Posts Tagged 'Students'



Campus Spotlight: Travel, Serve, Learn — SUNY Brockport’sTeam Memphis Winter 2012

SUNY Brockport Logo

The College at Brockport offered a WinterSession 2012 service learning course entitled CMC 211: Protest and Public Opinion. This course included classroom segments on campus, plus an 9-day, 8-night field experience in Memphis, Tennessee where students attended classroom sessions and took field trips related to the course.  While in Memphis students performed service work with the Zion Cemetery Project, helping to reclaim an abandoned 16-acre Black cemetery that contains 23,000 graves, some of them former slaves.  The field trips included Civil Rights sites in Memphis. This academic experience culminated with visits to the site of Martin Luther King’s final speech, the National Civil Rights museum at the Lorraine Motel where Dr. King was assassinated and with observing Martin Luther King Day in Memphis.

This blog post is a compilation of blog posts that students wrote chronicling their experiences as part of Team Memphis. Thank you to Dale Hartnett, Protest and Public Opinion instructor, for compiling this blog post! You’ll be able to learn more about this course at the ADP National Meeting in San Antonio, Texas during Dale Hartnett’s presentation on Friday, June 8 at 1:30 p.m. Not registered yet? Register here!

“A River To Ignite My Mind and Alert My Senses “

January 11, 2012

Zion Cemetery

Zion Cemetery

Today was our first day in Memphis… we went to Zion Cemetery and met with Dr. Milton Moreland (professor from Rhodes College in archeology.) Before he arrived, Haley presented about the cemetery and shared various cemetery ceremonies such as the going home ceremony and famous persons that our buried there such as Dr. Georgia Patton Washington, who was the first African American female doctor in Tennessee.

When Milton arrived he showed us the various stones including the late Doctor’s which was buried under a magnolia tree (that tree must beautiful in the spring, I almost could smell its sweetness as Mr. Milton told us about her). Milton also shared with us his assumption that the cemetery had mass graves from the epidemic of yellow fever of the 1870′s and Professor Hartnett showed us stones where two people were buried in the same plot; hence maybe they were buried on top of each other. – Kammie

“…We are a revolution”

January 12, 2012

Today, the team decided to go on a driving tour of Memphis. During the tour led by our professor/tour guide, Dale Hartnett, we visited places like the Mississippi River, and the famous Beale Street. We saw so many things that struck our interest, but nothing more than the campsite of Occupy Memphis. While driving by on our way to see the Mississippi River, we noticed a campsite, and asked if that was the Occupy Memphis group. Professor Hartnett said that he believed this was at least the general area that they were supposed to be located. We all got so excited that we asked to go see it.

The Occupy campaign falls in line with the subject matter of our class, Protest and Public Opinion, and the idea of meeting

Occupy Memphis

Occupy Memphis

some of the people who are part of this group excited all of us. We walked up to their campsite, but we didn’t see anyone there. It was early, so we figured that most of the protestors were still sleeping. On one of the bulletin boards they had a list of some of their events and rallies coming up. Needless to say, we will be attending one of those rallies very soon. Also, while we were there, Professor Hartnett offered the suggestion to bring some of the protestors dinner tonight. We have a lot of leftovers from the Americorps dinner last night, and he thought that would be a good idea. We all thought that this was an awesome idea and one of our team members, Erica Stoeckeler, looked up their website, found their number and gave them a call. We received no answer. We even tried tweeting them when we noticed that they have an active twitter account. So far, we haven’t heard from them, but we will keep trying. If we don’t hear back from them, we still plan to go to their rally on Monday.

