FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 12, 2022
Annie Toro, Manager, Communications
Khin Mai Aung, Executive Director, New York
As a New Class of Elected Officials Assume Office, Hundreds of New York Students Champion Policy Responses to Community Issues at Biannual Student Action Project Showcase
Generation Citizen’s Civics Day Highlights New York Public Middle and High School Students Discussing the Power of Youth Civic Engagement and How Local Leaders Can Address Issues Ranging from Poverty to Climate Change.
New York City – On the heels of the November elections, more than 30 New York students will articulate concrete policy solutions to local government officials and other community leaders at Generation Citizen’s Fall 2021 Semester Civics Day. The participating students represent over 275 students statewide, who have found their civic voice through Generation Citizen’s student-led, semester-long Action Civics program. And these students were not alone in effecting change in the region. Generation Citizen educated over 19,000 middle and high schoolers nationwide with the knowledge, skills and agency necessary to tackle critical community issues.
Generation Citizen’s Civics Day is a biannual showcase for middle and high school students across New York City, Long Island, and Westchester County. Similar to a science fair but for civic action projects, Civics Day presents a unique opportunity to highlight youth civic engagement and for students to take pride in their projects, advocate for policy proposals to a local audience, and receive feedback about how to further their civic engagement beyond the classroom. Students advocated on a diverse range of both school and community based issues, including regulation of metal detectors in school, access to healthy school lunch, availability of clean water at school, creation of American Sign Language classes, and expansion of resources regarding poverty, drug addition, and sexual violence in local communities.
“I’m proud that we continue to see that Action Civics is not just possible in hybrid and disrupted learning, but that we’re able to continue doing it in a powerful and meaningful way,” said Generation Citizen CEO Elizabeth Clay Roy. “As young people have been isolated at home for remote learning or quarantine, it has given them a chance to connect with peers and work on a project that gives a sense of agency, which is so important in these challenging times.”
Leaders from the government, nonprofit, philanthropy, and private sectors volunteer at the event each semester to advise the student advocates with feedback about their action projects, and encourage them to continue their civic journey beyond the classroom.
Generation Citizen has hosted approximately 20 Civics Days in New York City since 2011. Generation Citizen New York had an impactful year, educating and empowering over 2,000 young leaders citywide thanks to visionary support and investment from New York City Council and other critical funders. “We at Generation Citizen are proud to support the students of New York City and State and foster their civic learning and engagement at this critical moment for our democracy and in our nation’s history,” said Generation Citizen New York Executive Director Khin Mai Aung.
“Throughout our nation’s history, young people have always stepped up to defend our democracy and push our government to better represent the interests of every American,” said Congressman Mondaire Jones (D-NY). “Generation Citizen is preparing today’s young people with the leadership skills necessary to follow in that noble tradition. With our democracy in crisis, this work has never been more important, which is why I’m so excited to participate in this year’s Civics Day.”
Generation Citizen (www.generationcitizen.org) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that is working to transform civic education so that every young person in the New York region and in the country is equipped and inspired to exercise their civic power.