Our Strategic Framework

For nearly 18 years we’ve aimed to be Oregon’s next generation, doing democracy right. This work is rooted in our belief that when young people boldly lead, our democracy evolves to be more inclusive and accessible, and our communities become stronger, more resilient and thriving. America was founded on colonialism, capitalism, and white supremacy, and Next Up seeks to actively dismantle these systems of oppression through our mission, vision, and values.

While Next Up has always centered youth voices and championed the leadership of young people, we also acknowledge that we have been complicit in upholding systemic racism and other forms of oppression. Our organization has primarily benefited white voters, emerging political leaders who are white, and public policies supported by white people, which has harmed communities of color. Additionally, our internal culture has been characterized by many patterns of white supremacy culture.

Over the course of the last year and a half, our staff, Boards of Directors, and key volunteers have engaged in deep and reflective conversations around equity realignment and dismantling white supremacy culture in our organization. Next Up is working diligently to advance equity in and through our organization. We are committed to the challenging and imperfect process of continuous learning (and unlearning) that will be necessary to realize our vision of a more equitable Oregon, and the strategic framework you are reading right now is reflective of this process.

This 2020-2025 Strategic Framework is one way we are setting the tone now and into the future, as a way to guard against the disruption of staff and leadership transitions, shifting priorities, and changing political landscapes. We hope that after you read this strategic framework you will want to ask questions, give us feedback, and seek opportunities for collaboration. This work cannot be done alone and we look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to the next five years of growth.

Samantha Gladu, Executive Director
Sanne Stienstra, Next Up Board Chair
Courtney Graham, Next Up Action Fund Board Chair