Our Blog

Up-to-date information about GC and the broader community we serve.
  • Feb202019
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    Generation Citizen Public Testimony on New York State Education Budget

  • Feb122019
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    GENERATION CITIZEN: The Power of Youth in Our Politics, a new book by Scott Warren

  • Feb072019
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    Thanks but No Thanks: What two senators got wrong about civics and how they can do better

    By Dana Harris, Advocacy Director There are few things that we, as an American population, nearly universally agree on. Yet, one of them is that civics education is a good thing. Prior to the 2016 elections, most people would call it an important subject but would fall short of thinking it was the most important. […]

  • Feb042019
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    GC Statement on Hate Crimes

    Last week, actor Jussie Smollett reported a violent physical attack he suffered that is currently being investigated as a hate crime. The attackers shouted racist and homophobic slurs and chanted ‘this is MAGA country,’ referring to President Trump’s slogan, Make America Great Again. Unfortunately, Smollett’s attack is not isolated, but rather part of a larger […]

  • Jan242019
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    An Open Eye to Many Possibilities

    The text of a Generation Citizen student, Lori Campbell: It all started when two NYU students came through the big blue doors at my school, and introduced themselves as “coaches of democracy, change and fellowship.” My first thought was “Who are these unfamiliar faces” then my second thought was “What do these people want from […]

  • Jan232019
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    TRIVIA FOR CHANGEMAKERS

  • Dec202018
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    MASSACHUSETTS STUDENT CHANGEMAKER ADDRESS

    Sharon Mejia Charlestown High SchoolBoston, MA My name is Sharon Mejia, I am an 11th grade student from Charlestown High School. I immigrated to the U.S. on my own when I was 13 from El Salvador and I first ended up in Texas, then Pennsylvania and finally here in Boston. Many students, such as myself, […]

  • Dec202018
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    RHODE ISLAND STUDENT CHANGEMAKER ADDRESS

  • Dec202018
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    Small Towns and Prodigious Minds: The Potential in Rural Communities

    By Megan Brandon, Regional Program Manager, Texas & National “Small town, country kids who lead a simple life.” This was just one of the many expressions often used to describe my former students from Bastrop, a small town of around 8,000 people, just 35 minutes east of Austin, TX, but it might as well be […]

  • Dec192018
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    NEW YORK STUDENT CHANGEMAKERS ADDRESS

    Blessing Onisemo Union Square Academy for Health SciencesNew York, NY When I was younger I always shied away from anything that had to do with being bold. I didn’t feel comfortable with others eyes on me. By the time I made it to my last days of middle school, I knew that had to change. […]

  • Dec192018
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    TEXAS STUDENT CHANGEMAKERS ADDRESS

    Kevin Perez Reagan Early College High SchoolAustin, Texas My name is Kevin Perez I am a senior at Reagan Early College High School. I’m excited to tell you about the civic change this project has made to my community and to me as a person. As a person coming from an unaware perspective on civics, […]

  • Dec192018
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    OKLAHOMA STUDENT CHANGEMAKER ADDRESS

    Nicolas Bennet Oklahoma Student Change Maker Fall 2018 John Marshall HS, Oklahoma City Public Schools, OKC Thank you. I grew up in Oklahoma City and attended elementary school with predominantly white students. I remember students often discussing rumors that John Marshall was a terrible school. My parents raised me to be accepting of people….all shapes, […]

  • Dec132018
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    Bay Area Student Changemaker Address

    Stephanie, an 8th grader from Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School, on her action project to address neighborhood violence. This speech was delivered at Bay Area Civics Day on December 7, 2018. Good afternoon, my name is Stephanie. I’m from San Francisco and I attend Martin Luther King Jr. middle school. I’m in 8th grade […]

  • Dec062018
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    Youth voter participation is not red or blue, it’s universal

    I have the privilege of working with middle and high school students across the state of Oklahoma. As a civics educator, I find myself constantly noticing where young people show up. During the build-up to the 2018 midterm election, I saw students where I always do — at the mall, in their schools, at athletic […]

  • Nov132018
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    Generation Citizen 2018 Annual Report

    We are excited to share our 2018 Annual Report. The report highlights key achievements from the past year, including progress on our three-year strategic growth plan, our advocacy work, and the many ways our students have been at the forefront of positive, real change both in their communities and in our democracy. Click here to […]

  • Nov082018
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    Civic Dispositions and School Culture

    The conflict between youth civic engagement and anti-democratic educational environments I tried to find a way to start this without invoking the midterm election and all of the reports of “apathetic” voters. I promise I did. But before you stop reading, this might not go where you think it’s going to. I offer a challenge: […]

