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ADP partners with the Earth Day Network’s MobilizeU to help make Every Day, Earth Day

The American Democracy Project is proud to announce a partnership with the Earth Day Network’s MobilizeU project. MobilizeU is a month-long effort to engage campus communities around four weeks of meaningful environmental efforts, from March 29-April 29, 2012. The Earth Day Network’s goals of scaling-up and sustaining longer-term environmental initiatives is in keeping with ADP’s efforts to make civic learning and engagement more central to our campus missions and work: rather than merely celebrating Earth Day, we can engage our campuses and communities in efforts to make our communities more healthy and sustainable on and before Earth Day, and every day.

I hope you’ll join us!

Jen Domagal-Goldman, National Manager, American Democracy Project


By Carra Cheslin, Earth Day University Campaign Coordinator, Earth Day Network

College and university students have consistently been at the forefront of the environmental movement, rallying and taking a stand for our planet. 2012 will be a critical year for the environment; as our climate and natural environment are rapidly changing, a host of major national elections occur, and the prominent Rio+20 Summit on Sustainable Development takes the world stage. Thus the time is now for universities to again lead the way in creating environmental change.

As part of Earth Day Network’s global effort to Mobilize The Earth™, Earth Day University is activating college students to join the MobilizeU movement and enable their campus environmental initiatives to have a greater impact than ever before.

MobilizeU is an international competition between colleges and universities that calls upon students to mobilize their campus communities around four weeks of environmental activism surrounding Earth Day 2012 (March 29 – April 29). Over the month-long competition, students will organize activities such as campus clean-ups, new voter registration drives and Earth Day events, as well as amplify environmental initiatives they are already working on at their schools.

Each of these activities will be broken down into a calculable number of “acts of green” – actions that either educate someone about the environment or reduce an individual’s carbon footprint. During each week of the competition, School Coordinators from each participating university will report the number of acts of green they generated and post a creative photo or video documenting their efforts to the MobilizeU Facebook hub. A central objective of MobilizeU is to build an international movement of student environmental activists. Thus, student Regional Coordinators will be working to initiate an exchange of ideas as well as a sense of community between students across the world.

Every act of green generated during MobilizeU will contribute to Earth Day Network’s global A Billion Acts of Green® initiative which will be presented to world leaders at the Rio+20 Summit on Sustainable Development this June. Thus, MobilizeU provides a platform for college students to amplify their environmental initiatives on an international level have a significant influence on global environmental change.

Students: Join the movement and Mobilize your U today as a Regional Coordinator or a School Coordinator.

You can view the MobilizeU YouTube video here.

You can download the MobilizeU Toolkit MobilizeU Tooklit.

Contact for more information.

Campus Spotlight: University of Alaska Anchorage’s ENGAGE Week

By Judith Owens-Manley, Director, UAA Center for Community Engagement & Learning


ENGAGE: e Citizenship at UAA, hosted in the Center for Community Engagement & Learning and supervised by Director Dr. Judith Owens-Manley, has created an active group of ENGAGE Social Issue Liaisons, students committed to connecting faculty, students, and community partners around social issues and community goals and through social media.  ENGAGE Social Issue Liaisons interviewed faculty and gathered student and community information over the course of last year to generate our new website pages at  In January 2012 ENGAGE Liaisons will begin supervising 6-8 new service-learning projects in the Anchorage, Alaska community.  AmeriCorps VISTA Project Coordinator Kris Katkus is coordinating the ENGAGE Social Issue Liaison projects this year.

An Engaged University

ENGAGE took a departure from technology in October, 2011 and met person to person for our first ENGAGE Week, brought to UAA by one of our ENGAGE Students, Alyssa Logan, who attended the Impact Conference last spring in Deland, Florida at Stetson University. The IMPACT Conference is historically the largest gathering in the country focused on the civic engagement of college students in community service, service-learning, community-based research, advocacy and other forms of social action.  Alyssa attended a session from another campus that was doing a week of similar activities and came back to Alaska determined to create our own week!  ENGAGE Week was held Oct. 17-21 as 5 days of brown bag lunches, service activities, and discussion panels in the late afternoon/early evening focused on social issues of importance to the Anchorage community.

ENGAGE week was sponsored by the Center for Community Engagement & Learning in Academic Affairs and Student Life and Leadership in the Dean of Student’s Office.  Each day had a theme such as Poverty, Education, Health, Immigration, and Environment.  More than 400 students, faculty and staff participated in ENGAGE Week events, culminating in two special events on Friday.

Student reflections on ENGAGE Week confirmed our belief that this is a program that we would want to hold every year.  Their comments point to the connections, awareness, new learning, and call to action that we hope to create in our eCitizenship project and in events like this one.

