Action Civics LA
Action Civics LA (ACLA) is leveraging the Democracy in Action curriculum with teachers throughout Southern California.
Action Civics LA is an initiative sponsored by Mikva Challenge to implement a replication model that develops and enhances civic learning and engagement opportunities for Southern California youth. Through our program youth become more prepared to be leaders in their college, career and civic community through mastery of the action civics framework.
Students were empowered through the process of examining issues in their community and taking action to spread the word about their issues. It was a powerful experience for them to hear from each other and see themselves as agents of change.
– Linda Yaron, ACLA Teacher
Democracy in Action Curriculum
Mikva’s Democracy in Action (DIA) curriculum is a comprehensive step-by-step guide that empowers students with the skills, knowledge, and dispositions to be “superstar citizens.” At the core is the idea that students explore their communities from an asset based perspective, identify issues that are important to them and their community, research the issue, analyze power, and ultimately develop an action plan and take action. We train teachers in this curriculum, provide ongoing classroom support, and host city-wide events that gather all participating students to showcase their efforts.
Youth in this program:
- SPEAK OUT about issues affecting them, their schools’ and communities
- ADVOCATE for change in their schools and communities
- COLLABORATE with young people from different backgrounds
- RESEARCH an issue and set a goal
- DEVELOP an action plan to affect change
- SHOWCASE their year-long activism efforts at ACLA’s annual Action Civics Fair
- Action Civics LA engaged 36 teachers and over 1000 students across Southern California.
- We hosted a Youth Activism Conference in February 2015 at the LA Central Library that was attended by nearly 200 teens.
- 90% of participants of this program agreed with the statement “I believe I can make some difference in solving community problems” as compared to 38% before the program and only 55% of youth nationwide.
The best part was working together with my peers to solve a problem in our school and making the other students think about what we are doing so they can follow in our same footsteps and even develop their own ideas.