  • Nov082018
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    Drew Brees is a Populist

    Stick with me and I’ll explain What’s going on??? Grover Cleveland has just been sworn in to his second term as the 24th President of the United States, of which there are only 44. It is the second time he has been elected, making Benjamin Harrison the answer to the trivia question, “who is the only […]

  • Nov082018
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    Voter suppression by adults sends the wrong message to America’s young people

    Why restricting participation at the polls might discourage emerging civic actors Voter suppression teaches children that adults are not serious about preserving democracy for the emerging generation of voters. When eligible individuals follow all the rules and still struggle to obtain access to the ballot box, it sends the wrong signal to the nation’s young people. […]

  • Sep062017
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    Action Civics in the Lone Star State

    Action Civics in the Lone Star State: A return to government after Hurricane Harvey by Lucianne Nelson, Central Texas Program Associate   When my parents announced that we would be moving from California to Texas, my 13 year-old self immediately envisioned a wild west that was identical to the frontiers of John Wayne movies. I fully […]

  • Aug302017
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    The Importance of Civic Participation in Moments of Perceived Institutional Failure

    The Importance of Civic Participation in Moments of Perceived Institutional Failure: Lessons from China By Eli Emigh, New York City Program Associate I found the importance of civic participation at a time in my life when my own views on civic engagement were nihilistic at best. I was a college student studying abroad in Beijing, […]

  • Aug062017
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    Democracy: The Winning Horse

    Democracy: The Winning Horse How we can invest in a true culture of civic participation By David Moren Leading up to last November’s election, much of the buzz was about “How do we get more people registered to vote?!” A noble and necessary question, to be sure, yet one I often feel misses the point […]

  • Jul312017
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    Defining Diversity: Student Writing on the Violence Against Women Act

    Defining Diversity: Student Writing on the Violence Against Women Act Featuring an excerpt from Lowell, MA students’ recently published book on diversity and equity By Carla M. Duran Capellan, former Generation Citizen student and Student Leadership Board member I was asked by Jessica Lander, my history teacher, to write a chapter for a book with twenty-three other students […]

  • Jun232017
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    Political Schools

    Political Schools A Former Teacher’s Summertime Reflection By Meredith Norris, Texas Site Manager High school students shake hands with judges at Generation Citizen’s Central Texas Civics Day Summer is often the time when teachers have a chance to think back on their year and dream about the next one. What do they wish they’d had more time […]

  • Jun072017
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    Scott Warren: The Long Road to Change

    There is sometimes a reflexive tendency when witnessing young people in action to express something akin to “Seeing this work made me so hopeful about the future!” I have heard this sentiment expressed again and again from those who attend a Generation Citizen Civics Day, our semester-end event, in which our students present the issues […]

  • Jun072017
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    Democratizing in the Digital Age

    Democratizing in the Digital Age A defense of the internet’s role in politics By Monica Roman, Operations Associate   Apps like Countable give you direct access to elected officials and the bills they’re voting on It is easy to get caught up in the narrative of the internet as a chaotic force in politics these days, with it […]

  • May152017
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    The New Civic Activism

    The New Civic Activism A view from Brooklyn By David Pechefsky, Senior Advisor Since the presidential election, my Brooklyn neighborhood has seen a big surge in liberal activism. Under the banner of “Get Organized Brooklyn” our local Council Member has been convening monthly meetings attended by as many as a thousand people. After the first meeting in […]

  • May052017
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    Door Knocking: A Love Story

    Door Knocking: A Love Story Why face-to-face conversations strengthen our democracy By Nora Howe, NYC Program Associate One long driveway away, my next house waited. The Iowa sun beating down, I was getting ready to knock my 90th (or was it 91st?) door of the day, and still had 30 more to go. My shoes […]

  • Apr262017
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    Did you just miss a chance to vote? An update on April 2017 Municipal Elections

    Did you just miss a chance to vote? An update on April 2017 municipal elections By Brandon Klugman While hotly contested special elections for Congressional seats in Kansas and Georgia have dominated most discussion of elections this month, it is important to remember that springtime also marks local election season for many cities across the […]

  • Apr242017
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    When is Enough Actually Enough?

    When is Enough Actually Enough? A Michelle Branch-induced breaking point. By Scott Warren Last May, I sat in a café on 24th and Valencia in San Francisco, gathering my thoughts after a fruitful meeting, ready to walk into a gorgeous San Francisco morning for a day full of more productivity: meetings with Board members, foundations, […]

  • Apr172017
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    “Change-making” in Process

    Eli Emigh, Generation Citizen’s newest New York Program Associate, reflects on some of his first experiences in the classroom.   I began my role as a Program Associate with Generation Citizen’s NYC team at the start of February 2017 after working as an organizer with the Oregon Student Association. I was excited to continue working […]

  • Apr062017
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    Yasmine Mahdavi: Does My Voice Matter?

