Democracy is a verb.

 

Action Civics LA

Action Civics LA is leveraging Issues to Action with teachers and youth throughout Southern California.

Modeled after Mikva Challenge’s successful civic engagement programming developed for youth in Chicago, Action Civics LA provides opportunities for young people in Southern California to engage in Action Civics, community problem-solving, and seeks to increase youth voice in local decision-making processes. Through our program youth become more prepared to be leaders in their college, career, and community.

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, Action Civics LA Teacher

Action Civics LA’s signature work is our Issues to Action program in which local teachers implement a curriculum that empowers students with the skills, knowledge, and dispositions to be “superstar citizens” and community advocates. At its 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 strategy 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. Learn more about the Issues to Action program.

As part of our Issues to Action work, students participate in our Project Soapbox competition. Project Soapbox is a public speaking competition facilitated by Action Civics LA that calls young people to speak out on issues that affect them and their communities. These powerful speeches have lasting, transformative impacts on classrooms, schools, and communities. Watch our Project Soapbox youth in action on our YouTube channel. 

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 Action Civics LA’s sponsored events
Noteworthy Achievements:
  • In 2017 our Action Civics school, Pacifica High School in Garden Grove, received California’s highest award for Civic Education – The Award of Excellence  awarded by California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye.
  • We hosted a Youth Activism Conference in February 2015 at the LA Central Library that was attended by nearly 200 teens.
  • After participating in Action Civics LA Issues to Action program and events,
    • 97% of students felt they were better at working together within a group
    • 95% of students felt they improved their public speaking skills
    • 96% of students felt what they shared was important to others
    • 96% of students felt they were a part of a larger community of young people from high schools across the city.
    • 99% of students felt their action project had a positive impact on their community and/or school.
    • 99% of students now believe that youth have the power to improve their school or community.
    • 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.
  • After implementing the Issues to Action curriculum into their classrooms,
    • 100% of teachers agree that the program led to their students increasing their civic knowledge
    • 100% agree that the curriculum improved their teaching practice
  • We took five Southern California American Soapbox winners to Washington DC to perform their speeches in Lafayette Square and participate in the Mikva Challenge National Youth Summit.
  • Through the 2016-2017 academic year, Action Civics LA partnered with the Skirball Cultural Center on an 8-week in-class artist residency titled “From Issues to Action: Art-Making for Democracy.”
  • Los Angeles City Councilmember David Ryu sponsored our Action Civics Showcase in the Tom Bradley Room of City Hall for nearly 100 youth.

My experiences with Action Civics LA has not only greatly informed me on politics, but has given me the confidence to speak openly on my views and inform others in my community as well.

—Action Civics LA high school student

Action Civics LA Youth Spotlights!

American Soapbox winner, Megan McCall, speaks on student advocacy and school-wide recycling program. Follow link for more!

American Soapbox winner, Sebastian Rios-Barragan, speaks on community violence and anxiety. Follow link to read more!

 

 

 

Youth Activist, Cyanne Rangel, speaks on her campaigning trip in Iowa and advocacy work in Boyle Heights. Follow link to read more!

Youth Activist, Wagner Escobedo, speaks on the relevance of youth voice and the importance of immigration for the nation.              Follow link to read more!

 

Participating Action Civics LA Schools
  • Augustus F. Hawkins Community Health Advocates School
  • Augustus F. Hawkins Responsible Indigenous Social Entrepreneurship School
  • Century High School
  • Dale Junior High School
  • Doig Intermediate
  • Hancock Park Elementary School
  • High Tech High – Chula Vista
  • High Tech High – North County
  • Legacy High School Complex
  • Lexington Middle School
  • Long Beach Polytechnic High School
  • Mendez High School
  • Northwood High School
  • Pathways Community Charter School
  • Santa Ana High School
  • Santiago Elementary School
  • Social Justice Humanitas Academy
  • University High School
  • Valor Academy High School
2016-2017 Impacts at a Glance

Action Civics LA Advisory Board

Kamy Akhavan
Ali Bissonnette
Ellyce Cooper
Leelai Demoz
Ivelisse Estrada
Ethan Falk, Action Civics LA Development Committee Chair
Michelle Herczog
Cynthia Hirschhorn
Edgar Khalatian
Laura Krafft
Steve Krone
Adele Lander Burke
Jessica Levinson
Christian Lindke
Eduardo Lopez
Bill Macomber
Tony Pennay
Bob Perkins
Erica Rameriz
Saul Sarabia, Action Civics LA Board Chair
Clint Schaff
Tony Terry
Adam Wemmer
Jason Woliner
Linda Yaron

Action Civics LA Partners Board

Diana Colin, Coalition of Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles
John Dobard, Advancement Project
Marilú Guevara, League of Women Voters of Los Angeles
Mary Kim, Dept of Neighborhood Empowerment
Semee Park, Dept of Neighborhood Empowerment
Andrew Suh, Office of Councilmember Ryu
Liz Vogel, Facing History & Ourselves
Mona Yeh, Funders Collaborative on Youth Organizing

Help Action Civics LA provide high-quality leadership and civics programs to teens through your generosity. Your gift helps us build a better democracy one leader at a time.

 

Want to activate? Sign up for volunteer opportunities here!

 

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66%

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

88%

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

2,000+

Mikva students serve as election judges each election cycle

1,684

students campaigned during the 2015-16 Election Season

6,900

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

450+

teachers participate in Mikva Challenge programs across the country.

69%

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

9,506

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

200 S Michigan Ave.
Suite 1000
Chicago, IL 60604
(312) 863-6340

Mikva Challenge DC
1220 L St NW, Suite 605
Washington, DC 20005
Action Civics LA
10401 Venice Blvd #721
Los Angeles, CA 90034
(213) 346-3248 Send us An Email
 

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