#GETCIVIC is an interracial, intergenerational civic learning and civic engagement collaboration, designed to strengthen school and community efforts at increasing civic learning and civic engagement in schools, and in community life. The #GETCIVIC campaign theme of “Vote: To Us You Matter” was selected by young people who are working within their schools to advance voter registration (teens registering teens). The campaign also includes community-based Civic Engagement Listening Circles, door-to-door canvassing, seminars and classes on civic engagement, participation in legislative hearings on various aspects of voter and civic engagement, and efforts to promote civics in schools, taking into account racial and economic diversity.
Civic Engagement Listening Circles Democracy disappears without active participation of the populace in various forms of civic engagement. Civic Engagement Listening Circles bring together inter-racial, intergenerational groups of individuals in the work place, school, church and home settings, for intimate dialogues on how to encourage and promote civic engagement.
The Barbara Lee & Elihu Harris Lecture Series In partnership with Merritt College of Oakland, the Freedom Center hosts The Barbara Lee & Elihu Harris Lecture Series to promote the exchange of ideas to help inspire and move forward new leadership and sergeantship. All lectures present civil rights leaders who worked closely with Dr. Martin Luther King King Jr. and who continue to work tirelessly for social change.
Community Organizing The ongoing community projects organized at the Freedom Center are the result of the young people’s integration in community problem solving. The following examples trace the development of our current projects which include a community policing relations project entitled “All of us Around the Table … Together,” and the City of Oakland Foreclosure Prevention Project.
Many of the students at the Freedom Center become trained facilitators in the methodology and curriculum utilized in the weekly classes and through the Freedom Center Leadership Academy. The curriculum features many poets of diverse ethnic and national origin, whose writings engage in contradictions and polemics facing our communities and the world, today. Students at the Freedom Center engage in writing and speaking on themes of vital social relevance.
Cultural Leadership Exchanges Freedom Center youth participate in conferences, seminars, trainings and historic commemorations throughout the United States. The Freedom Center, in partnership with the Institute for Community leadership in the State of Washington, maintains relationships with diverse urban, rural and tribal communities up and down the west coast. Exchanges evoke understanding between intergenerational and interracial communities, with a special focus on opportunities to spend time with elders who have dedicated their lives and careers to diverse work experiences, and to promoting peaceful and just relations.