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, a program of Citizen University, is a civic analogue to church: a gathering of friends and strangers in a common place to nurture a spirit of shared purpose. But it’s not about church religion or synagogue or mosque religion. It’s about American civic religion—the creed of liberty, equality, and self-government that truly unites us (even as we argue over it).  Eric Liu will offer a sermon, we’ll sing together, share readings of American civic scripture, and meet and make friends. Bring your family, your neighbors and friends.

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

Upcoming Dates
Past Sermons
Media

NEW DATE, TIME AND VENUE:

Sunday, October 1, 2017

1pm – 2pm; Social Hour to follow

Washington Hall: 153 14th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122

Free, donations will be accepted

*ASL interpretation upon request. Email jena@citizenuniversity.us

*Limited childcare is available on-site & donations are accepted for childcare providers.

Reserve by 9/23 at http://bit.ly/2xOKNbl

*November 18 – Elliott Bay Book Company 

*December 16 – TBD

*subject to change

 

 

In Search of Powerful Citizenship? Try Civic Saturday.
KUOW

If Sunday Is For Church, This Group Wants Saturdays For Activism
The Huffington Post

A Cure For Post Election Malaise
The Atlantic 

Infinite Power
CityArts

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 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 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 Collaboratory consists of a cohort of 25 highly-motivated high school 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 Collaboratory 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. The inaugural Youth Collaboraotry cohort is attending meetings in Seattle, Detroit, and Chicago throughout 2017.

Please check back for information about future Youth Collaboratory cohorts.

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’re partnering with artists, activists, designers, and citizens in cities around the country to launch initiatives to create creative, communal experiences and rituals around local voting. 

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Video
Press
Photos
Submit

Joy of Voting 2017

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, 5) Focus on local elections, and 6) 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?

 

Deriving its vision from an article in The Atlantic written by Eric Liu, Citizen University will launch initiatives in seven cities where Knight invests to generate creative celebrations and joyful public rituals that encourage people to vote.

Citizen University piloted the program in four cities for the November 2016 general election. Projects included independent art exhibits, block parties, community-based theater, interactive apps, and other citizen-generated activities centered around engaging peers.

This year, the projects will move out of the federal domain to focus on local elections taking place in each city. In Miami, St. Paul, and Wichita, we will partner with local stakeholders to develop initiatives centered on municipal elections taking place on November 7, 2017. Joy of Voting will continue in 2018 when it moves to four other cities around the country hosting local and midterm elections. These experiments will serve as models of what a vibrant, participatory culture of voting could look like. Follow this project, and share your own ideas via Twitter using the hashtag #JoyOfVoting.

Learn more about last year’s projects 

Submit an idea!

 

 

 

 

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