to Expand to New Cities with $1 million from Knight Foundation

SAN JOSE, Calif. – (April 15, 2011) will help develop networks of young leaders in five cities with a new $1 million grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. 

The announcement comes as 100 young adults gather for the Target 2020 Summit in San Jose, to address the obstacles community college students face in completing their education.

Washington DC-based, founded in 2002, aims to improve the way democracy works by investing in Millenial-driven solutions.

Beginning in the spring of 2011,, will expand to San Jose, Calif., Detroit, Mich., Philadelphia, Pa. and Miami, Fla. The group will continue building its program in Charlotte, N.C.

Each city will host a Democracy 2.0 Summit, where Millennials identify top issues important to them and brainstorm solutions. The gatherings also help build youth's leadership skills in civic engagement.  Summit-goers then select the top projects, which and partners help implement as campus or community projects. A team of young organizers will work in each city before and after the summit to recruit participants and ensure the projects have the support they need to be successful.

Since its inception, has funded and launched more than 26 Millennial-led projects that address financial literacy for the Millennial Generation, environmental sustainability, and challenges young veterans face reintegrating into civilian life. Its most recent programming helps Millennials develop ways to overcome obstacles they face in achieving academic goals.

“Transformative change occurs when people build relationships with each other and their civic leaders, share experiences and ideas, and see themselves as decision-makers in improving the civic health of their communities,” said Maya Enista, CEO of “The Knight Foundation’s significant investment in will empower thousands of Millennials to become drivers of change and will help build sustained networks of Millennial-led action around our country.”

“Four out of five teens say they want to be involved in community action and social change, yet only a quarter of young adults actually take part. There’s a huge, untapped resource there,” said Damian Thorman, national program director for Knight Foundation. “ knows how to engage young adults who are naturally passionate about their communities, and ignite that energy for action.”

Thorman and Judith Kleinberg, Knight’s San Jose program director and the former Palo Alto mayor, will share additional details about the investment at the San Jose summit, which will be streamed live online at

To join the conversation and to learn more, visit follow the team on Twitter @mob_org, or join them on Facebook at

About improves the way democracy works by investing in Millennial-led solutions. Utilizing technology and social networking to connect Millennials on and offline, its national Democracy 2.0 Award Summits convene Millennials from around the country to discuss issues impacting the Millennial Generation and to develop sustainable solutions to address them.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation advances journalism in the digital age and invests in the vitality of communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. Knight Foundation focuses on projects that promote informed and engaged communities and lead to transformational change. For more, visit<>


Marc Fest, vice president/communications, Knight Foundation, 305-908-2677;

 Femi Kirby, director of communications,, 202-573-8753;




About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit