HarperCollins Publishers will join forces with Declare Yourself, the national nonpartisan, nonprofit youth voter initiative aimed at empowering and encouraging America's youth to register and vote in the 2008 primaries and general election, to publish Declare Yourself: Speak. Connect. Vote. 50 Celebrated Americans Tell You Why (on sale: May 20, 2008) - a book to inspire, educate, entertain, and engage teens in the political process.
In the lead up to the 2008 presidential and general election, Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, will publish this collection of original essays and personal pieces about the importance of civic action. The contributors to Declare Yourself include young celebrities who will be casting their first ballot in 2008, comedians, actors, authors, athletes, musicians, political figures, and entrepreneurs. These well-known public figures will share their own experiences, relate personal anecdotes, and issue a call-to-action, encouraging young people to practice democracy and to register to vote for the upcoming election. Topics will range from "The First Time I Voted" to "Why the Personal is Political" to "Why Your Vote Counts," and more.
The book announcement comes on the heels of a record turnout of young voters in the recent Super Tuesday elections. MTV.com recently reported that, in practically every state holding a primary or caucus last Tuesday, youth turnout increased astronomically, doubling, tripling and even quadrupling the turnout in the 2000 and 2004 electoral seasons.
"We are excited and honored to partner with Declare Yourself and bring together this spirited collection of diverse and uniquely American voices," says Susan Katz, President and Publisher of HarperCollins Children's Books. "We are united in our goal, which is saying to young people: get informed, get connected, declare yourselves. Become lifelong voters.
"America Ferrera, star of the hit ABC show Ugly Betty, will act as the celebrity editor and spokesperson for the Declare Yourself book. In this role, Ferrera will write the introduction to the book and also support the book through media and public appearances.
Confirmed contributors for the Declare Yourself book include: Tom Anderson and Chris DeWolfe, Maya Angelou, Ryan Bingham, Bonnie Bernstein, Cheryl Burke, Meg Cabot, Nick Cannon, Sasha Cohen, Lauren Conrad, Chris Crutcher, Rosario Dawson, Kat DeLuna, America Ferrera, Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon, Anastasia Goodstein, Adrian Grenier, Hill Harper, Molly Ivins, Mike James, Marty Kaplan, Sean Kingston, James Kotecki, Nicole Lapin, Norman Lear, Maroon 5, Courtney E. Martin, Megan McCafferty, Naomi Shihab Nye, Hayden Panettiere, Amy Richards, Rob Riggle, Mark Ritchie, Henry Rollins, Atoosa Rubenstein, Stuart Scott, Holly Shulman, Amber Tamblyn, Aaron Tang, Aisha Tyler, Gabrielle Union, Sara Varon, Wilmer Valderrama, Alice Walker, Joan Walsh, Marcellus Wiley, and Judd Winick, and a piece by The Onion. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Declare Yourself's ongoing voter registration outreach initiatives.
"Exercising your right to vote is one of the most powerful-and personal-actions anyone can take in our country. We hope that sharing these very personal pieces will inspire millions of young people to vote for the first time-and write the next chapter in the on-going story of our democracy," says Norman Lear, founder of Declare Yourself.
In addition to HarperCollins Publishers, companies such as Cricket (Presenting Sponsor), Yahoo! (Premier Online Information Partner), MySpace (Premier Social Networking Partner), Google, Evite, Good Search, Clear Channel, Comedy Central, Good Magazine and American Eagle Outfitters have also signed on with Declare Yourself's 2008 campaign. Declare Yourself works closely with the most popular online destinations; young celebrities, sports figures and fashion designers; popular television shows; mobile content providers; retailers; video games; and media outlets to drive millions of young people, particularly first-time voters, to www.DeclareYourself.com to register to vote.
About HarperCollins Publishers
HarperCollins, one of the largest English-language publishers in the world, is a subsidiary of News Corporation (NYSE: NWS, NWS.A; ASX: NWS, NWSLV). Headquartered in New York, HarperCollins has publishing groups around the world including the HarperCollins General Books Group, HarperCollins Children's Books Group, Zondervan, HarperCollins UK, HarperCollins Canada, HarperCollins Australia/New Zealand and HarperCollins India. HarperCollins is a broad-based publisher with strengths in literary and commercial fiction, business books, children's books, cookbooks, mystery, romance, reference, religious and spiritual books. With nearly 200 years of history HarperCollins has published some of the world's foremost authors and has won numerous awards including the Nobel Prize, the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award, the Newbery Medal and the Caldecott. Consistently at the forefront of innovation and technological advancement, HarperCollins is the first publisher to digitize its content and create a global digital warehouse to protect the rights of its authors, meet consumer demand and generate additional business opportunities. You can visit HarperCollins Publishers on the Internet at http://www.harpercollins.com and www.harpercollinschildrens.com.
About Declare Yourself
Declare Yourself is the national nonpartisan, nonprofit campaign to energize and empower every eligible 18-year-old in America to register and vote in the 2008 primaries and general election. Partnering with leaders in education, the entertainment industry, popular online destinations and media outlets, the fashion industry and retailers, Declare Yourself registered more than 1.2 million people in the 2004 and 2006 elections at www.DeclareYourself.com. Declare Yourself, founded by Norman Lear, was launched in 2003 as the culmination of the Declaration of Independence Road Trip, a nationwide multi-media exhibit and tour of an original copy of the Declaration of Independence.