Discover the Issues

Civics Unplugged is proud to be part of a growing "action civics" movement focused on increasing student civic knowledge, skills, and motivation, and decreasing the civic engagement gap.

In Action Civics:

  • • Participants’ voices are encouraged, valued and incorporated to the fullest extent possible
  • • Experiences, knowledge, perspectives and concerns of participants are incorporated to the fullest extent possible
  • • Participants learn by doing, with a focus on collective action
  • • Participants’ reflection and analysis are central to the process

What is Civics?

Civics is the study of the rights and duties of citizenship, and is a subject that touches every person’s life.

The word “civics” is based on an ancient Latin word “civicus,” which means “of a citizen.” We are all citizens at many levels of society: home, school, city, state, nation and global.

The study of civics is important because it helps people to understand their personal and political rights, as well as their social responsibilities and personal duties. It provides people with knowledge of how government works, how to influence government and the importance of taking part in politics.

Beyond appreciating the value of being an active citizen, civics education teaches people to think critically, empathize, recognize moral choices, and make their voices heard.

Unfortunately, civic education has been critically underinvested in over the past decades, and Civics Unplugged is part of a movement to "unplug" civics and help equip young people to be active, informed citizens.

Most Recent Session

Freedom of Expression

April 15, 2018

Freedom of speech is one of our most fundamental rights as Americans, guaranteed in the First Amendment and held dear by liberals, conservatives, and libertarians.

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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Immigration

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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Civic Dilemmas in Infrastructure

Infrastructure refers to the system of public works of a country, state, or region. While infrastructure refers to something physical, it is undergirded by civic actions—choices and decisions about what to invest in, where, and for whom.

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Gentrification and Affordable Housing

The term "gentrification" is often used to describe neighborhood changes that are characterized by an influx of new residents of a higher socioeconomic status relative to incumbent residents, causing rising housing values--and rising costs.

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Freedom of Expression

Freedom of speech is one of our most fundamental rights as Americans, guaranteed in the First Amendment and held dear by liberals, conservatives, and libertarians.

Find Out More

We've merged!

As of Aug 2018, Civics Unplugged has merged with Next Generation Politics and will be changing our name and migrating to https://nextgenpolitics.org/ . 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!