Conference Workshops


The 2019 conference workshops are:

Session One

Active Citizenship 101
Presenter: Melody Porter| William & Mary 

Found yourself at The Active Citizens Conference but not really sure what active citizenship means? Using the Active Citizen Continuum from Break Away, students in this session will become more aware of the ways they are already engaging in active citizenship and construct strategies on how to continue developing far beyond their years at college.

 Social Action through the Decades 
Presenters: Patty Mathison, Lily Goodman, Demi Moore| George Mason University

Collective action and social change requires community and collaboration, but in a time of political tension and heavy self-interest, how do we get others to act? Join us for a roundtable discussion and workshop about social movements over the past 60 years. This program celebrates the collective actions of young people who have and continue to take risks in the fight to be heard.

Achieving Success through Clarity of Your Values
Presenters:  Lynn Buchanan Miller and Marcy levy Shankman

With so many pressing issues and approaches to change, how do you find the best path forward in active citizenship? In this session you will identify your values and explore how those values impact every aspect of your life.

Music & Social Justice: Building Community through Song
Presenters: Robin Rio, Cameron Carter, Meghan Mack, and Colette Daley| Virginia Commonwealth University 

RVA Street Singers is a community choir for individuals impacted by homelessness and their allies and is supported by an undergraduate service-learning course.  This session will provide participants with an innovative interdisciplinary service-learning teaching model developed to create a long-term impact in the community and mobilize social change. Participants will have the opportunity to hear from students and community members involved in the project and experience community music making.

Let’s Do This! How to Start a 501(c)(3) in Less Than an Hour
Presenter:  Doug Bunch

Come find out how to start your own nonprofit organization. Learn all about forming a board, writing bylaws and articles of incorporation, incorporating, obtaining 501(c)(3) status, reporting to the IRS, articulating your mission/vision, and raising money to support your cause.

Session Two

Meeting Students Where they Are: Programming to Promote Civic Engagement on Campus 
Presenter: Anna Connole and Shelby Taraba| James Madison University 

Let’s discuss the do’s and don’ts of inspiring college students to be active citizens. Participants will be guided through possible initiatives and organize resources on their own campus to develop effective programming techniques for any form of civic engagement. Be prepared for a collaborative discussion on the importance of effectively amplifying the voices and civic knowledge of college students.

Dignity Matters: Lessons Learned from the First Student-Organized Prisoner Art Show in Virginia
Presenters: Balen Essak and Laura Calhoun | Washington & Lee University

How does respect for human dignity inform the work of active citizens? How do you keep human dignity at the center of that work? How do you work with and sometimes within institutions with which you don’t fully agree? The organizers of the first student-established prisoner art show in Virginia describe how they overcame various institutional hurdles by keeping these questions in mind. Learn action steps to take to further your own fight against injustice.

From Bias to Collaboration: How Our Stories Influence the Way We Talk, Think and Vote
Presenters:  Ruth Gopin| AmerXchange 

Understanding your own story gives you the skills to understand how other people’s stories influence the way that they talk, think, and vote. In this workshop we will explore our own influences and biases as they relate to the political polarization and division in this country. We will further explore how to use this information to move towards collaboration across these divides.

Stay Woke: Why lack of S.L.E.E.P. is Killing Social Justice
Presenters:  Nauje Jones| Virginia Commonwealth University 

Are you feeling physically and mentally fatigued? Do you find yourself feeling burdened by the suffering of others? In this session students will learn about compassion fatigue and the benefits of self-care. This program will serve as an interactive therapeutic outlet for civically engaged students.

Ethical Reasoning in Community Engagement
Presenter:  Scott Ingram | James Madison University 

Learn how to better navigate complex ethical dilemmas that may arise within our community engagement with the distinctive 8 Key Question ethical reasoning strategy. Participants will collaborate with their peers in a case analysis where they will ask an array of moral questions in a group discussion. This workshop will develop the skill of interrogating one’s own biases and will introduce a diverse set of ethical considerations that can be consulted before making any decision.

Session Three

Promoting Active Citizenship through Film
Presenters:  Tom Bowling, Clarissa Lang, and Allen Myers| Frostburg State University

Discover the power of film to promote social change.  Brief film clips will take participants to Uganda to learn how students at Frostburg introduced villagers to a radically simple solution to an urgent global problem.  And then to Paradise, California to learn about community building now underway. Attendees will learn how to host The Earth Day Film Festival and explore ways we can celebrate global citizenship on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day in 2020.

Fully Engaged: Living a More Intentional Life
Presenters:  Nandini Singh and Torie Dunlap| William & Mary 

This session is an opportunity for participants to reflect on their personal values and explore ways to live a more engaged and intentional day-to-day life. Through self-reflection, small group conversations, and personal goal-setting activities, participants will leave understanding how committing to living a fully engaged life will further cultivate their own active citizenship, equipped with an action plan for doing so.

Filling in the Gaps: Making the Most of a Gap Year After College
Presenters:  Erin-Marie Brown and JMU Engagement Fellows| VCU & James Madison 

Are you about to graduate and still have no idea what you want to do ‘when you grow up’? As students begin to think about their futures post-graduation, some are unsure of next steps. Dr. Erin Burke Brown will offer her personal and professional insights from her own national service experience as well as managing an AmeriCorps Program to provide tips and strategies for students who are stuck in the middle between college and career. Current service year fellows and James Madison University will share their perspective as well.

The Stories That We Tell: How Should Our Colleges & Universities Support Democracy?
Presenter:  Adam Gismondi | Tufts University

Colleges and universities are quick to include phrases like "preparation for global citizenship" and "advancing democracy" in mission statements and during publicized campus-wide events. But do our higher education institutions live up to these high-minded causes? In this session, we will explore the role of higher education in our democracy, examine how we are doing to date, and discuss what can be done moving forward.

Stirring the Pot: Building Community through Food
Presenters:  Thi Vu & Farial Rahman| UNC-Chapel Hill 

This session focuses on the integral nature of food in fostering meaningful conversation and reflections, specifically over alternative service-learning breaks. If you are interested/involved in leading a service-learning activity and would like to learn about a creative way to engage with your participants, this session will introduce you to a guide from the UNC APPLES Reflections Chairs.

You may also review previous Active Citizens Conference workshop guides.