Before we left, one of our team members came across one of their signs said that seemed pretty thought provoking:

“We are not a movement, we are a revolution”

It is part of our class to analyze groups like these, and discuss whether or not they would be considered a “Movement” or “Revolution”. Even if they are not technically considered either of these things, I find it inspiring that groups of people are organizing around the nation to fight for what they feel is right. Hopefully this group can consolidate their goals with those across the US and truly become a social movement, because we live in an era where not many people will stand up and demand change. This group has the potential to become something bigger than what it is now. I hope that it does. –Imani Lawrence

Strange Fruit

January 13, 2012

I looked up into the twisting trunk of the magnolia tree, faintly tuning in to the story of the buried resting beneath.  Nothing hung from the Southern symbol, yet stillness ebbed through the tangled branches.  The words of Billie Holiday reeled through my recollection:

“Southern trees bear a strange fruit,

Blood on the leaves and blood on the root

Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze

Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees

Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh,

Then the sudden smell of burning flesh”

The song was played for us less than a week ago back in our classroom at Brockport as part of our introduction in the Civil Rights Movement.  While standing in the cemetery, that memory seems long ago.  The cemetery bodes us to peel back the layers of history resting with fallen and forgotten graves.

Magnolia Tree

Magnolia Tree

Thomas Moss, Calvin McDowell and William Stewart are among those who have come to rest in the Zion Cemetery in Memphis. While walking the gravesites with Team Memphis 2012, Dr. Moreland of Rhodes College, who spearheads the restoration efforts, tells of these 1892 black merchants who were victims of lynching.  Ida B. Wells was moved to crusade against lynching and make known her anti-lynching position after these three black merchants were lynched for reasoning other than the usual rational cited; rape.  Fellow student, Haley, informed us that it is believed that the lynching occurred to “keep the nigger down.”

Search the burial records for William Stewart on the Zion Community Project website.  What you will unearth is the section and row that he is buried in.  However, this information won’t bear meaning until stepping foot in the actual cemetery.  Part of the purpose we serve in joining in the restoration efforts is to devise a system to help graph and map out the cemetery so the former sections and rows can be traced back to specific locations.  I am excited to be a part of this effort and hope in a few years down the road to see more of the community coming together to take ownership over this noteworthy project.  Like Billie Holliday graphically reminds us we need to we preserve this piece of history. – Jess

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – M.L.K.

January 17, 2012

Remember visiting your grandparents’ house for holiday dinners? Everyone in the family would rise to enthusiastically greet and embrace you upon arrival. The aroma of food filled your nose and warmed your soul, as you’d mingle amongst family members, catching up with one another. Outbursts of laughter and little cousins running around the house would interrupt conversation, only to put a smile on your face knowing you were home.

Farewell Dinner

Farewell Dinner

Yesterday, we were at “home” in Memphis. Our team woke early to attend a service at the Mount Vernon Baptist Church – Westwood, where we were formally introduced and praised in front of the entire congregation. Following the church service, senior pastor, Dr. Reverend Netters, treated our group to a traditional soul food meal at the legendary Four Way restaurant. Afterwards, we were invited to LeMoyne Owen College for an annual fundraising event, where we were introduced to many black churches from the Memphis area.  Throughout the day, worshipers took us aside to thank us for the work we’ve done, wish us good luck with our studies, and lavished us with warm hugs.

At LeMoyne Owen fundraiser, I had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Reverend Netters’ great grandson, Jalon, who afterwards pointed out that I had separated from the team Memphis group. I responded that it shouldn’t be too hard to find them, as we instantly located my White classmates dispersed among a sea of Black people. As Jalon and I laughed, it became apparent for the first time in the past week that we were the minority.

I wish all members of minorities could be treated like family, as we have been for the past week by the Mt. Vernon Baptist Church; embracing one another for differences and taking advantage of opportunities to learn from one another. – Erica

COLLEGE AS A TRANSFORMATIVE EXPERIENCE

January 19, 2012

Stepping off the plane made it final. Team Memphis 2012 had dispersed.  There will be no picking up right where we left off.  Not an option! We have been changed for the better- a sentiment I think we all would share!  Our trip sets the stage for a transformational year.  After all, as Andrea (if I’m not mistaken), one of the ladies passing through the hostel, pointed out, “this is the Year of The Dragon.”

