Democracy Summer!

Applications for Democracy Summer 2023 will open in early spring. To be notified when applications open, please fill out this interest form.  

About Democracy Summer:

The Democracy Summer project seeks to bring about political change in America by training and deploying the next generation of Democratic organizers and leaders to win elections at every level. This one-of-a-kind Democratic Fellowship—founded by Congressman Jamie Raskin but now undertaken across the country—teaches high school and college students state-of-the-art tactics in voter registration and political organizing, the dynamic history of political and social change in our country, and essential lessons for political leadership. 

Democracy Summer expanded nationally for the first time in 2021 in an historic partnership with the DCCC and campaigns of Democratic Members. Over 350 college and high school-aged students from 27 states participated as Fellows in our first nationwide virtual summer learning program and were trained simultaneously as organizers and volunteer activists in Democratic campaigns all over the country. 

Now in 2022, we are poised for yet another massive expansion as we galvanize the next generation of true-blue Democrats in more than 50 campaigns of Democratic Members of Congress who have already signed up to participate in what many are calling the most important congressional election of our lifetime.   

The theme of Democracy Summer 2022’s curriculum is “Political Democracy and its Enemies.”  There will be readings and presentations about white supremacy and political democracy, the January 6 attacks, historic and contemporary struggles for voting rights, fascism and totalitarianism, and proposed changes to strengthen democratic process in the future.  

In prior years, the Program has also featured conversations on topics such as the climate crisis, gun violence prevention and the power of the NRA, the assault on reproductive freedom, wealth inequality and tax policy, immigration and refugee policy, the Electoral College and the National Popular Vote campaign, redistricting and gerrymandering, the domestic budget and the military budget, U.S. foreign policy and Congressional power to declare war, education policy, civil rights and civil liberties, and the continuing spread of voter suppression tactics in GOP-controlled state legislatures. Democracy Summer speakers have included House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Civil Rights leaders Bob Moses and Rev. William J. Barber II, Prof. Laurence Tribe, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Rep. John Lewis, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and many more.

Program Structure:

This six-week program will take place from June 20, 2022 to July 31, 2022 and requires a commitment of about 20-25 hours a week. Members of the House will choose their own campaigns’ Democracy Summer Fellows—students should apply through their local participating House campaign.

Democracy Summer Fellows will spend two days a week taking part in an intensive curriculum focused on leadership training, the history of social change in America, and best practices in political organizing today.

During the remainder of the week, the Fellows will be on the ground organizing and connecting with voters in participating districts and nearby swing districts we are all committed to help. 

Stay up to date about Democracy Summer by following us @Jamie_Raskin on Twitter! 

For questions about this program, please contact our National Director, Madeline Kracov at


“Democracy Summer reinvigorated our local activists and clubs like nothing else. When you unleash the creativity and enthusiasm of young people, everyone gets excited. At this moment when our very democracy hangs in the balance and people worry about energizing the Democratic electorate in the midterms, Democracy Summer can add a huge splash of hope and confidence in every kind of district.”

-- Rep. Andy Levin, 2021 Democracy Summer Partner

"The Democracy Summer Fellows brought incredible energy and innovation to my campaign, and I am very grateful for their hard work. It was an honor to have the fellows present for my campaign office opening with Speaker Nancy Pelosi so she could hear their stories and passion. I highly recommend that other progressive campaigns take advantage of this excellent resource." 

-- Rep. Mike Levin, 2021 Democracy Summer Partner

"I really enjoyed being able to have opportunities to participate in both national programming and practicums. Both of them gave us opportunities to hear from extraordinary speakers and learn about important topics related to preserving our democracy such as voting rights. This is an experience I will carry for a very long time."

-- Michael, 2021 Fellow

“This experience was totally life changing. Listening to all of these important political figures and great leaders of our world lifted me to see the ability of youth change. The special thing about democracy summer is its ability to bond youth from across the country.”    

-- Skyler, 2021 Fellow

"Through the program, I learned not only how small grassroots campaigns are run, but also what to do after the polls close. I learned that small groups of determined people, of any age, can make a large impact. The program gave me a roadmap for making change."                             

-- Drew, 2020 Fellow

"You learn from these amazing people everyday at Democracy Summer with their questions and answers. I can say there's never been a day at Democracy Summer when I didn't learn something new. Being surrounded with this uplifting group of people inspired me to create a politically active club at my school...Democracy Summer isn't just something you do and leave, it inspires you to continue what you learned and use it in the world to change it into a better place. My time at Democracy Summer was truly my most life-changing experience yet. I now hope and aspire to stay continuously politically active and aware." 

-- Adesola Adelegan, Democracy Summer 2019 Fellow 

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