Tonight, January 20, President Barack Obama will present the 93rd annual State of the Union address to the Congress of the United States and to the nation. The speeches are always highly anticipated, fairly formulaic, and mostly of interest to policy wonks (myself among them), Twitter and television pundits, and those who passionately either love or hate the administration and can’t wait to see their biases borne out.
While we here at Refinery29 will certainly be tuning in to the speech — and reporting on it to you — this year we decided to do something a little different, something that might help the president and the country out a little. We decided to let our readers, millennial women, speak out about the issues that matter to them. Issues like fiscal policy, student debt, reproductive rights, LGBT identity, physical safety, racial and ethnic diversity, and workplace protections. These statistics aren’t just abstract things — they affect and reflect the daily lives of millions of young women.
Most millennials don’t identify as Republican or Democrat — and it’s easy to see why. While our video is a broad snapshot of who they are and what they have to say, this generation’s viewpoints don’t distribute along traditional party lines. They are determined to change the world, in their own way, on their own terms.
The president clearly wants to talk to millennials; he’s going on YouTube right after he delivers his speech in an effort to reach this audience. With the 2016 election right around the corner, millennials — especially millennial women — will be a key voting bloc. In the coming year, we expect candidates and other national leaders to speak to young women, and to speak about young women — we just want to make sure that they are also listening to young women. Here is what they have to say. — Mikki Halpin, editorial director
P.S. What's your personal take on the State of Our Union? Tell us on Twitter with hashtag #SOOU. We'll be listening.
In order of appearance: Grace Lee, Manuela Odell, Emily Curl, Juwita Chavez, Brittany Luse, Rachel Renock, Amira Moodie, Mia Merrill, Katie Hyde, Benish Shah, Amber Sams, Courtney Kampka, Casey Tatum, Nneya Richards, Alyssa Hardy and Melissa Duren. Thank you for bringing our video to life.
A big thanks also to Lindsey Averill, Anne Cassard, Michael Ciancio, Luca Del Puppo, Amy Emmerich, Mary Galloway, Shannon Gibson, Aziz Hasan, Jacki Huntington, Sara Jonsson, Maggie Mertens, Sara Okin, Kimberly Pellnat, Ben Reininga, Stone Roberts, Simone Suber, Anna Zuccaro, and the rest of the R29 crew.
Sources: U.S. Chamber of Commerce Millennial Generation Research Review, The White House Labor Force Report, The Nielsen Sustainability Survey, The Reason Foundation 2014 Millennial Survey, Pew Research Social and Demographic Trends "Young Adults", "Millennials in Adulthood", and "On Pay Gap", Wells Fargo and Harris Poll's Financial Survey, RAINN, University of Virginia's Department of Economics “The Effects Of Motherhood Timing On Career Path,” The Center for American Progress "Generation Progress," and Harvard University "The Real Truth About Beauty: A Global Report.”