"You're here, you are a citizen, you can vote. I think that's just really powerful to get that message at a young age…your time, your energy, is something that we all need." Your message matters. "If you are 18 years old, you have a voice," Dawson told Variety.
Your vote matters. Just vote. It counts," Cox said. Because we’re all distracted by all this other stuff and he's just rolling s— back. Girl! He’s getting his life. "But girl. It’s like, come on…It’s actually already happening. Jeff Sessions is getting his life right now. "Go and vote, and make it something that’s consequential," the "Orange Is the New Black" star told Variety. "And I understand all the folks on the left who are just like, ‘These people don’t represent me or this person’s problematic around these issues or those issues,'" Cox said, pausing to shake her head.
Joining what the organization calls "the voting class of 2018," the delegates listened intently to speeches given by Shahidi, Cox, Dawson, and activist Janaye "Future" Khan among others. and Puerto Rico. The summit was organized by 18-year-old "Grown-ish" actress Yara Shahidi, who founded the Eighteen x 18 initiative nearly a year ago with the goal of getting first time voters to the polls. More than 120 teenagers from around the country were flown in to be delegates at the summit, representing all 50 states as well as Washington D.C.
Laverne Cox, Rosario Dawson and Yara Shahidi have one thing to ask of young adults this election season: Go out and vote.
Transgender lives are on the line," Laverne Cox said in a speech at the We Vote Next Summit, held at the TOMS Headquarters in Los Angeles on Saturday. "Elections have consequences.
"We have to use the one major tool that we have, which is all of us. Cause there are a hell of a lot more of us than there are of them, and by 'them,' I mean the folks that are in power right now that clearly do not represent us," Dawson said.” />
"When we talk about policies, we're talking about people's lives," the "Smallfoot" star said to the room of delegates. During her opening remarks, Shahidi spoke passionately about the importance of exercising the right to vote.
Actress Rosario Dawson, who co-founded of her own voting initiative, "Voto Latino," in 2004, also spoke passionately about the cause.
“When you look at the fact that all [these] seats are up for reelection, it's a big deal, because it’s a time in which we can push up against the institution."  “It’s really important that we make our voices heard in this election, because we have so much power,” Shahidi told Variety.

Eighteen x 18 is an initiative founded by Yara Shahidi to educate and engage the next generation of voters in the U.S. through the power of creative storytelling.” />
The application period begins Wednesday, Aug. The summit, hosted by Shahidi's non-profit Eighteen x 18, will be held Sept. 7. 29 and will close on Friday, Sept. 29 at the TOMS headquarters in Los Angeles.
Any young person is encouraged to apply online for an opportunity to participate as one of 100 delegates and receive a full scholarship, which includes summit registration, travel and lodging. Featuring hands-on workshops, interactive panels, and guest speakers, the summit will provide a powerful experience for participants, who will be representing every state in the country as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
"Grown-ish" star Yara Shahidi has announced the #WeVoteNext Summit, a conference that will convene young leaders from across the country to educate and inspire the most powerful voting block in America.
“Whether it’s immigration, gun violence, climate change, criminal justice reform or student debt, our generation will hold our elected officials accountable this November." "We are calling our generation together before the midterm elections, so we can make sure that we have the tools and knowledge necessary to generate the largest youth voter turnout in history!” said Shahidi.