Programs

a stronger culture of citizenship

Citizen University TV

Lessons in Civic Power

Our award-winning show offers lessons in how to be an effective, change-making citizen. Every episode features case studies of leadership in action and breaks down the elements of civic power.

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Civic Saturday

Fellowship and Common Purpose

Civic Saturday is a periodic gathering we organize that’s a civic analogue to church. It includes song, readings of civic scripture (great and provocative American texts), a sermon, silent reflection. But mainly it’s about fellowship. In a time of deep anxiety and political polarization, people feel a need to reckon with the meaning of our nation’s creed — and to do so face-to-face with others.

Sign up on our mailing list and Facebook page to receive information on upcoming dates and locations.

Upcoming Dates
Past Sermons
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Next Civic Saturday is in association with Town Hall Seattle!
April 8th, 10:30am-noon | 
Doors at10am | Social Hour ’till 1pm
RSVP to attend at Town Hall Seattle | Updates & info on our Facebook Event  page

Civic Saturday

Civic Collaboratory

a national network of leaders

The Civic Collaboratory is a national network of catalytic leaders, from across the political spectrum and many domains – immigrant rights, veterans advocacy, civics education, voting reform, tech in government, arts and culture, worker organizing, corporate citizenship, and more. We meet quarterly and provide a common platform and project incubator for this diverse community of civic innovators.

 

Civic Power

a curriculum for all of us

What is power? How is it exercised in civic life? Who has it and why? Such questions go to the heart of self-government — but most people are fundamentally illiterate in power. That’s why we’re creating accessible learning materials on civic power. Here are some of our early products: animated videos created with TED-Ed on the sources of civic power and how to turn protest into powerful change; and a self-paced online course developed with the Aspen Institute and iTunesU on the crisis of citizenship in America today.

TED-Ed: Power
TED-Ed: Protest
iTunesU

Youth Power Project

empowering the rising generation

This two-year effort, supported by a grant from the Ford Foundation, has two components: an online, multi-media curriculum on civic power, and a series of Youth Civic Collaboratory meetings to empower and connect a rising generation of civic leaders and doers.

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Curriculum
Collaboratory

In this era of economic and political inequality, the work of power literacy is especially urgent, nowhere more so than in the rising generation of young people who will be facing the consequences of today’s polarization and inequality for years to come. Armed with the knowledge, skills, connections, and experience of the Youth Civic Power Curriculum and the Youth Civic Collaboratory, our diverse cohort of passionate young people will be prepared to be true leaders of civic change in America for the next generation.

The Youth Power Curriculum will launch in fall 2017. Please check back then!

The Youth Civic Collaboratory will consist of a select cohort of 25 highly-motivated students from around the country who are passionate about civic engagement and making a positive change in their communities and country.  Members of the Youth Civic Collaboratory will get to participate in the Citizen University National Conference, travel to cities around the nation, meet leading civic innovators from across the country, and build networks of practice and power. This is a unique and exciting opportunity to be connected to a network of incredible change-makers and gain the skills and connections for a lifetime of civic power. All costs are included in the program for those selected.

The program includes:

  • Travel, accommodations, and meals to attend three meetings of the Youth Civic Collaboratory
    • March 22-25, 2017 in Seattle (in conjunction with Citizen University National Conference)
    • June 28-29, 2017 in Detroit
    • October 2017 in Chicago
  • Connections with civic innovators and mentors
  • Connections with other student leaders and innovators from around the country

 

Who is eligible:

  • Applicants must be current High School sophomores and juniors at the time of applying
  • Applicants must live in the United States
  • Applicants must be able to attend all three of the Youth Collaboratory meetings listed above
  • Students who come from backgrounds that historically have less access to power and civic opportunity are especially encouraged to apply, specifically young people of color, immigrants, and girls.

The application is now closed.

We will notify applicants by February 17.

The Joy of Voting

Reinvigorating a Culture of Voting


Parades, street theatre, open-air debates, and festivals – these were once part of America’s culture of voting and it’s time to revive them. With the support of the Knight Foundation, we partnered with artists, activists, designers, and citizens in Akron, Miami, Philadelphia, and Wichita to launch initiatives to create creative, communal experiences and rituals around local voting.

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Video
Press
Photos

Joy of Voting

We will select up to five projects in each pilot city to receive funding for implementation. Project proposals will be evaluated based on their ability to 1) Successfully cultivate a joyful, participatory culture of voting, 2) Show promise to be durable and scale-able, 3) Use funds effectively, 4) Present a qualified and well-rounded team, and 5) Demonstrate creativity, innovation, and joyfulness.
  • Describe briefly what the project is and what it will entail, including the proposed timeline – will this be an on-going project, or a one-off event? Will it take place on election day or in the time leading up to it?
  • Projects should be joyful, creative, participatory, and non-partisan. Describe how your project fits these requirements.
  • Who are the people or organizations creating the project, and who is the target audience?
  • What is the budget for this project (up to $3600), and how will it be used?

 

Click here to see photos from some of our many projects!

Partnered Productions

Special Projects

We work with great partners to design and build learning sessions that promote the art of powerful citizenship. We are proud to have partnered with Starbucks to create a Discussion Guide for Educators and Citizen Changemakers for the new campaign Upstanders, a series of 10 short films about ordinary Americans doing extraordinary things to create positive civic and social impact. We’re running a civic leadership program for Yale College undergraduates and we’ve developed a new civic leadership course for Arizona State University. We’ve partnered with the Kennedy Center and the Aspen Institute Arts Program for the Kennedy Center Arts Summit, and we are a long-time partner with New York’s 92 Street Y on projects like the Ben Franklin Circles, monthly gatherings of friends who meet as Franklin once did to intentionally cultivate civic virtues.

Past projects include a White House Forum on Citizen Problem-Solving; convenings in Hollywood with the Creative Artists Agency and UCLA on embedding civic storylines into television shows; and a national speaker series on reimagining worker organizing with SEIU. We’ve worked with the Downtown Project in Las Vegas to host a Catalyst Week of citizenship-themed events, and with Meetup to launch #MeetupMonday, a national series of neighbor-to-neighbor conversations on race and rebuilding community. In collaboration with Tufts’ Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service, we authored a report on America’s Civic Renewal Moment. And there’s more!

 

Sworn-Again America

Renew your civic vows

We wanted to get folks talking about what it means to be an American —and how to live like a citizen. So we created a simple and fun ceremony, like the one immigrants go through when they become U.S. citizens, in which all of us get to renew our vows to America. Thousands of people across the country, through partners like Points of Light, the National Constitution Center, and OneAmerica, have taken the oath to become Sworn-Again Americans— and you can too!

Visit the Site
Sworn-Again America photo