    Does My Voice Matter? After years of promising to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, the repeal bill was pulled from the House floor on March 24. This was a surprising turn and a prime example of successful civic engagement swaying our representatives. One of the reasons it didn’t […]

  • Mar272017
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    San Diego Union-Tribune: Is today’s political engagement a fad or the new reality?

    In the midst of a time of seemingly heightened political engagement across the country, a record low number of citizens turned out to vote in Los Angeles’ local election. Generation Citizen co-founder and CEO Scott Warren reflects in this op-ed, published in The San Diego Union-Tribune. How do we reconcile the fact that millions of […]

  • Mar272017
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    Vote16 on Ozy: To Bridge the Political Divide, Let Minors Vote

    “Our political challenges may seem insurmountable. But let’s remember that in addition to building bridges across the aisle, we need on-ramps to participation.” This piece tells the story of one of Takoma Park’s first under-18 voters, and argues that extending voting rights to more 16- and 17-year-olds can help reinvigorate our democracy. Read more on […]

  • Mar132017
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    Yasmine Mahdavi: GIRLS AND WOMEN HAVE THE RIGHT TO THINK FREELY AND TO ACT ACCORDINGLY

    Yasmine Mahdavi, Generation Citizen’s Measurement and Evaluation Fellow, responds to a recent opinion piece published in the Wall Street Journal.   Ideally, girls and women should have the freedom to advocate for themselves and others in any way they choose. But, when we dictate or ideologically critique the way in which they choose to express themselves we […]

  • Jan272017
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    Shifting the Age Curve: A Smart Approach to Increasing Voter Turnout

    We have a voter participation crisis in the United States – most agree on this. The US ranks 31st out of 35 OECD countries in voter turnout. In the 2016 election, four out of ten eligible voters did not cast a ballot, similar to the rate in 2012. Turnout in midterm and local elections is […]

  • Nov162016
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    Dana Harris: Action civics education is more important now, than ever.

    Dana Harris, Generation Citizen’s Advocacy Manager, shares her perspective on political disillusionment – and how you can help us change it.   I grew up with the belief that in order to make real change in this country, I had to work around government, not through it. I spent my high school years committed to […]

  • Jan262017
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    TRIVIA FOR CHANGEMAKERS

    Generation Citizen’s Trivia for Changemakers 4th Annual Trivia Fundraiser Thursday, March 23 2017, 6:30pm-9:00pm Microsoft NERD Center, Kendall Square, 1 Memorial Drive, Suite 100, Cambridge, MA 02142 Test your trivia mettle in this exclusive best-of-Boston matchup, pitting teams from Boston’s industries against competitors in their sector to see who can clinch the grand ChangeMaker’s Cup. For a critical cause: every […]

  • Jan052017
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    A Semester in Review: New York City’s Fall 2016 Growth

    A Semester in Review: New York City’s Fall 2016 Growth It was a busy fall 2016 semester for the New York City team. This new team of dynamic women leaders jumped into the seat at a time of tremendous growth for the New York City program.  Thanks in large part to a half a million […]

  • Dec212016
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    Civics Day Highlights from Scott Warren

    Every fall and spring semester Generation Citizen hosts Civics Day, our students’ end-of-semester project showcase. Civics day presents a unique opportunity for students to take pride in their projects, advocate for their issues to a local audience, and collect feedback on their plans from panels of judges. Check-out the highlights from our Fall 2016 Civics Day […]

  • Nov222016
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    Generation Citizen to Expand Civics Education in Central Texas

    GENERATION CITIZEN TO EXPAND CIVICS EDUCATION IN CENTRAL TEXAS  Action Civics programming to begin in Austin-area schools in January. AUSTIN, TEXAS — On Wednesday, November 9th, Generation Citizen hosted its launch event for its new site in Central Texas. Joined by Mayor Steve Adler, local officials, teachers, college students, and philanthropists, nearly 75 supporters from […]

  • Oct282016
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    Upcoming Events | Fall 2016

    Join Us | Upcoming Generation Citizen Events Fall 2016 Bay Area Civic Tech Challenge Hackathon & Awards Reception | Saturday November 5, 2016 At Generation Citizen’s second annual Bay Area Civic Tech Challenge, we’re bringing together top Bay Area tech innovators with passionate middle and high school students for a day-long hackathon that will create […]

  • Oct132016
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    450 Students Take Part in Generation Citizen Launch at Lowell High School

    Lowell High School brought together 450 students on Wednesday, September 28th to launch Generation Citizen at their school. This year, these 23 classrooms will work to make meaningful change in their communities through the Generation Citizen program. The Lowell High School launch event, held at the school located in Lowell Massachusetts,  kicked-off with an exploration […]

  • Oct042016
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    Justin Kang: Why Civic Tech Challenge and Why Now?

