Jolt Initiative was founded in November 2016 by Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez, a nationally recognized civil rights leader. Cristina was named “Hero of the New South” by Southern Living Magazine, and her work has been featured on NPR, Vogue, The New York Times, MTV, USA Today, Univision, MSNBC’s Up Late with Alec Baldwin, among others.
Jolt initiative is a 501c3 non-profit organization that increases the civic participation of Latinos to build a stronger democracy and ensure that everyone’s voice is heard. Jolt knows that our democracy works best when everyone gets a seat at the table. That’s why Jolt builds the leadership capacity of millennial Latinos to increase their civic participation and mobilize their peers to action.
Latinos make up close to 40% of the state’s population, but their voice is often excluded from policy decisions.
Currently in Texas, there are nearly 11 million Latinos, and half of all people under the age of 18 are Latino. By 2030, Latinos will be the majority. With this demographic shift comes the opportunity to organize millions of Latinos to fight for lasting change in the Lone Star State. Texas’s expansive geography is challenging — 254 counties, cities with populations the size of many states, and a total of 19 million eligible voters.
Jolt Initiative is one of the only statewide organization in Texas organizing young Latinos around the power of their voice, vote, and stories.
Jolt Initiative is led by the community it serves and its model is designed, implemented, and evaluated by its members, many of whom are students in high school, community college and university. Jolt mobilizes its members to exercise power through a four-step process:
1. Non-partisan voter registration
Jolt Initiative trains community members to conduct nonpartisan voter registration.
2. Leadership development
Jolt Initiative organizing institute provides training to Latino youth on public speaking, advocacy, digital organizing and mobilization so that they can be effective leaders for their community.
3. Community and student organizing
Jolt Initiative helps young people form student chapters at high school and college campuses to organize around the issues that matter to them.
4. Telling our stories
Jolt Initiative brings artists and musicians together to lift up issues and voices in the Latino community, and share stories of how everyday people are coming together to build a stronger democracy