Zion Cemetery

Zion Cemetery

Andrea impressed with our dedication to the restorations efforts of the cemetery likened us to missionaries. Others shrouded us with gratitude and welcomed as if we were fellow Memphians.  The recognition left us knowing the work we did was impactful.  IMPACTFUL BUT INCOMPLETE-is the chronicle that we stepped into and then back out of.  Knowing that the work is incomplete is not unsettling rather it is uplifting.  Who will come together to narrate the next page or chapter remains to be foreseen.  Will Karen, who preserved the records of the T.H. Hayes Funeral Home, connect with Dr. Moorland of Rhodes College to make the records accessible online; will Carol of AmeriCorps spearhead an annual clean-up project at Zion Cemetery; or will a member of the Mt. Vernon Baptist congregation who serves on the Zion board recruit others to join the board?  The possibilities of partnerships are limitless.  I have faith that progress will be achieved.   Whichever scenario plays out, these are opportunities for the community to come together and reconnect with the past and…we helped to create them (through direct action and in raising awareness!)

Today in reflecting upon our trip Mark Noll, Director of Institute for Engaged Learning for The College at Brockport, posed the question “Should all students be required to complete a course with a service learning component?”  Our group stood divided.  Dr. King, I believe, would answer YES.  Simply put, he describes service work as “The rent we pay to live on Earth.”  This begs the bigger question of “What is the goal of our college experience?”   Is it merely to get a degree or, as Mark suggested to us, is it meant to be a transformative experience?  The latter I would contend!

For more information on SUNY Brockport’s Team Memphis experience:

Vote for St. Cloud State (Minn.) Student in White House Contest

St. Cloud State University student Kurtis Neu needs your vote to make it to the White House.

Kurt Neu, a senior anthropology major, is one of 15 finalists chosen in the 2011 White House Campus “Champions of Change” Challenge, which invited college and university students from across the country to demonstrate how their student-led project is improving their campus community and helping America win the future.

After reviewing a record number of entries, 15 finalists were named, including Neu’s which is titled “Our Promise: Building a Better Community Together.”

Neu’s project was put into action last summer providing bagged lunches for children in a multi-ethnic, low-income neighborhood who would normally qualify for lunch assistance during the academic year at a local elementary school. After receiving a grant from the campus food supplier, Neu and his team began making bagged lunches in the campus cafeteria every morning Monday through Friday. College students and volunteers from the community worked together to prepare meals which students then distributed to children in the neighborhood. What started as only a few hundred meals and a handful of volunteers grew to nearly 1000 meals and dozens of volunteers as awareness of the lunch program spread. Delivering the meals to various locations throughout the neighborhood made it possible for students and residents to meet face-to-face and to have purposeful conversations and to work towards establishing relationships based on trust, compassion and a general concern for the well-being of all community members.

Via email, Kurt indicated that the “Our Promise” project represents the collective efforts of “a fantastic group of individuals who are committed to improving the community.” He views St. Cloud State University as “an exceptional place to earn a degree and to discover how to see the world in a different light” and hopes that his project encourages other students to “make the best of their time in college and truly have a positive impact on campus and in the community.”

Go here to learn more and to vote.

The top five winners will largely be selected based on voting and named Campus Champions of Change and will be invited to a culminating event at the White House. The Challenge winners, in addition to the concluding event, will be highlighted by mtvU and MTV Act and also host an episode of mtvU’s signature program, “The Dean’s List.”

The deadline to cast your vote is Saturday, March 3.

Best of luck to you, Kurt, and to St. Cloud State University!

Student Spotlight: Liz Bowling’s Lesson in Basic Economics

I had the opportunity to talk with Liz Bowling, a new-traditional (read, not  18-22 years-old) undergraduate student at Emporia State University in Kansas, recently about her experiences in Rob Cattlet’s fall Economics 101: Basic Economics course.

- Jen Domagal-Goldman, National Manager, American Democracy Project

By Liz Bowling, Emporia State University (Kan.)

City of Emporia Clean-Up & Recycling Days

On Saturday October 1st of last year, I had the privilege of participating in the City of Emporia’s Clean-Up & Recycling Days.  I worked alongside other volunteers from Emporia State University, local businesses, organizations and individuals from Emporia at the temporary transfer station and recycling center in Santa Fe Park.

After slipping into my gloves and safety vest, I made my way around to the different containers designated for tires, wood, metals, cleaners, chemicals, paints, T.V.s, computers and computer parts, and trash, which would have been headed for the landfill if we were not here.  There were a couple of volunteers who offered their trucks and fuel to take several loads of usable items to area thrift stores.  With more people using their intellectual and physical talents, along with more dumpsters there would have been even less items going to the landfill.

