Civics Unbound: Knowledge, Skills, and Dispositions for a Thriving Democracy
Higher education institutions across the United States are doing creative, painstaking, hopeful work to prepare students for lives of meaningful engagement in their communities and democracy. Typically the focus of these efforts is on developing the knowledge, skills, and dispositions students need to cast informed votes, deliberate about public issues, appreciate perspectives and experiences they may not share, and serve as responsible stewards and change-agents.
Life After Harvey: Supporting a New Normal
During the storm, the days were filled with watching the news, responding to concerned family and friends, and watching the floodwaters rise to record levels. A famous quote from Fred Rogers tends to pop up during difficult times. “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” True to this quote, before the rain had even stopped, the UH community sprang into action to help our fellow Cougars and Houstonians. The ride out team supported approximately 2,000 students who stayed on campus, ultimately helping some students evacuate one residence hall. The University’s communication team sent daily messages with updates, resources, and helpful information. The UH campus was closed for a full week.
Blue Pride Rising: A Campus-Wide Approach to Community Engagement
Our university prides itself on honoring our heritage by promoting excellence in all endeavors. Being a participant in the LEAD Initiative has strengthened bonds across campus and allowed for meaningful reflection and collaboration between institutional divisions. We conceptualize civic learning and democratic engagement not only in the traditional sense but also as civility, inclusion, social justice, and advocacy.
Giving and Getting: Building Reciprocal Relationships to Fight Hunger
In 2014, Feeding America reported that one in five children in Illinois faced food insecurity. More current information from the Illinois Commission to End Hunger suggests that food insecurity in general, and college student food insecurity specifically, has spiked in recent years.
Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement for What? Envisioning a Thriving Democracy
In recent decades, higher education’s civic learning and democratic engagement (CLDE) efforts have encouraged students to view themselves as having a significant stake in government, politics, and the welfare of people beyond their immediate social circles. As we described in a previous post, this focus has reflected a subtle retrospectivity, harkening to a partly mythic past of deeper affiliations within communities and with public institutions. Yet there have always been visionary elements in this work as well, directed at fulfilling, at long last, democratic possibilities to which Abraham Lincoln (1863), John Dewey (1937), Langston Hughes (1936/1994), and the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. (1963) famously alluded: government of the people, by the people, and for the people; democracy enacted through empowering relationships in every social institution; America as “that great strong land of love,” with opportunity for all; and freedom ringing from every mountainside, respectively.
Meet the #CLDE18 Interns: Vera, Hannah, and Collin
We are thrilled to introduce the three student interns for the 2018 Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE) Meeting (#CLDE18). As Vera, Hannah, and Chris introduce themselves below, please know that together they represent a vested interest in civic engagement among students in our networks to engage meaningfully on our campuses, in our classrooms, in our broader communities, and in our democracy.