi Canary, Advisor, Square One Foundation & Former Mikva Challenge Board Chair

Judy Wise, Co-Founder of Facing History and Ourselves in Chicago and London

Denise Barreto, Director of Equity and Inclusion, Cook County

Julie Burnett, Director, K-16 Policy, City of Chicago Mayor’s Office

Miguel Blancarte Jr., Health Equity and COVID-19 Response Expert & Mikva Challenge Alum (2005)

Michelle Morales, President, Woods Fund

Thanks to the investment from Meta, we are able to uplift the visions, voices, and leadership of young people – reaching hundreds of youth across Illinois.

We also acknowledge the generosity of Mikva Challenge donors. Our transformational impact is only possible through this support.

Donate today.

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

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