March 6-8, 2019
University of San Diego
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Thursday, March 7 • 11:30am - 12:40pm
What Do We Mean by “Civic Engagement”? Conceptualizing a Critical Approach to Democratic Practice

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Presently, there are many calls for higher education to once again be the incubator of democratic practice, particularly given widespread concern about the continuing disengagement of young people from electoral politics. Due to the divisive nature of our national conversations surrounding public policy, those on campus have regularly turned to community service as both a cure for democratic malaise, as well as a means to build bridges for greater social unity. However, given the entrenched nature of inequality within our societal structures, any emerging agenda around the growth of democratic practice cannot exist at the expense of working toward greater social justice. This session will engage attendees in a conversation about how we conceptualize what it means to be civically engaged. The facilitator will draw upon his experience teaching a course on critical civic engagement, which includes an examination of the systemic causes of inequality, as well as what informs our perspectives of how to address it. Colleagues will discuss the need for identity exploration within civic work, how we engage with community organizations who may be unintentionally perpetuating the status quo, and how we develop our students’ critical consciousness as a function of democratic practice.

avatar for Douglas Barrera

Douglas Barrera

Associate Director, UCLA Center for Community Learning
Doug Barrera directs the Civic Engagement minor and the Astin Civic Engagement Research program, teaches classes in the Civic Engagement subject area, manages AmeriCorps programs, and conducts research and assessment for the UCLA Center for Community Learning. Doug is currently exploring... Read More →

Thursday March 7, 2019 11:30am - 12:40pm PST
KIPJ 220