Growing community engagement skills among young leaders with the Mikva Challenge

Malana Rogers-Bursen
October 26, 2018

As part of our intergenerational equity work, Everyday Democracy is prioritizing growing community engagement skills among young leaders. In September, Everyday Democracy's Matthew Sagacity Walker and Malana Rogers-Bursen travelled to Chicago to facilitate a community engagement training at Mikva Challenge.

Mikva Challenge is a non-partisan organization focused on developing youth to be empowered, informed and active citizens who will promote a just and equitable society. Sagacity and Malana trained sixteen of Mikva Challenge’s program staff in facilitation, racial equity, organizing and action. We also provided them with a packet of our top ten tools, including our “Facing Racism in a Diverse Nation” guide. The program staff coordinate and facilitate various youth councils across the city.

The first day was focused on the connection between community engagement and equity, and building facilitation skills. Participants went through a sample dialogue and had an opportunity to practice facilitation. Day two started with a discussion on structural racism and culminated with activities on recruitment and messaging. Participants commented that the training helped them think more intentionally about their work in terms of equity, youth facilitation, recruitment strategies and action planning.

Everyday Democracy is excited to continue partnering with Mikva Challenge. Our missions are very closely aligned in building a stronger democracy that values everyone’s voice.

Part of building a stronger democracy is putting attention on intergenerational equity. We define intergenerational equity as the practice of treating everyone fairly and justly regardless of age, with special consideration to the structural factors that privilege some age groups over others.

Mikva Challenge has been a leading organization in promoting action civics that empowers youth voice. Youth have been especially marginalized and excluded from public participation and decision-making. Youth voice and power to affect change are essential to building an equitable democracy that works for everyone.

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Dialogue to Change

Our ultimate goal is to create positive community change that includes everyone, and our tools, advice, and resources foster that kind of change. Whether you’re grappling with a divisive community issue, or simply want to include residents’ voices in city government, Everyday Democracy's Dialogue to Change process, using a racial equity lens, can help.