Democracy is a verb.


Justice and Safety

Babies against Bullying

Students interested in reducing bullying at their own schools may be interested to learn about Roots of Empathy, a program that offers an unusual approach to improving relationships between students: having them interact and develop relationships with babies. Click here for a recent PBS News Hour story on this program or here to visit their website.

Chicago Youth Justice Data Project

Looking for data on youth and criminal justice?  The Chicago Youth Justice Data Project brings timely and relevant information about juvenile justice and youth criminalization to community members. Click here to learn more.

DNAInfo: Data Dive into Chicago’s Violence, a neighborhood news website in Chicago, has taken the data on the city’s murders and broken it down by year, sort, neighborhood, date, time of day, distance from home, and other metrics. Click here to explore the site.

Neighborhood Gun Violence and PTSD

Students interested in the issue of gun violence and its impact on individuals and communities can click here for an article from ProPublica about a recent study showing that more than half of patients treated for gunshot wounds at Chicago’s Cook County Hospital also show signs of PTSD.

Personal Narratives and Stop & Frisk

The PBS NewsHour’s Teacher Extra webpage now features a lesson that helps students explore NYC’s “stop and frisk” program through videos, graphics, and a news article. The lesson includes an interactive infographic as well as video clips that aim to ‘provide a balance between data analysis and the personal experiences of stop and frisk.’ Click here to explore the lesson.

School Crime and Safety

The Bureau of Justice Statistics and the National Center for Education Statistics released a joint report that uses data from the perspectives of students, teachers, and principals to examine crime occurring inside and outside of their schools. It also provides the most current detailed statistical information on the nature of crime in schools and school environments; and responses to violence and crime at school. Click here to access the report.

School Safety Idea Exchange

If you could change the laws and practices in your state or across the country to improve safety in your classroom and school, what would you suggest? What proactive role should education take to confront this continuing problem? VIVA and the NEA collaborated to ask these questions of teachers in nine states and then distilled their answers into seven recommendations. Teachers with students interested in this issue can click here to download the report and discuss what students think of these teachers’ recommendations.

Your Social Life

The Mikva Youth-Created film “Your Social Life” addresses the issue of cyberbullying from a young person’s perspective. Through interviews with cyberbullies, targets, accessories, adult allies, and passive onlookers, the film presents a holistic view of the growing cyberbullying epidemic. It offers insights about the true consequences of digital abuse. Through dramatizations, “Your Social Life” engages audiences and opens the door for important discussions about issues ranging from burn pages to sexting. Contact us to learn more about how to view this video in your classroom.


students from 117 schools nationwide presented speeches and/or worked on civic action projects


of Mikva alumni continue to volunteer in their communities, vs. only 36% of 18-29 yr. olds nationwide


of Mikva alumni encourage their friends and family to be politically engaged, vs. only 35% of 18-29 yr. olds nationwide


Mikva students serve as election judges each election cycle


students campaigned during the 2015-16 Election Season


of Mikva alumni are registered voters, vs. only 53% of 18-29 yr. olds nationwide


Chicagoland teachers participate in Mikva Challenge programs


young people served in the Chicagoland area, California and Washington DC

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