  • ENGAGE Week was an important series of events to me because it was a chance to connect with new people who share the same interests I have in environmental issues and sustainability. I had a great time during the Recycling Relay and met several people I expect to collaborate with for future environmentally-focused projects.
  • It was truly amazing to see the reactions of students when they engaged in a visual activity representing the division of poverty in the world. Sitting back and watching their reactions, comments, and behaviors made it clear that this was forcing them to open their eyes to how things are for people in other places, or even other situations, than themselves.
  • I had the opportunity to learn about courses I can attend right here at UAA that I never knew about before. I would definitely recommend these courses to my friends because it sounds fun, interesting, and incredibly relevant to Alaskan citizens.
  • Only one other student who attended [Invisible Children documentary] had previously heard about the Invisible Children campaign. Now an entire room full of people knows about the longest-lasting war in Africa and is inspired to do something about the injustice we learned about. One of the students who saw the film decided to start a club at UAA about Invisible Children! This event was an amazing success at engaging students in their world.

Community Partner Speed Dating was one special event that was attended by approximately 50 community agency representatives and faculty, with each “couple” spending 5 minutes together brainstorming connections for community projects before moving on to the next partner.  These 5 minute discussions followed a breakfast and welcome by Louise Van Rhyn, an internationally renowned South African expert on building community.

Community members thanked us for hosting Community Partner Speed Dating, which we will include again as a culmination to ENGAGE Week next year. Agency representatives told us:

  • We have gotten results – exposure, direct connections, new ideas.
  •  This is a great event with many interesting conversations and short enough that it was easy to do!

Faculty members reported benefits and appreciation of the opportunity to meet others:

  • I’ve gotten to talk with agencies whom I have met for the first time who provide new opportunities.
  • It’s helpful as I engage with students . . . I’m more aware of what’s out there.

And students, who were invited to attend at the end of Speed Dating, were enthusiastic:

  • I discovered SO many community organizations that I never knew existed in Anchorage. I went to speed dating in the hopes of being able to find somewhere to volunteer, and now I have lists of local volunteer opportunities that I can choose from!
  • It was fun talking to new people about engaging in the community and finding that there are other people in the community who are excited about being engaged, too!

As a second special event on Friday, Dean of Students Dr. Dewain Lee hosted a celebration luncheon for ENGAGE week students and participants in a new student “Emerging Leaders” program that Dean Lee initiated this year.  Community programs featured during Engage Week included Homeward Bound; Project Puqigtut, an Alaska Native Education program; The Alaska Immigration Justice Project; and Refugee and Immigrant Services Program.  Student Clubs hosted the luncheon events: Oxfam Club, The Heifer Club, Social Work Coalition, Panhellenic Council, American Medical Student Association, Sustainability Club, and the Student Nurses Association.

For more information about UAA’s Center for Community Engagement and Learning, check out their annual report here.

Commemorating MLK Day, the ADP Way

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

I spent part of my day “off” cleaning up my neighborhood and talking with my neighbors. I also took time to reflect on King’s important messages about the importance of participation in our democracy and helping to forge it into the kind of society we believe it has the capacity to be — a more just, equitable, educated, and engaging public realm.

How did your campus commemorate yesterday’s federal holiday honoring the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.?

Below are a few links to the reflections and actions of other people and organizations about MLK day. I’d love to hear from you!

  • A SUNY Brockport class studying Protest performed service-learning in Memphis, TN over their holiday break. They visited Mason Temple (MLK:  “I have seen the Promised Land” and the National Civil Rights Museum. They also cleared brush and documented graves in an abandoned cemetery founded by former slaves on Friday and listened to a talk by Noam Chomsky. You can read students’ reflections on the course and their time in Memphis on their blog.
  • University of Nebraska-Kearney recognized Martin Luther King Jr. Day with events and guest speakers.
    The Ethnic Studies Program and the American Democracy Project sponsored three special events for
    Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Dr. Haroon Kharem and Dr. Noel Anderson, both of Brooklyn College of the
    CUNY system were special invited guests for the occasions. The events were held Monday evening with
    a vigil at the amphitheater. On Tuesday evening Dr. Kharem and Dr. Anderson engaged in a discussion of “Education as Freedom,” along with a panel of participants including Dr. Potthoff, Dr. Louishomme, Rashon Harvey, Barbara Johnson and guests.

For Democracy’s Future: Higher Education Reclaims our Civic Mission

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan joined Obama Administration officials and education leaders from across the country – including the American Democracy Project’s George Mehaffy and Jennifer Domagal-Goldman – to launch a national conversation about the importance of educating all students, from grade school to graduate school, for informed and engaged citizenship, which will ultimately strengthen America’s democracy and economy in the 21st century. The event, “For Democracy’s Future: Education Reclaims Our Civic Mission,” was held in the South Court auditorium at the White House on Tuesday, Jan. 10.

The live stream video of “For Democracy’s Future” has been archived on the White House YouTube channel, and can be viewed here  (part 1) and here (part 2).

Northern Arizona University and Western Kentucky University representing their important civic agency work.

Secretary Duncan remarked on the importance of connecting college, career and citizenship. The efforts of Northern Arizona University and Western Kentucky University – two American Democracy Project schools – were highlighted in the panel presentations. George Mehaffy, Vice President of Academic Leadership and Change at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and founder of the American Democracy Project, led a breakout session about building and strengthening community-campus partnerships. AASCU President Muriel Howard was featured in a video that was screened talking about colleges and universities acting as stewards of place.

