When the last escalation in violence between Gaza and Israel began in 2014, we spent hours combing through Twitter and Facebook and frantically checking in on WhatsApp and email with our friends in the region. Both of us (co-founders Julia and Evanna) had spent a lot of time working and traveling in the Levant and made friends with people on both sides of the conflict. It became a routine: wake up, make sure our friends and their families are ok, go to work, anxiously check the news all day, rinse and repeat.
At home in the U.S., we felt helpless. There was no going into Gaza, and even if we did, what good would it do? So we began throwing other ideas back and forth. If we couldn’t help on the humanitarian side, could we do something from the policy side? As Americans, we’re ultimately involved in this conflict, whether we want to be or not. And as millennials, we’ve never known a world without this conflict. Yet, when it comes to developing policy, our voices aren’t heard.
So Polithon was born.
Millennials are accused of being lazy “hashtag activists,” a generation that thinks clicking “like” is taking a stand, but we know that’s not true. We’re frustrated with the political gridlock in the US and around the world and we’re motivated to break through it. The status quo is no longer acceptable, and it’s going to take new thinking, new ideas, and new approaches to find solutions that can actually work.
We’re here to empower our peers, make our voices heard and insert ourselves into the policymaking process. We’re here to drive solutions.
Above all, we’re here to make an impact.