Democracy is a verb.


Peace and Leadership Councils

Peace and Leadership Councils

Mikva’s Peace and Leadership Councils (PLCs) operate in both high schools and middle schools in communities that are struggling with high rates of youth violence. The PLC program provide youth with intensive leadership opportunities that helps them explore their identity and take an active role in transforming their school climate and culture. Student leaders work through an advocacy process that includes issue selection, research and survey collection, and the creation of recommendations for school and community improvement. They also meet with their school leadership team  to advocate for their ideas.

Youth in this program:
  • SURVEY the entire student body and analyze the top issues affecting them and their school communities;
  • TAKE ACTION on issues affecting their communities;
  • REFLECT on their leadership styles and develop a sense of identity;
  • ADVISE school officials on issues affecting their peers;
  • ADVOCATE for change in their schools and communities;
  • COLLABORATE with young people from different backgrounds.
Noteworthy Achievements:
  • PLCs provide schools with a youth leadership corps and work on issues such as bullying, community safety maps and improving student-teacher relationships.
  • The PLC at Sullivan High School worked with the school community to write a proposal that was not only on the ballot  but also won the 35th Ward Participatory Budgeting process.
  • 89% of PLC participants intend to stay involved in community issues (vs. 46% before).
  • All PLCs surveyed their peers on the top issues in their school and/or community and 89% of participants intend to take leadership roles on an issue/campaign (vs. 48% before).

The work that me and my group have done has helped my school in the sense that we proved that student voices are not to be taken so lightly. That our opinions matter and that we do have good ideas for improvements. – Junior at Tilden High School


teachers participate in Mikva Challenge programs across the country.


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


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


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


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


students campaigned during the 2015-16 Election Season


Mikva students serve as election judges each election cycle


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

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