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Active Citizenry Series

The Active Citizenry Series is a program consisting of various workshops held throughout the academic year that will allow participants to not only learn about both basic and complex governmental systems, but will also give participants insight on how they can become a part of our ever-evolving political world.

Workshops will be led by faculty across the state, as well as non-academic community members whose goal is to foster meaningful political conversations while simultaneously challenging any preconceived notions participants might have about political processes. In the “age of bottom-up citizen power,” it is crucial that individuals feel as if they can create purposeful change in their political communities. By attending these workshops, participants will feel energized and empowered to take civic action. 

Participants can attend each workshop individually, or they can complete the requirements to receive the Active Citizenry Series Certificate. You do not have to be a United States citizen to attend these workshops or to complete the certificate, as the content presented is relevant to all individuals looking to become civically active.

Polarization After the Primaries

RSVP Form: https://forms.gle/bm4ihg9LQxwvTXmD8

​​This interactive lecture will explain the polarized outcome of the primary elections of 2024 and inform students about the causes and effects of polarization to democracy in the United States under a socio-psychological approach. Also, this workshop aims to gather different students across the triangle into an inclusive dialogue to propose local solutions to polarization in North Carolina.

Pack The Primaries: Interactive Voting Toolkit

RSVP Form: https://forms.gle/7UoeqyocKC65siN17

Pack the Primaries is an interactive workshop of 45 minutes that will build-up practical knowledge for students about the upcoming primary elections through an inclusive voting toolkit and voting check-in dynamics. 

This event will be developed across campus on multiple dates and times, but the same content is repeated in each session.  You are only required to attend to one of these series, but you are more than welcome to attend as many as you wish. 

Past Active Citizenry Series Workshops

Before December 6, state legislators will have to redraw our state’s political districts. In North Carolina, redistricting is always a point of political contention, due to legislators drawing maps to better suit their political interests, which is called gerrymandering. This workshop aims to outline the history and context of redistricting, specifically focusing on when redistricting becomes gerrymandering, and how that affects targeted communities. Participants who attend this workshop will learn how gerrymandering can be a tool used to silence the voices of our community, and learn how to recognize when it is actively occurring around them.

Now more than ever, being able to identify societal issues is vital to active members of our society. But when you identify those societal issues, how do you go about addressing them? This event will be focused on giving perspectives of organizing to create social change, and gives students the opportunity to learn more about already accessible points of creating change. Participants who attend this workshop will learn how organizing can be a valuable tool to create change, and learn about avenues to join existing coalitions that address issues in our communities.

As more and more aspects of our lives become political topics, being able to have discussions on the current events going on around us is more vital than ever. This workshop invites students of all beliefs and ideologies to join us via Zoom to have structured conversations about recent events, and focus on developing skills to understand others and participate in civil discourse.

Since the mid- 20th century, humankind has impacted and changed the climate at unprecedented rates. All around us, examples exist of how we are harming the world, from the shrinking, melting ice in the Arctic, to the record high temperatures we experience nearly every year. While some of us are engaged and active in attempting to reduce and mitigate our impact, some of the most impactful individuals such as lawmakers and government officials deny the existence of climate change, and slow the progress of creating a greener future. This event aims to allow students who want to discuss climate change and what they can do to take action. Discussion topics include rallying and activism, lobbying lawmakers and governmental representatives, corporation impact on climate change, and local opportunities for climate change activism.

Join us on January 20th at 6:30pm for an informative and intimate small panel and group discussion with Black local and state policymakers and elected officials to learn about their experiences in creating change in the space around us! Topics to be discussed include their journey and experiences in their field, the motivations that move them forward, and some of the issues and topics that they are addressing in our communities.

Students will be able to take away tools and strategies that they can use to influence policy and create change in their community or on issues they feel are important, and will learn about current topics and issues in the policymaking space. This event is part of our NC State’s Martin Luther King Jr. commemoration week programming and celebration.

The events of the first months of 2020 have caused a social revolution as individuals, communities, and institutions grapple with their complex histories and current policies towards the citizens of this country. This session will cover topics to inform and prepare students to engage in activism and organizing in the spaces and communities they are a part of and engage with the complex political landscape of our times. We invite participants to come with questions for this interaction panel.

How did the Two Party system develop in the United States? What third parties exist in the US, and what access do these parties have to the electoral system? What other systems of government exist?

Take the deep dive with us into the United States’ Party system!

The world of politics is complex, difficult, elaborate, and frankly, tiring. However, being civically engaged is one of the greatest privileges we have as members of a democracy. Participants of this workshop will walk away feeling rejuvenated and inspired to be involved in politics in anyway they see fit – whether that be walking in a protest, volunteering for a candidate’s campaign, or running for a political office.

Participants of this workshop will learn the intricacies of how various politically engaged groups impact the American government. We will have a panel of speakers that will be composed of individuals from various interest groups, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), lobbyist groups, as well as individuals who work in state government. All of the organizations that the panelists are affiliated with will be centered around environmental quality, as this will allow for better understanding of how various groups can have differing impacts within one issue topic. Participants who attend this workshop will walk away with a better understanding of how outside organizations influence our government, as well as how they can become involved in these groups themselves.

How does the electoral college work? Does your individual vote actually count? (Hint: the answer is yes!) What’s the deal with all of these voter ID laws? Come learn the answer to all of these questions at this workshop about the electoral college and voting! Participants of this workshop will walk away feeling confident about what their vote means and how the whole voting process works in America.

Active Citizenry Series Certificate

The Active Citizenry Series Certificate program will give students insight into various governmental processes while empowering them to apply this knowledge to be an active and engaged participant in society. While covering topics ranging from the media’s role in politics to how the electoral college works, students will be able to foster an environment of common ground and reduce political polarization. Students will have the opportunity to build a network of people passionate about civics, as well as gain confidence in their ability to reach out to community members on their own after attending the workshops.

Certificate Requirements

In order to receive the Active Citizenry Series Certificate, a participant will be required to attend four of the program’s workshops, as well as complete a Civic Action Plan. More details on each of the certificate’s requirements can be found on Reporter.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about Active Citizenry Series, please email bjmathis@ncsu.edu.

Special Acknowledgements:

Erinn Foote, for her Impact Leadership Village project that served as a foundation for Active Citizenry Series.

Madison Teeter, Graduate Assistant of Leadership and Civic Engagement that developed a robust network of experts to lead the curriculum, and for her work of implementing the program.

Adapted from Eastern Carolina University’s Citizen U program