After the Equity Council election of 2015, there was—for perhaps the first time in a generation—a critical mass of young Councilors, including our newly-elected President Kate Shindle. Knowing that communicating and engaging with our youngest members had long been a struggle for the union, a group of us "Under 40s" decided to try an experiment, creating an unofficial online gathering place for the union's youngest members to see if there was an interest in and appetite for those members to connect with each other.
And so, Actors' Equity Under 40 was born.
While those of us who created the group were all hopeful, none of us were prepared for the enthusiastic response we received. #AEAunder40 is now 4,100+ members strong, and exists as a judgement-free gathering space for young Equity members to engage with each other about the union and the industry at large. But the story doesn't end there.
Recognizing the importance of keeping the union's young members engaged and activated, founders of #AEAunder40 came to the Council with a proposal to form a Young Workers Committee. Making the case that such committees are common within Equity's fellow AFL-CIO unions, and that the most meaningful work can be done within the union's governance structure, the Council was persuaded and the committee was formed.
I'm proud to championed the need for this committee, have served as once of its Vice Chairs since its inception.