This was a wonderful life-transforming experience!  In return for giving five hours from my Saturday, I have gained a personal accountability to a higher standard of activism.  From now on I will no longer be able to plead ignorance, or sit back and let others do all the work.

I thought that it was enough that as a recycle artist I have created entire shows from utilizing 95 percent refuse that I took from local business trash bins and other recycled materials.  This is good; however, it is simply not enough!

After my experience on Saturday, I am committed to doing more through volunteering, educating, and/or donating money and supplies.  I will become an engaged citizen. I have several ideas about ways in which to educate the public, campaign for changes, and fund-raise and ideas about ways to involve the youth and our school systems. I am dedicated to researching, manifesting, and implementing these ideas. I believe that other citizens of Emporia, like me, would be interested in opportunities to assist in solution-changing-events such as Clean Sweep II.  However, they have to be given the opportunity to become aware of the enormity of the situation and the long-term ramifications of the problems that we are facing personally, environmentally, economically, and globally.

_____

About Elizabet (Liz) L. Bowling

Liz Bowling

Liz has been “a creative” her entire life; it is what sustains, supports and nourishes her mind, body and spirit.  She has been a professional artist for the past 22 years.  Liz began at Sterling College (Kan.) and then ventured to UCLA. Since then she has been at IUPUI, Baker University (Kan.), the University of Oklahoma and is currently a student at Emporia State University (Kan.) where she is taking a class in economics that has extensive civic engagement elements as part of the American Democracy Project.

Art and writing have always been a big part of Liz’s  creative life.  She is currently working on several book projects. By nature she is a self-proclaimed assemblage artist. Her eclectic and unusual palette includes: clay, wood, wire, fibers/cloth, bone and recycled materials, found objects, cardboard, paint, and anything discarded (e.g., trash) that can be utilized and revitalized.

Being an assemblage artist for many years, she has utilized found objects and the art of recycling through out my career; however, what began as a necessity has become a dedication to living life with integrity and personal accountability. She believes that we live in a world where a large number of people live with the “disposable society” mentality. Too quickly, we throw away. We throw away useful items; we fill our landfills with materials that can be recycled and put to good use.  Many in our society tend to quickly throw away their values, their relationships, family, children, friendships, the elderly and disabled in the quest to obtain more, bigger, better, more improved things.

As an educated individual, Liz is dedicated to helping to make this world a better place. Educating myself about the application of non-toxic and environmentally safe products in partnership to recycling is a foundational part of my creative process. As a spiritual being, Liz has committed her life to that of seeking knowledge, growth, accountability, personal and professional integrity, and unfolding naturally into authenticity. Her entire life is about building bridges and using her creative talent to connect and inspire others.

Student Spotlight: A Student Perspective on ADP at MTSU

Guest Blog Post by Raven Dohuky, Sophomore, Middle Tennessee State University

About Raven Dohuky:

Live, love, laugh is my thought on life, as a Kurdish American living in Nashville, Tennessee. I was born on March 13, 1991, in Kurdistan, Iraq.  (Did you know that there are more Kurds living in Middle Tennessee than anywhere else in the entire U.S.?) My family migrated to America shortly after I was born during the Gulf War.  We were prisoners in our own land, deprived of freedom and opportunities, and we had no choice but to flee and become refugees.  And that’s how I got my name:  Raven means “of refuge” in Kurdish, and my last name refers to the city of Dohuk where my family is from.  I am currently a sophomore and proud member of the American Democracy Project at Middle Tennessee State University, working part time as pharmacy technician at a retail pharmacy. I hope to become a pharmacist in the not-too-distant future.  As a Kurd assimilating in America, I try as much as possible to keep my heritage and culture alive.  I always have the mindset of being grateful for what I have and who I have in my life.

American Democracy Project at MTSU

At Middle Tennessee State University, the American Democracy Project has many faces, takes many forms, and operates across many layers of our university, for civic outreach and community involvement.  ADP works through both our faculty and our students, promoting democratic engagement and civic learning.  We are continually trying to do more.

