The Murphy Institute is pleased to present the Spring 2018 Civic Engagement & Leadership Development series for union members, organizers, activists, and aspiring politicians to deepen their thinking about ways to engage the democratic process and learn new skills related to effective participation in electoral, legislative, and other civic activity. This free 10 week series is a great opportunity to engage with CUNY faculty and other experts in civic engagement, politics, history mass movements, and public policymaking; broaden your network; and earn a certificate of completion.
Saturdays, Jan 27th – April 28th, 2017
24 W. 43rd St., 18th Floor, NYC
Register here by January 19th, 2017
SATURDAY, JANUARY 27, 2018
Session 1: Civic Engagement: Concepts, Context, Content, and the Constitution
This is session will provide an overview of the course as well as familiarize students with basic concepts underpinning the vital role of civic engagement plays in expanding and extending participation in the democratic process. This session will also survey civic engagement challenges and experiences that have emerged in the contemporary context.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2018
Session 2: Pivotal Movements at Pivotal Moments in U.S. History
This session utilizes pivotal moments and movements to illustrate several uniquely innovative ways in which citizens have exercised “the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Particular attention will be given to drawing parallels between pivotal movements and moments in U.S. historical experience that successfully impacted public policy and governance in ways that expanded democracy and contemporary issues, dynamics, and challenges that face the United States today.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2018
Session 3: Using Power Analysis
Power analysis is a tool that many community organizations, civic movements, and issue-based coalitions use to understand how political power is wielded in a given jurisdiction, by whom, and to what degree in relation to particular public issues and policy concerns. Students will be tutored in using power analysis to discern and assess the power analysis political actors wield in their own community. Students will also devise strategies and tactics for building or broadening civic engagement in these jurisdictions.
SATURDAY, February 24, 2018
Session 4: Engaging the Challenge of Diversity
This session examines the “creative tension” between demographic diversity and the capacity of the political system to include “all the people.” Students will discuss whether or not there is validity to the notion that “demographics are destiny in politics” in light of racial and partisan gerrymandering in redistricting, voter suppression legislation and regulations, and low minority and young voter turnout. Attention will also be given to the importance of achieving an accurate census count in 2020 and post-census mobilization around redistricting. Students will also explore ways to identify, incorporate, and utilize strengths arising from diversity.
SATURDAY, MARCH 3, 2018
Session 5: Advocating & Organizing in Electoral and Non-Electoral Contexts
Students will survey a variety of skills, techniques, and strategies employed to advocate issues between and during election cycles, as well as examine the ways in which organizing and mobilizing constituencies in electoral and non-electoral contexts overlap. Students will also take part in designing approaches that unions or community-based organizations might undertake to successfully advocate their issues while transitioning to and from electoral and non-electoral contexts.
SATURDAY, MARCH 17, 2018
Session 6: Post-Election Challenges
What if the candidate(s) your union, organization, or coalition supported wins? What if that election also results in this candidate’s party keeping or gaining control of the legislative and/or the executive branch?
But, what if the candidate(s) your union, organization, or coalition supported wins? What if his or her party maintains or regains control of the legislative and/or executive branch? What are civic engagement challenges going forward?
This session focuses on the post-election challenges leaders and activists face in transitioning from campaigning to governing, including how to respond to favorable or cope with unfavorable results; how to adjust to a new political situation; and how to influence the policy priorities and staff appointments of the elected officials your union, community organization or coalition supported or how to deal with a winning candidate your union, community organization or coalition opposed.
SATURDAY, MARCH 24, 2018
Session 7: Engaging Governance and Policymaking
Civic engagement movements focus on public policy or otherwise attempt to compel government to favorably respond to their concerns. This session provides a basic understanding of the rules, procedures, mechanics, pressure points, and institutional participants in the policymaking process. Special attention will be given to lobbying tactics and techniques civic movements, issue coalitions, community-based organizations, labor organizations, and particularly political parties use to influence policymakers, build a policy consensus, and mobilize alliances with the legislative and executive branches to enact legislation. Students will apply what they have learned in this session to constructing their own model for engaging the policymaking process.
SATURDAY, APRIL 14, 2018
Session 8: Navigating Progressive Priorities Through the Budget Process
Existing programs require continuous funding. New programs require new appropriations. The budget process is the central institutional vehicle governments use to decide “who gets what, and how much.” This session examines how unions, civic movements, and issue-based coalitions navigate their priorities through the New York City and New York State budget processes.
SATURDAY, APRIL 21, 2018
Session 9: Developing Civic Engagement Leaders & Activists: Methods, Techniques, and Strategies
Civic engagement involves mobilizing communities to pressure government to address their concerns while politically empowering themselves in the process. This session focuses on the knowledge and skills community leaders and grassroots activists need in regard to applying outside pressure on decision-makers and government institutions; direct participation in policymaking, advisory, and quasi-governmental entities, and exercising influence through political parties, campaigns, and elections.
SATURDAY, APRIL 28, 2018
Session 10: Class Dialogue on Leadership Challenges in 2018 and Beyond
This session focuses on key challenges leaders and activists face in the context of the 2018 midterm congressional, gubernatorial, and state legislative elections. Discussion will center on ways in which the students — based on what they have learned — think civic engagement initiatives should tackle overlapping local, state, and national political dynamics.
Attend at least 7 sessions and receive a certificate of completion.
**Attendance for the first two session is required**
For questions or more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 212-642-2081.