Being civically engaged does not mean just voting. For youth, non-citizens, or others who cannot vote, seeking peaceful, nonviolent solutions to the difficult challenges we all face in our communities in itself is being civically engaged. Civic engagement can be changing something that directly affects your community, which, of course, matters! A powerful example of this is The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. Having emerged from more than a decade of work by grassroots community leaders, organizations fighting against systemic racism and environmental destruction, the campaign aims to build a broad and deep movement to unite this country from the bottom up.
We challenge you to do at least one civically engaging activity this week. Whether it be volunteering at your local food bank, learning about your district’s representatives, or starting a petition to change something your city council is (or isn’t) doing. Register to vote if you aren’t already registered! Now more than ever, we need to take control of what we want our communities to look like. We cannot wait for others to create the changes we want to see in the world. Vote— and be civically engaged because To Us, You Matter!
Below the youth of the Institute for Community Leadership receive Governor Jay Inslee at their voter registration table at Kentwood High School in the Kent School District. “This is a model for the State,” Governor Inslee said, “You should be commended.”
Caption: Photo left, Governor Jay Inslee with, from left, Institute students Isaac Sotelo (11th grade), Rebecca Guya (10th grade), Ashlin Dalton (10th grade), and Institute O’Dell Education Center Director Dr. Nyla Rosen at Kentwood High School, Kent, Wa; Photo right, Rebecca, Isaac, and Ashlin at their Voter Registration Table registering high school seniors, Kentwood High School, Kent, Wa.