ADP MTSU Students

ADP MTSU Students (from L to R): Forest Stroud, Raven Dohuky, Josh Moore & Kelsey Tellez

One way ADP is visible on our campus is through our American Democracy Project Student Organization, under the auspices of Student Affairs and the MTSU Center for Student Involvement and Leadership.  Dr. Mary Evins, who’s the campus coordinator for ADP, is our faculty advisor.  Our student organization’s  goal is to work to produce MTSU graduates who understand and are committed to engaging in meaningful actions as citizens in our democracy.  At MTSU, ADP is very active throughout campus and in all our nine colleges.  We raise awareness about what is happening across campus and our community, and we’re intentional in our commitment to help raise our fellow students’ awareness and citizenship and to excite their interest in our shared public purposes: to make good citizenship cool.  ADP is absolutely nonpartisan, so there are no party politics allowed.  We sponsor voter registration drives and candidate forums, but we do all that without any party affiliation.

Here’s how I got involved in ADP:

Right after my freshman year of college, Dr. Evins got in touch with me. She emailed me after I took a history class with her, and she asked if I might like to join the campus American Democracy Project.  At first I wasn’t too excited about it.  On further consideration I realized it would be a great opportunity for me, to participate and get involved in the community; but mainly, I must admit, I thought it would look good on a resume.  As I walked into the ADP meeting on the first day of school, I honestly had no clue what I was getting myself into.  Yet as I listened to Dr. Evins and the other ADP students, I started looking forward to what else the club might be able to accomplish.

We have indeed accomplished many goals, just in the time I’ve been involved, and we’re continuing to achieve more. There’s a recycling policy study we’re continuing from last spring; we’ve been doing voter registration drives all year; our students are trying persistently, along with our local county’s election commission, to develop a public polling place on our campus of 26,000 students; we’re making informational flyers for incoming MTSU freshmen for this summer, to inform them right away about how to get registered to vote in the November presidential election, and also to teach them about MTSU’s recycling opportunities; our ADP students cooperate with the student environmental organization on campus, particularly this year since the Tennessee legislature is reconsidering its position on mountaintop removal policy in the Smoky and Cumberland Mountains.  We were involved two years ago in tobacco-free-campus policy research that made a significant contribution toward the development of our brand new “MT Tobacco Free” university tobacco-free policy, which commenced here on January 1 of this year.  We’re pushing now for good-citizenship compliance and also for healthy enforcement of the new policy, and we’re trying to organize a campus-wide clean-up for this spring to get rid of unsightly cigarette butts on the campus grounds.

One of my first real involvements with ADP was during Constitution Week last fall.  We were honored to have Chairman James Leach of the National Endowment for the Humanities as our guest speaker during Constitution Week activities.  We worked diligently on voter registration throughout that very visible campus celebration.  It was shocking to me to see for myself how little knowledge our students have about politics, the upcoming presidential election, and even current issues that affect our daily lives. From that moment on, I was eager to become even more involved with ADP and to share the growing knowledge and enthusiasm I’ve been fast developing with my fellow students.  So lots of ideas are in the making for us, and we always love new, from-the-ground-up ideas.  The new students who join our organization every semester bring with them fresh energy, insights, creativity, and heart to our public engagement.

Just this month ADP helped host Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who came to our campus and city for a lecture and public dialogue.  She spoke about her “iCivics” initiative (www.icivics.org) for K-12, which she’s worked on since her retirement from the Supreme Court and about which she is proud.  Our Dean of Liberal Arts, Dr. Mark Byrnes, told her at the community lecture about our own American Democracy Project initiative for civic learning.  And we were proud.  Attached is a photograph of a few of the ADP students after Justice O’Connor’s lecture at MTSU; I’m the short brunette in the front.

As I work side by side with my fellow ADP members, I absolutely realize that the public work we do through ADP is most assuredly not about “looking good on a resume,” it’s about being educated, about empowerment, and being engaged in the world in which we live.  After all, we as responsible citizens need to be aware right now of what the future holds for us and how we must impact it for good by our actions in the present.  We must understand our own individual responsibilities and know that how we live now directly affects our country, its culture, and the fast-growing environment in which we live.  We have a voice and we need to take control.

