“I will not believe this to be inevitable. I will not believe that all that was must be.” - W.E.B. Du Bois
The United States is in a moment of heightened youth engagement and Rhizome is the only national nonprofit helping students focus that energy by building clubs, training youth organizers, and running youth-led voter registration campaigns.
Our student-led distributed organizing model lets us support youth leaders in any town, school, or state across the U.S.. By equipping student teams to be trusted messengers for civic engagement in their schools, we promote local leaders. Our growth is limited only by time, not by space.
Movements are built on ideas. At Rhizome, we stand on the shoulders of giants and strive to learn from the work that came before us. We dream big and prioritize love in the work we do. This Principle - Problem - Solutions framework grounds us in the principles that make Rhizome unique.
“What you are picks its way” - Walt Whitman
“I have always thought what is needed is the development of people who are not interested in being leaders as much as in developing leadership in other people.” - Ella Baker
As a nonprofit that values student voice, we put our money where our mouth is.
We are committed to paying the Organizers who lead our work for three reasons:
First, campaigns often exploit young people for their unpaid labor. Paying students at the start of their careers allows Organizers to treat Rhizome as a launching pad toward a lifetime of service, and a lifetime of knowing their worth. Paying Organizers lets us work, learn, and grow sustainably.
Second, paying young people allows us to represent the communities we work in, retain talent from each city, and create local pipelines. By paying Organizers, we can ensure equitable access to leadership roles, identify organic leaders, and support them to lead the work in their communities.
Third, it’s the right thing to do.HELP US SERVE MORE STUDENTS