Reasons to Participate

Why participate in IHTD?

Representative James McGovern (MA-2) said that IHTD is “ incredibly important and incredibly timely for this reason. I believe that the priorities of Washington, D.C. are not the priorities of the majority of this country.”

The mission of the IHTD film festival is to bring young ideas and perspectives into the ongoing budget debate.  The goals of the festival are first, to educate youth about the intricacies of the federal budget, and second, to increase civic activism. Creating an effective video requires young filmmakers to think critically about federal spending and revenue decisions, to research what they would like to change, and to determine what affect their changes could have for our nation, using facts to support their position.

The result: insightful young people who speak their minds with confidence. Here are some comments from participating youth:

  • Jessica, a participant in the 2012 film festival, said that because of her participation in IHTD, “I have a better understanding of how our system works.”
  • Raven, a participant in the 2012 festival, says “Its important that adults understand that we are being affected by the decisions that are made for our country.”
  • Alia, a participant in IHTD 2011, dubbed the trip to Washington D.C. a “transformative experience.”

This year, 50 young people from 14 organizations in 10 different states brought their concerns to the offices of 29 congressional representatives. Of the 56 young people that have attended the festival’s training and lobbying activities in D.C. since 2010:

  • The average participant’s understanding of the federal budget has increased by 50%.
  • For about 25% of participants, the experience doubled their understanding of the federal budget.
  • 10% of participants reported a three-fold increase in this level of understanding.
  • IHTD participants report a higher comfort level with discussing the federal spending and revenue priorities.
  • Before IHTD, the average participant was neutral towards participating in civic activism.  After screening their videos and explaining their ideas to members of Congress, the average participant reports being statistically significantly more likely to participate in future activism.

At the IHTD 2012 World Premiere, IHTD organizer Rachel Jackson said the shear number of IHTD participants in 2011 and 2012 “prove that the nation’s youth care.”

IHTD is an opportunity for youth to speak out about their priorities. Seize this chance to be heard!

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Back to Our Mission: IHTD, 2011 - Present.

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