I have certainly incorporated my new skills for personal action into my own life.  I work in the pharmacy of a large national grocery store chain in Nashville, and I have just submitted to my manager a plan to expand our company’s recycling capabilities for the store.  I have learned to express myself and I am empowered to act.

One thing I hold close to my heart and would like to recommend to everyone is to educate yourself about the world around you and when you see something that needs fixing, then you fix it.  Because I am a Kurdish American who came to my new country as a political refugee, the political direction of this country, and of the world, is powerfully, personally important to me.

Read more about MTSU’s ADP here.

The White House’s Campus Champions of Change Challenge

By Jen Domagal-Goldman, National Manager, American Democracy Project

The White House Office of Public Engagement and mtvU are sponsoring the first ever Campus “Champions of Change” (CCC) Challenge, and I want to encourage each of our American Democracy Project (ADP) campuses to submit an application!

This new program is intended to highlight stories and examples of how college students are representing President Obama’s vision for “out-innovating, out-educating, and out-building the rest of the world through projects and initiatives that move their communities forward.” Examples might include campus sustainability programs, campus-community partnerships, voter registration drives, etc.

The CCC Challenge “invites college and university students from across the country to demonstrate how their student led project is improving their campus community and helping America win the future.” Five finalists will be named and honored at the White House. The finalists will also work with mtvU and MTV Act to create short video features about their projects that will be featured on MTV.com. The winning team will host an episode of mtvU’s program, “The Dean’s List.”

The process:

  • Complete the online application detailing your student-led program at www.WhiteHouse.gov/CampusChallenge.
  • The White House will select 15 finalists based on input from a panel of judges.
  • The public will then have an opportunity to weigh in and vote on the top five projects they think best embody the President’s goal to win the future.
  • Submissions are due by Friday, December 9, 2011.

To find out more about the CCC Challenge, follow this link.

We the People Interview Series: UMBC’s Catie Collins

By Jen Domagal-Goldman, National Manager, American Democracy Project

As part of the Civic Agency initiative, we are conducting a special “We the People” interview series. In this series, we interview intriguing people with different perspectives on the “We the People” phase of our work in ADP. This is the fifth of many interviews that will be included in this series.

Catie Collins is the President of the University of Maryland Baltimore County’s (UMBC’s) Student Government Association (SGA). In her spare time, she is working to complete her senior year studying Psychology, English Literature, and TED Talks.

American Democracy Project (ADP): How did you get involved in the American Democracy Project?

Catie Collins (CC): I have the incredible luck of being a part of UMBC’s flourishing legacy of civic agency work.  The idea of civic agency is really becoming embedded in both our SGA’s culture, and the culture of UMBC as a whole. Our involvement in the American Democracy Project has really been key in helping to achieve this shift. Attending the American Democracy Project Conference in June 2011 was one of my first acts in office!

ADP: Tell us how you got involved in SGA?

Catie Collins, SGA President at UMBC

CC: In my first year at UMBC, I remember feeling frustrated and powerless. I felt like a cog in the wheels of the university, helpless to change anything, expected to play my role as a student and nothing more. That turned out to be a very large assumption – and a false one – which a friend in SGA soon corrected. They challenged me to step up and create the change I wanted to see myself, rather than waiting for someone to swoop in and save the day. My curiosity was sparked – this was an SGA that didn’t just play politics, it didn’t just play the hero – it worked with students to help them create change and feel true ownership of their campus.  It’s this mission that led me to join SGA, and to eventually run for President.

ADP: What does civic agency and the “We the People” movement mean to you?

CC: Civic agency is such a tricky thing to really define – it’s something often best shared through experience. The definition that really resonates with me is this idea of really breaking down the roles we perceive ourselves to be in – professor, student, administrator – in order to really engage each other authentically. I’ve learned to engage people as partners, to really get to know them as real people, and that has led to far more effective impact than I would have ever expected.

ADP: You’re a student member of the national steering committee of the new American Commonwealth Project – a partnership among higher education institutions and associations, the White House, and federal agencies including the U.S. Department of Education, seeks to further the movement of colleges and universities as agents and architects of democracy – what role do you see yourself playing and what do you hope the project accomplishes?

