26th Amendment Resources from JMU

Posted by James Madison University on September 14, 2021

Fifty years ago, the 26th Amendment to the United States Constitution took effect, lowering the universal voting age in the United States from 21 years to 18 years. Millions of young Americans were extended the right to vote, empowering more young people than ever before. The movement to lower America’s voting age was led by young people, especially young Black civil rights activists like Philomena Queen, Carolyn Quilloin Coleman, and James Brown, Jr. of the NAACP.

We are thrilled to share our 2021 Constitution Day page featuring resources on the 26th Amendment, which includes video, podcast, primary sources and a timeline created by James Madison University (JMU) Justice Studies Senior Ali Berens (our Fall Campus Vote Project Fellow).

We had the honor of interviewing Carolyn Quilloin Coleman, one of the original activists:

On Constitution Day, our undergraduate democracy fellows, led by Noa Banks Greene (a JMU Civic democracy fellow and president of the NAACP at JMU), will screen the interview with Mrs. Coleman and discuss efforts now to create a more just and inclusive democracy.

Please feel free to use these resources in your Constitution Day programming.

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