DFA team members Libre and Keilah were able to participate in the Democracy Summit that took place March 13 -16 in Denver, Colorado. The Summit began with a celebration of the work that was done last year. Nationally, over 125,500 voters were registered, 300 poll workers were recruited, and 89,000 pledged to vote. During the days to follow, we were trained on the new curriculum that aims to provide a window into Democracy For All’s praxis to strengthening civic engagement and community power anywhere.
This 6 module curriculum encourages participants to know their history, reason, role, and story and how to take that knowledge and enact a change to a culture of civic engagement. This idea was modeled in the documentary “A Good Neighbor.” The film features a single mother’s fight against racism and climate change as she campaigns for city council in one of the nation’s most polluted zip codes. The next day we took a “Toxic Tour” through the community that was mentioned in the documentary, Commerce City, Colorado. It was heart-wrenching to see the kids playing on the school playground with the factories polluting the air right behind them. This tour gave us a new charge to take a closer look at our backyards.
The ‘Our Voice, Our Power Democracy For All Civic Engagement Curriculum’ pushed us to look at the story of self (call to leadership), the story of now (strategy and action), and the story of us (shared values and shared experience) to change the culture of civic engagement.
“You have to claim authorship of your story and learn to tell it to others so they can understand the values that move you to act because it might move them to act as well.” – Marshall Ganz