    Why Civic Tech Challenge and Why Now?  Q&A With Boston’s Leading Young Civic Innovator and Creator of the Civic Tech Challenge, Justin Kang Justin Kang is the founder and Executive Director of City Awake, the civic innovation lab of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, widely hailed as a leading voice for millennials in Greater […]

  • Sep222016
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    What We’re Reading

    Every other week, GC picks out a selection of articles, videos, or podcasts that are relevant to our work and to the civic education space as a whole. This week we are focusing specifically on local news and issues in some of GC’s program regions. We at GC love to expand our learning in every […]

  • Sep132016
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    Civic Tech Challenge Greater Boston Registration is Open!

    The Greater Boston hackathon will take place on Saturday, November 5, 2016 Sign-up to Participate in the Civic Tech Challenge Hackathon Buy Tickets to the Civic Tech Challenge Awards Reception Generation Citizen’s Civic Tech Challenge brings together top tech innovators and passionate middle school students for a day-long hackathon that will create solutions to tough […]

  • Sep082016
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    Join Us: Stories of Grassroots Change

    Join Generation Citizen and the Boston Debate League for this inspiring storytelling event. Local activists and aspiring young leaders involved in contemporary grassroots change campaigns in Boston will share their stories of struggle, success, and advocacy insights. Attendees with their own stories of grassroots change can also sign up to share by selecting “Storyteller” on the […]

  • Aug152016
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    WE ARE TEAM GENERATION CITIZEN

    Last week, the Generation Citizen team traveled from all across the US to attend our annual retreat at the Wisdom House in beautiful Litchfield, Connecticut. This retreat is the one time a year when all GC staff can come together in person to collaborate and engage meaningfully with each other and our varied work, and […]

  • Aug032016
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    Join Us: Community Change Fellows Graduation Celebration

    We’re excited to announce that Generation Citizen’s Community Change Fellowship graduation celebration is right around the corner. Join us in celebrating these young civic leaders! The GC Community Change Fellowship is an internship opportunity for high-performing GC high school alumni to continue their community engagement after the semester in a professional political environment. The evening […]

  • Aug012016
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    Young Leaders Gather for GC’s Democracy Education Youth Summit

    Generation Citizen is thrilled to be bringing 26 young people (ages 14-18), together the first week of August for our first-ever Democracy Education Youth Summit. The participants hail from 14 states across the country and will congregate in New York City for three days of activities, workshops, and collaboration. The goal of the summit is […]

  • Jun302016
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    GC’s Expanding to the Heartland

    We are excited to announce Generation Citizen’s expansion to Central Texas and Oklahoma City in the fall of 2016. When we passed Generation Citizen’s four-year strategic plan two years ago, expanding to new sites was a top goal, both to test our model in new geographies and to make a more effective case for the […]

  • Jun172016
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    Join Us: Democracy Education Youth Summit

    Generation Citizen is organizing a Democracy Education Youth Summit this summer and we want you to join us! We will bring together young people between the ages of 14-18 from across the country for this training and leadership convening, taking place Monday, August 1st – Wednesday, August 3rd in New York City. All expenses will be covered for attendees, but you must apply. The […]

  • Sep102015
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    GC Welcomes RI Program Associate Molly Cohen!

    Hello!   My name is Molly Cohen, and I’m excited to be joining Generation Citizen as the Rhode Island Program Associate.   I first developed an interest in community empowerment as a student at Vassar College. I was lucky enough to be able to study the impact of structural inequality academically as well as experientially, […]

  • Feb222015
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    GC Launches Demand-Building Efforts Through Advocacy Briefing Webinar

    Generation Citizen is excited to share a recording of our Advocacy Briefing Webinar, which focused on our newest workstream: building demand for action civics. We were thrilled to be joined by Ford Foundation Program Officer Sanjiv Rao. In addition to continuing to strengthen and grow our direct programming, GC will now engage in targeted advocacy […]

  • Feb112015
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    How Do We Educate to Improve Our Democracy?

    How do We Educate to Improve our Democracy?   As Generation Citizen matures as an organization, we’ve realized that it’s not enough for us to solely focus on our in-school programming.  We continue to improve and iterate our action civics curriculum and teacher and volunteer training, but we have also recognized the necessity of building […]

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