A Civics Series for Today.
Tune In. Own The Issues.

October 2017 – May 2018
New York City

Civics Unplugged Orientation October 15th, 2017 Roosevelt House, New York City

There are scenes of students attending the orientation as words appear on the screen: Seventy two students from NYC and NJ Come together once a month for eight months to listen discuss and learn to agree or disagree about immigration, voting rights, the press, trade, pacs checks and balances think tanks campaign finance and their future.

A student appears on the screen with a caption that indicates her name is Maryann and she is a Civic Fellow. She says "I love Civics Unplugged. I find that I leave with more questions than answers but perhaps that's the point."

We move to another Civic Fellow named Brenner who says "Yes I think it’s a very good thing because it teaches us how to respect and value other people's opinions and how to build off their opinions and create new opinions of our own and really just make a difference in society"

We move to another Civic Fellow named Kaitlin who says, "And I, I don't know, I think I really love being able to go somewhere with our topic and not just end it when the class period ends. We can continue this going back home talking with our parents and talking with everyone we know about the conversations we have here."

We move to another Civic Fellow named Tahjai who says, "I definitely learned more things about politics especially like why they matter to people in this country and more specifically why they matter to me as an individual"

We move to Alessandra, the last of the interviewed Civic Fellows, who says, "I feel so much more aware about like politics especially in our country and I feel like it's really important for me to continue be learning about this and I'm glad Civics Unplugged gives me that resource."

Civics Unplugged is a new interactive civics education workshop series that brings New York teens from diverse backgrounds together for important dialogue on engaging civics-related topics.

Learn More About The Forum Series

Most Recent Session


December 10, 2017 | Roosevelt House, NY

The United States is on the verge of changes to immigration law. Civic Fellows will investigate different perspectives and explore issues surrounding immigration reform.


  • Adam Strom


Learn more about Immigration

Discover the Issues

Explore our collection of resources relating to topics from our Civic Forum, including videos, articles, links and exclusive session content.

Voting Rights

Voting is the heart of our democracy yet voting rights have always engendered voting fights. Students delved into the context of voting today, and discussed ideas for increasing voter access and engagement.

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The United States is on the verge of changes to immigration law. Civic Fellows will investigate different perspectives and explore issues surrounding immigration reform.

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Press, Media, and Social Media

The press is often called the fourth branch of government (or “fourth estate”) as it is the watchdog of the democratic process. Fellows will explore the role the press has in shaping public opinion, the responsibility of journalists, and the challenges of our current age.

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Checks & Balances

To ensure a separation of powers, the U.S. Federal Government is made up of three branches. Students will examine recent events and how the process of checks and balances between the branches of government has and is playing out.

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An interconnected global economy has significant economic, political and social impact. Fellows will explore principles behind international trade, and gain insight into issues and concerns surrounding trade policy both in the United States and abroad.

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PACS, Think Tanks & Campaign Finance

Money spent on political influence can take any number of forms. Fellows will examine disclosure laws, and look at money in politics beyond campaign contributions.

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Or, start from the beginning with What is Civics.

More Civics Unplugged Programming

Two ways in which we will be unplugging civics across New York City:

CivicsU Podcasts

Civic Fellows are creating a "for teens, by teens" podcast for each Civic Forum. The podcast will be comprised of highlights from the Speaker’s remarks and an interview with the Speaker along with their and their peers’ thoughts and open questions about the theme of the month. The CivicsU podcast will serve as a way to keep conversation and thinking going--and to open it up to a broader base of students.


In the spring, Civic Fellows will produce a TEDx-style conference that draws upon their experiences and learning from the year. Fellows will create and facilitate presentations, activities, and storytelling that builds more civic knowledge and sparks more civic engagement for students from across their schools and across the city.