WE ARE ON A MISSION
TO EDUCATE, ORGANIZE, AND MOBILIZE THE NEXT GENERATION OF ACTIVE CITIZENS AND YOUNG LEADERS FOR A BETTER FUTURE FOR WYOMING.
OUR ORIGIN STORY
Forward Wyoming was founded in the winter of 2014, after Wyoming voters turned out to vote at the lowest rate since WWII.
As young voters, we felt the effects of political polarization and lack of forward-thinking policy on our own lives. And, our generation was on track to become the largest potential voting bloc in the state.
It was clear that the youth of Wyoming had reached a new crossroads: would we shrink away from our new civic power, or would we step up and make our voices heard to make a better state? We chose the latter... and set out to build grassroots knowledge in our community by teaching college students skills for organizing around important local issues. The Forward Wyoming Grassroots Institute was born! From there we launched our first commit-to-vote program to get more voters to show up in support of protecting public lands, raising the minimum wage, and closing the gender pay gap in 2016. Since then, we’ve continued to build community and make progress. This is just the beginning!
WHO WE SERVE
We serve all Wyomingites and focus on ways to create a better future for the state. Our unique experiences and stories about life in Wyoming are what drive us to progress. That’s why civic engagement is our jam: we think democracy works best when more people can make their voices heard.
WHAT WE DO
We’re building a culture of action that is local, creative, and impactful so that we can make a better future for our state, where all people have the chance to thrive. From leadership development to get-out-the-vote, we work hard to engage at all levels in our community.
WHY WE DO IT :)
We love Wyoming, and we think democracy is pretty cool, too.
HOW WE DO IT
We empower young people to take action locally through free programs that build skills, experience, and networks.
We believe that the more knowledge folks have, the more powerful we all are.
That's why sharing our experience and knowledge of community organizing is so important to us.
We speak up on issues that shape the future of Wyoming.
We unite the voices of people from across the state in order to amplify our message.
None of us can do it alone, but together, we can make great things happen.
We make it easier for more people to vote.
We work to spread information far and wide so every person can use the power of their vote to the fullest potential.
The key to success for a healthy democracy is informed and empowered citizens.
We culminate all of this work into helping voters go to the ballot boxes, every two years.
We are putting midterms, presidentials, and special elections on the radar for the community.
More voices means a better democracy, and that is good for Wyoming's future.
MEET OUR TEAM
LeeAnn is a fifth-generation native of Wyoming who started the work of Forward Wyoming back in 2015. After working in a D.C. Senate office, and then on local Wyoming campaigns, she saw the disconnect between people, policy and action first-hand. Through community organizing, peer empowerment, and local activism, she hopes to amplify the voices of her generation. LeeAnn likes to hike, practice yoga, travel, and read in hammocks whenever/wherever possible.
Pete is the driving force behind Forward Wyoming’s programs to empower voters in the state. Originally from New Hampshire, he came out West to study political science at the University of Wyoming and to explore, ski and mountain bike. In 2014, he began working as a field organizer and discovered a passion for building power at the local level. Since then, Pete has worked as a digital designer, project manager, and field trainer, joining the FW team in 2017.
Sydney is a local instructor and artist from Laramie, Wyoming. Having received a Dance Science BFA, Minor in Visual Arts, she is passionate about creating diverse education opportunities through interdisciplinary approaches and building community through involvement and outreach. Her unique course of study led her to present at the 2017 Shepard Symposium on health and stigma, receive an award for her art installations addressing issues of abuse, and receive a grant for her work with Wyoming’s underserved populations. Sydney is a strong advocate for arts in academia and community empowerment
Shelby is a native Wyomingite who recently graduated with her Masters in English from the University of Wyoming. As a Field Organizer, she loves working with all of her Forward Wyoming team. While working with Forward Wyoming, Shelby has been involved in digital engagement campaigns, canvassing at community events, and writing op-eds for newspapers across Wyoming.
Annika is a freshman at UW double majoring in Journalism and Economics. She has been involved in politics for the majority of her life and has worked with Forward Wyoming on-and-off for years. Annika is on board with Forward Wyoming's message because she sees first-hand young people becoming discouraged and not seeing the value in their vote. In her free time, Annika enjoys spending time in Wyoming's beautiful public lands and hanging out in downtown Laramie.
Tyler recently graduated from UW with a B.A. in Humanities and Fine Arts. His hometown is Parker, Colorado, but for the past five years, Tyler has lived in Laramie and has fallen in love with Wyoming. He is an openly pansexual cisgender male, who strives to work as an ally to build informative safe places for marginalized and underrepresented communities in Wyoming. Specifically, Tyler wants to help enhance the opportunities and resources for LGBTQIA+ youth in Wyoming through advocacy and strategic planning strategies.