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Soapbox Nation

Through Soapbox Nation, youth find their voice on the issues that matter most to them and are given a national platform for sharing their ideas and actions.

What

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 virtual Soapbox Nation Mainstage event. This year’s program has come to a close, but check back here in the fall for more information about next school year!  And in the meantime, get inspired by watching a recording of the 2021 Soapbox Nation Mainstage event. You can also find the videos of all of the 2021 finalists’ speeches here, and we encourage you to check out all of this year’s powerful submissions.

How

  1. Using Mikva’s 1-2 week Soapbox curriculum, educators work with their students to help them connect with issues they care about and develop their case for making a change. 
  2. Once students have developed a powerful, researched, two-minute call-to-action speech about an issue that has impacted them and their community, they submit a video of their Soapbox speech to Soapbox Nation
  3. All submitted speeches are posted on the Soapbox Nation Vimeo, and some will be featured on our social media channels as well (follow @MikvaChallenge). Students get feedback from civic and community leaders, and 12 speakers will be selected to be showcased at the Soapbox Nation Mainstage event.

Who is eligible?

Kindergarten-12th grade classrooms throughout the country are eligible to be a part of Soapbox Nation. Participating teachers find out about upcoming opportunities to sign up for Project Soapbox professional development workshops, and stay in the loop about all of the important information you need to know to make sure your students can make their voices heard through Soapbox Nation.

NOTE: Students whose videos have been submitted to local Soapbox events are automatically entered into Soapbox Nation!

Why

Soapbox Nation celebrates the power of youth voice and opinion to encourage students to become active participants in the civic debate of their community while fostering public speaking and critical thinking skills and building empathy for peers. Recent research from DePaul professors Molly Andolina and Hilary Conklin has shown that the Soapbox Nation program improves students civic knowledge and social emotional learning. Soapbox Nation is a great catalyst for youth getting excited about learning civics and being active citizens.

Want to learn more?

Get inspired by watching Mikva’s 2021 Soapbox Nation Mainstage event.

My experience made me feel powerful, that my voice mattered and that we have the power to change the world and we will.

Student participant