CC: I’m both excited and humbled to find myself a member of the American Commonwealth Project steering committee. My hopes for both my role and the project are centered on the same goal. I would love to see this project work as a platform for a stronger student presence in the conversations surrounding civic agency. I feel that my contribution to this project will largely be work in facilitating that connection.

ADP: How do you see yourself expressing your civic agency after your graduation in spring 2012?

CC: It’s actually been my very experience with civic agency that has completely shaped my post-graduation path.  My involvement has helped me discover within myself a deep-rooted passion for education. I care so deeply about creating systems of education that promote true engagement, both in terms of the material and in terms of one’s civic engagement. I envision investing my future in exactly this kind of work.

ADP: All our best to you, Catie!

To read more about UMBC’s civic agency work, read this previous blog post, or this one.

Opportunities for Students to Put their Civic Agency to Work for the Public Good

Americans for Informed Democracy (AIDemocracy) is a non-partisan organization based in Washington, DC that is an important friend of ADP. They have opportunities for college students to engage in collective action around important global and local issues closely related to our 7 Revolutions (population, resources, technology, information, economics, conflict, and governance).

Americans for Informed Democracy (AIDemocracy)

AIDemocracy is a non-partisan organization comprised of young people in the U.S. concerned about our individual and collective roles in the world. AIDemocracy believes that students have the responsibility to understand and take collaborative action on important issues and that students have the power to build a better world.

AIDemocracy still has a few spots available on their climate change, hunger, sex & justice, and security campaign teams! If you are an inspired college student with an interest in mobilizing your peers to understand and take action on these issues or are looking for a chance to hone your organizing and leadership skills, then AIDemocracy needs you!

They are recruiting the following positions for each of their four teams:

* Coordinator: leads strategy development and supports other team members
* Organizer: recruits other interested students to join the cause
* Issue Analyst: monitors, analyzes and writes about related news and debates
* Communications Guru: spreads the word about team activities, events and information via print and social media

These are year-long, volunteer positions. AIDemocracy is looking for multiple people for each position, on each campaign. Details and job descriptions are available on their website. Each campaign team will plan their strategy for the coming year this August.

Here’s a quick pitch for each issue:

Hunger Campaign Team: Overcoming chronic hunger is one of the most crucial challenges facing our world today. Each day nearly 1 billion people across the world go without enough food to lead a productive and healthy life. As a result, problems like extreme poverty, disease, conflict, and climate change become all the more devastating and entrenched. Ending hunger is a vital step towards making this world a more equal, just, peaceful, and sustainable place. There are still spots available for outstanding young adults from across the nation to come together and campaign to end the grave injustice of global hunger.

Sex & Justice Campaign Team:  Sexual and reproductive health and rights encompass a wide variety of issues that pose challenges especially for women and adolescents in developing countries. Girls are becoming mothers instead of going to secondary school. Sexually transmitted infections are spreading. Mothers are dying in childbirth. Gender based violence persists. Even though these issues are complex, we have the power to advocate for change. Stand up against injustice and inequality. Join the sex & justice campaign team!

Climate Change Campaign Team: When it comes to tackling climate change, today’s young people know there’s not a second to waste! All around the world, young people are rising up to tell our leaders that we won’t stand for any more empty promises, failed agreements, and injustice. From our college campuses and city halls to COP conferences worldwide, our voices are being heard, and we’re seeing great progress, especially at the local level. But critical battles around climate adaptation and emissions continue, and we need your voice more than ever! AIDemocracy is offering outstanding individuals the opportunity to join their Climate Change campaign team and lead our network around this critical issue! Apply today to make your vision for a sustainable, just planet a reality.

Security Campaign Team: This September marks the tenth anniversary of 9/11. Are we secure? How do we define security? How much should we be spending on defense, versus other approaches like diplomacy and development? The Security Campaign Team will inspire student debate around these and other critical questions. Hot topics will include US engagement in Iraq and Afghanistan, nuclear weapons, and defense spending. Join us!

To apply, please send a statement of interest to opportunities@aidemocracy.org. Positions will be filled on a rolling basis. Hurry – they only have a few spots left!


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