Clearly, we are facing a pivotal moment as a field and as a nation. The work we have underway to push for high-quality civic education has only just begun, but how can we advocate for statewide and federal level policies without fully understanding the scope, needs, and lived civic realities of all students?
During the Civic Learning Impact and Measurement Convening in January, Dr. Danielle Allen, Dr. Joe Rogers, and many others challenged the field to fill the room with the diverse voices and perspectives of people of color, specifically black people. In my role as the Director of Social Engagement, I am actively seeking out atypical civic organizations that empower, educate, and elevate communities of color and encourage youth participation through some form of civic education, civic engagement, or lived civic experiences. Please join me in this effort.
Let us build bridges. Let us leverage the challenge before us, to achieve greater diversity, equity, and inclusion in our field, as a means to model what could be achieved elsewhere. What can we learn from other communities about lived civics, social justice work, and attitudes toward civics, that can inform us as we move forward? How can we listen better and leverage our privilege to elevate the voices of others? How can we create unlikely allies?
Let us actively promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in civic education. If you know organizations working with students or communities of color that would be great collaborators in the field of civics, please extend an invitation to them to join our effort. Our cause is more powerful with more voices and more meaningful when those voices reflect the actual populations we intend to serve with our work.
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Amber Coleman-Mortley is the Director of Social Engagement at iCivics. Her work includes elevating diverse voices in the field of civics, leading the Equity in Civics Youth Fellowship, and activating the iCivics Educator Network. Contact her via email. Connect with her on Twitter – @MomOfAllCapes