by Sharnice Neale-Ottley
In the heart of rural America, Generation Citizen’s mission to build civic skills, knowledge, and motivation is connecting with schools invested in local pride.
GC team members Arian Davis and Destiny Warrior kickstarted the “Rural Roadtrips” initiative as a way to extend Generation Citizen’s reach to rural communities, starting with their recent visit to Chickasha, Oklahoma, a town of about 16,000 citizens just southwest of Oklahoma City.
Chickasha is no stranger to the fight for justice and equity. It was the home of Ada Lois Sipuel, a prominent figure in the Civil Rights movement. The Miles Chapel CME Church, a cornerstone of this town, served as a meeting place for Sipuel and her fellow activists as they championed her right to attend law school at the University of Oklahoma.
Despite Chickasha’s intricate Civil Rights history, this Oklahoma town has its share of challenges. It has remained a highly segregated town, which forced the school district to restructure in 2015, and it suffered a significant population loss in the early 2000s following the departure of a major manufacturing plant.
Now, the town is on the path to recovery.
The visit to Chickasha was not just an exploration; it was an opportunity to connect with a community and uncover its civic story. In the pursuit of an inclusive democracy, Generation Citizen believes that every voice matters and every community is the real America.
Arian and Destiny identified a pressing need and connected with local individuals who share their passion for change. Their innovative thinking has opened doors for Generation Citizen to potentially provide world-class civics education to Chickasha’s youth, offering them the tools to become informed, active, and engaged community leaders.