The 2016 presidential election cycle has thus far been one of the most polarizing and captivating in recent memory, and it shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Meanwhile, a rising tide of emergent research, tools and civic technologies is redefining the way campuses are able to understand their students and provide them with the right opportunities for meaningful, sustained engagement. If this sounds interesting to you, please join us on Wednesday, June 1st from 10:00 am-4:00 pm for the Electoral Political and Engagement Institute sponsored by icitizen at the 2016 Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement meeting. This highly interactive session will bring together a diverse range of higher ed. institutions as well as the organizations doing pioneering civic work on campuses across the country. We’ll explore how increased collaboration can help capitalize on the current political climate—a “whole is greater than the sum of its parts” approach that will encourage student participation and keep them engaged through the election and beyond!

This pre-conference event will expose participants the most effective and exciting civic resources available to campuses as the November elections approach. The day will begin with a series of round table conversations and panel discussions designed to familiarize those in attendance with the wide variety of perspectives from which our partner organizations and other campuses approach these complex issues. Then we’ll break into small groups so that participants can work with each partner organization individually to explore how that organization’s tools and resources can best be adapted to suit the needs of their particular campus. By the end of the day, everyone present will have a clear understanding of what needs to be done on their respective campuses, how to do it and who to work with to make it happen.

For more information on the awesome organizations participating in this event, check them out below!

icitizenicitizen is a community where you connect with your elected officials to be heard on the civic issues you care about. With icitizen, you create change at the local, state and federal level. Our mission is to transform the way people communicate on civic issues, connect our communities and promote meaningful change. ictizen has partnered with the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU)’s American Democracy Project, and The Democracy Commitment (TDC) in a year-long Engage the Election 2016 initiative. This initiative will include a series of comprehensive nonpartisan activities, a series of webinars focused on a variety of aspects of political engagement, and provide an array of different tools, research, and best practices on political engagement from now through the inauguration of our next U.S. president. To download the app or learn more:

tdclogoThe Democracy Commitment (TDC) is celebrating its 5th anniversary in 2016 as a national initiative providing a platform for the development and expansion of community college programs, projects and curricula aiming at engaging students in civic learning and democratic practice across the country. With a TDC network of well over 230 community college campuses in 23 different states, our goal is that every graduate of an American community college shall have had an education in democracy. To learn more:

CIRCLECIRCLE, the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning & Engagement, focuses on young people in the United States, especially those who are marginalized or disadvantaged in political life. CIRCLE’s scholarly research informs policy and practice for healthier youth development and a better democracy. It is based at the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service at Tufts University. To learn more:

campus vote projectIn 2012, the Fair Elections Legal Network (FELN) launched Campus Vote Project (CVP) to focus and expand its work around student voting issues. CVP works with universities, community colleges, faculty, students and election officials to reduce barriers to student voting. Our goal is to help campuses institutionalize reforms that empower students with the information they need to register and vote.


young invincibles

Young Invincibles was founded in the summer of 2009, motivated by the recognition that young people’s voices were not being heard in the debate over health care reform. Co-Founders Ari Matusiak and Aaron Smith and a few friends wanted to change that, so they set up a one page website, asking young people to share their stories, believing in their generation’s capacity to stand up and make itself heard. To learn more:

The NASPA Lead Initiative on Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (Lead Initiative) comprises a network of NASPA member colleges and universities committed to encouraging and highlighting the work of student affairs in making civic learning and democratic engagement a part of every student’s college education. Selected institutions, representing public and private four-year and two-year colleges and universities, have committed to a series of strategies to work in partnership with on and off campus constituents to influence students’ ongoing commitment to civic learning and democratic engagement. The NASPA Lead Initiative offers unique professional development opportunities, targeted resources, networking, and recognition for its Lead Institutions. For more information:

adp_newlogo_FINALThe American Democracy Project (ADP) is a multi-campus initiative focused on public higher education’s role in preparing the next generation of informed, engaged citizens for our democracy. The project began in 2003 as an initiative of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), in partnership with The New York Times. The more than 260 AASCU member campuses in this network advance the civic learning and democratic engagement of their students, campuses and communities. Learn more here:

TurboVote LogoTurboVote is an application that makes voting easy. When you sign up (won’t you sign up?), we keep track of your elections, local and national. And if you need to get registered, update your voter registration, or request an absentee ballot, we’ll get you all the forms and information you need, when you need them. To learn more:

text talk voteThe National Institute for Civil Discourse (NICD) works to address incivility and political dysfunction in American democracy by promoting structural and behavior change.  Informed by research, its programs are designed to create safe spaces for elected officials, the public, and the media to engage different voices respectfully and take responsibility for the quality of our public discourse and democratic institutions. NICD’s program, Text, Talk, Vote, uses text messaging to facilitate a face-to-face conversation on civic participation and voting. TTV reaches young people right where they live, through the use of mobile technology and social media, combined with face-to-face conversation and community organizing. To learn more:

andrew goodman fndAndrew Goodman and two of his contemporaries were young adults committed to equality, voting rights and social justice – they died fighting for those very commitments during Freedom Summer 1964. Established to continue Andy’s legacy, The Andrew Goodman Foundation’s Vote Everywhere program is the Foundation’s nonpartisan, experiential program that recruits, trains and supports emerging leaders at America’s colleges and universities. Vote Everywhere students strengthen democracy by leading long-term voter engagement, public policy and social justice initiatives. To learn more:



college debate 16.pngAs a Voter Education Partner for the Commission on Presidential Debates, Dominican University of California is proud to lead the College Debate initiative and host the inaugural College Convention. Dominican is an independent university of almost 2,000 highly diverse undergraduate and graduate students located in the San Francisco Bay Area. Dominican integrates inspiring teaching and supportive mentoring with internships, community service, research, study abroad, and leadership opportunities. The University is committed to ensuring that all students understand how to be ethical, engaged global citizens. To learn more:

voto latinoVoto Latino is a pioneering civic media organization that seeks to transform America by recognizing Latinos’ innate leadership. Through innovative digital campaigns, pop culture, and grassroots voices, we provide culturally relevant programs that engage, educate and empower Latinos to be agents of change. Together, we aim to build a stronger and more inclusive democracy. To learn more:

civic nation.jpgCivic Nation uses organizing, engagement and public awareness to address some of our nation’s most pressing challenges. We work with public and private partners to build tools and campaigns that turn great ideas into action. To learn more:



Don’t forget to register, already registered, no problem. You can go back to your registration confirmation link and sign up for the pre-con on Political Engagement. We hope to see you at what promises to be a unique and powerful opportunity for collaboration!

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