RECAP: VOICE “Make Civics Real” High School Civic Engagement Workshop
On December 4th, 2017, CAUSE held “Make Civics Real,” a civic engagement workshop for high school students, at the Alhambra High Civic Center Library. The event was organized and facilitated by the 2017 Voter Outreach & Immigrant Community Engagement (VOICE) Fellows Angelina Finau and Jina Kim as the culmination of their efforts to support the self-empowerment and civic engagement of youth and immigrant communities in the San Gabriel Valley.
The fellows kicked off the workshop by introducing themselves and the VOICE Fellowship program’s mission to educate APA voters.
Jina then introduced an activity called “Chalk Talk”. After being split into three groups, students visited stations equipped with posters titled “Education,” “Economy”, and “Environment.” The students wrote their honest and immediate thoughts surrounding the topics in their groups. The VOICE fellows found that students were not hesitant to share issues that affected them on a personal level (e.g. how the recent tax reform would benefit or not benefit their families).
Afterwards, Angelina connected the issues to the governing institutions that influence and address them. The conversation prompted several candid responses, which led to an honest look at the importance of voting, particularly on the local level. The segment concluded with a discussion on the definition of civic engagement and ways the students can be involved.
Lastly, the fellows walked through the voter registration form with students. Going through the form in its entirety was a priority; being familiar with the voter registration form would empower them with the knowledge to not only register themselves to vote, but also others in their community. Several students filled out the forms and registered or pre-registered themselves to vote.
At the end, students were invited to fill out a survey to evaluate the effectiveness of the workshop, with most responses claiming a stronger understanding of voter registration and an increased comfort in discussing political and civic issues with their friends and family.
We would like to thank the student volunteers and teachers at Alhambra High School that shared this workshop with students for their support.
About the CAUSE VOICE Fellowship:
The Voter Outreach & Immigrant Community Engagement (VOICE) Fellowship (nee CELF Fellowship) is designed to connect APA immigrant communities to civic engagement opportunities. In this intensive fellowship program, fellows actively engage and build trust with APA immigrant citizens to support the community’s self-empowerment and civic engagement.