The Forum Series

Held throughout the school year, Civic Forums provides a unique opportunity for juniors and seniors from partner high schools to learn from and connect with each other — as well as with educators and political experts — to explore issues and engage in robust discussion in a fun and supportive environment. Through indepth exploration of governance, policy, and politics, students are exposed to different perspectives and have the opportunity to ask questions and engage in discussion in a safe and non-judgmental atmosphere.

Hosted at the historic Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College, each Forum features an interesting and knowledgeable speaker focusing on a specific topic. Students take leadership roles to facilitate topic-related discussion under the guidance of their teachers.

Videos from each Civic Forum are available online so many more young people can enhance their knowledge of civics, our political system, and significant local and global issues, such as immigration, trade, the press, and checks and balances of our government.

Series Topics

  • Voting Rights
  • Immigration
  • Press
  • Infrastructure
  • Gentrification and Affordable Housing
  • Freedom of Speech

Want to find out more about each topic?

Learn more here.

check out our student orientation



Roosevelt House, an integral part of Hunter College since 1943, reopened in 2010 as a public policy institute honoring the distinguished legacy of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. Its mission is three-fold: to educate students in public policy and human rights, to support faculty research, and to foster creative dialogue.

The Forum Series Format

  • 1. In the month leading up to each Forum, students learn about the topic through an array of resources.
  • 2. The Forum wbegins with brief, engaging remarks by a dynamic public figure with expertise on the topic.
  • 3. In small groups, students engage in student-facilitated discussion of the topics with their peers.
  • 4. The full group reconvenes and representatives from each group summarize a key theme from their conversation and raise further questions for the speaker.
  • 5. Students create a podcast, inclusive of an interview with the keynote speaker, to share with students beyond the Forum.

Attending the Civics Unplugged Forums

Civics Unplugged attendance is limited to junior and senior high school students from Partner Schools who have been selected to represent their school as a Civic Fellow. All students are welcome and encouraged to check out related readings, stream Civic Forum video online, and tune in to our podcast.

Want your high school to become a Partner School? Email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

We've merged!

As of Aug 2018, Civics Unplugged has merged with Next Generation Politics and will be changing our name and migrating to . Next Gen Politics is a student-created, student-led organization that fosters civic engagement and promotes a culture of collaboration and cross-partisanship within Generation Z. Given the alignment in our missions, and the range and reach of Next Gen's 15+ chapters, we are enthusiastic to join forces.

Our mission remains the same: to equip young people to understand their rights, roles, and responsibilities and strengthen their ability to engage with people from different backgrounds, appreciate multiple perspectives, and foster civic discourse. This merger will enable our Civic Fellows in New York to be in dialogue, and develop relationships, with teens from other regions who have very different lived experiences, exposing all to a broader range of perspectives and politics.

In response to the deeply divisive time we are living in, the palpable threats to democracy and civil society, and the power and potential of young people to create change, we are thrilled to support teens in expanding their civic capacity and commitment. We look forward to continuing to build this movement with you!