The event coincided witCrucible Momenth the release of A Crucible Moment: College Learning and Democracy’s Future, a report from the National Task Force on Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement.  The report, which was commissioned by the U.S. Department of Education, argues for civic learning across the curriculum and offers a call to action to colleges and universities to renew their long-standing mission to educate students for informed, engaged citizenship.

The event also marks the release of the Department of Education’s own report, “Civic Learning and Engagement in Democracy: A Road Map and Call to Action,” and highlights the American Commonwealth Partnership, which brings together schools, colleges, and other civic partners to promote civic education and civic identity throughout American education.

The new American Commonwealth Partnership aims to bring together thousands of universities, colleges, community colleges, schools and other civic partners to promote civic education, civic mission and civic identity throughout all of education in the United States.

Campuses and community partners are encouraged to host their own conversations about how higher education can reclaim our civic mission. Institutions are welcome to use the following discussion guide to frame their conversations:

Email to learn more about the U.S. Department of Education’s efforts to advance education for citizenship and democracy or to share your own ideas about this important topic.

Registration Open for ADP National Meeting: June 7-9, 2012 | San Antonio, TX

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

Registration is now open for the American Democracy Project’s 10th annual national meeting June 7-9, 2012 in San Antonio, Texas. You’ll find important information below about dates and registration fees, how to reserve a room at the Marriott Rivercenter, and about how to submit a proposal.

Each year, the American Democracy Project National Meeting brings together a community of individuals committed to civic renewal. This year we celebrate our 10th anniversary by reflecting on our most successful programs and initiatives, while also envisioning together new signature pedagogies and practices to strengthen our democracy. In a time of bitter partisanship and deep concerns about the future of our country, our work today is more important now than ever!

Our community college colleagues from The Democracy Commitment will join us in San Antonio as we again blend our annual meetings. Knowing that fifty percent of AASCU students come to us from community colleges, we look forward to enriching conversations about ways we can better work together to ensure that higher education is producing informed, engaged citizens for our democracy.

Registration Open for Annual Meeting

June 7-9, 2012 | Marriott Rivercenter | San Antonio, Texas

Civic Engagement 2.0: Re-Imagining, Strengthening & Deepening Our Civic Work

Registration for the American Democracy Projects 10th annual national meeting is now open. The annual meeting begins on Thursday, June 7 with day-long pre-conference workshops and an opening plenary at 4 p.m. The meeting culminates with a closing speaker followed by a closing reception from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, June 9.

Registration Fees:
The registration fee includes all program sessions and materials; wine and cheese reception on Thursday; breakfast on Friday; breakfast, lunch and closing reception on Saturday; and refreshments at all breaks.

Individual fee: $545
Register as an individual if only one person from your campus is attending

Team Member Registration Fee: $485
If more than one person from your campus is attending the ADP meeting, you may use the Team Member Registration Fee.

Student Registration Fee: $395

Register Online to attend the ADP/TDC National Meeting
Download Registration Form (pdf)

You may also contact Felicia Durham at (202) 478-4673 to register for this meeting.

Hotel Accommodations

Reserve your room at our special group rate by May 15, 2012!

Marriott Rivercenter
101 Bowie Street
San Antonio, Texas 78205 USA

Phone: 210-223-1000
Toll-free: 800-648-4462
Fax: 210-223-6239

Hotel accommodations for the 2012 ADP/TDC National Meeting can be booked directly with the hotel by calling 800-648-4462 and referring to the group rate for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities American Democracy Project National Meeting.
You may also reserve your room online

Room Rate:

The special conference rate is $185 (single/double) plus 16.75% tax (current tax rate may change). To obtain this rate, you must call the hotel by May 15, 2012.

Check-in at the hotel is at 4 p.m. and check-out is at Noon.
Public areas and guest rooms are equipped with wireless, high-speed internet.
On-site parking fee: $25/day; valet parking fee: $33/day.

Call for Proposals

Due March 12, 2012

Civic Engagement 2.0: Re-Imagining, Strengthening and Deepening Our Civic Work

The theme for this year’s meeting, Civic Engagement 2.0: Re-Imagining, Strengthening and Deepening Our Civic Work, is inspired by web 2.0 applications (e.g., social media, blogs, Wikis) that are not only the next iteration of an existing application, but also facilitate collaboration, information sharing, and user-centered design. The theme poses the following set of questions: How can we make existing civic education and engagement efforts more student and citizen centered? What can we do to make ADP and TDC more interactive, participative and discovery driven? How can we harness new technologies to engage more students and/or to make our teaching and programming more effective? During our meeting in San Antonio, we will explore innovative ways in which to advance our civic work.

The 2012 meeting will be an outstanding program, with approximately 350 attendees, including provosts, other administrators, faculty members, students and community partners. The conference structure includes four plenary sessions, a set of featured speaker presentations and a series of concurrent sessions with multiple presenters.

Read the Call for Proposals (download pdf)
To submit a proposal click here

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