MARCH 10, 2021
How can we improve civic education to make it more relatable and equitable for all?? The Youth As Civics Experts Network is calling all students across the country to help answer this question and provide insights into what an equitable civic education means for them so that stakeholders in their local school communities can use youth feedback to inform policy writing and curriculum.
The #CivicsForUs social media campaign, which launched this week, is a new project from the Youth As Civic Experts Network, iCivics’ nationwide network of middle and high school students advocating for equitable civic education. Between March and June, the Youth As Civic Expert Network students will use the hashtag #CivicsForUS to engage other young people in a conversation and give them the opportunity to share their experiences in their local communities. The listening tour asks students from 5th grade through college to share first-hand why they feel civic education is so important right now, and how it can be more equitable and relevant to them and their peers.
So far, the effort has collected more than 4,700 responses from 43 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. When asked what civic education and civic engagement look like in schools, the top two selections from students 5th through college were U.S. Government or social studies classes and student council or student government. A full analysis and report will be provided this summer.
“Our students worked hard to gain insight from peers, including students who are not usually brought into these kinds of discussions, while also learning important digital skills to tell this story. I’m really excited to see what these students come up with,” said Amber Coleman-Mortley, iCivics’ Director of Social Engagement and Fellowship Program Director.
Do your students have a vision of what equitable civic education looks like to them? Share this project and encourage them to add their voice through the #CivicsForUS hashtag and https://www.civicsforus.org.
About the Youth As Civic Experts Network
The Youth As Civic Experts Network, a project of iCivics funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, was designed to engage students in conversation so that adults and stakeholders in school communities can use youth feedback to inform policy writing and curriculum, and ultimately change the way they engage with students to create civic experiences. The Youth As Civic Experts Network includes paid and unpaid fellows and alumni program students grades 8–12 from 15 states representing a diverse cross-section of experiences throughout the U.S. These students meet monthly for seminars to discuss equity in civic education with the iCivics team.