Civic Courage Journaling Project (Virtual) Gathering
September 22, 2020 is National Voter Registration Day and the launch of UMBC’s Cast Your Whole Vote Campaign.
“Casting your whole vote” means committing fully to building strong, inclusive, just communities in which everyone can thrive, before, during, and after the election. The idea comes from Henry David Thoreau’s essay on Civil Disobedience. Thoreau observed that in the 19th century there were a lot of people who complained about what the government did or did not do, but took no real responsibility. They might vote in elections, but they did not learn about the issues, engage in conversations with members of their community, and contribute their time and talent to building a better world. Thoreau urged them to “cast your whole vote, not a [ballot] merely, but your whole influence.”
Here is this month's Civic Courage Journaling Project prompt: What motivates (or would motivate) you to cast your whole vote?
The Civic Courage Journaling Project creates opportunities for individual reflection and group conversations about personal experiences that have important, often hidden civic dimensions. Civic Courage, identified by the Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE) Theory of Change as one of the capacities necessary for active and engaged citizenship, encompasses the ability to take risks, work through tension, be patient in the face of challenges, stay open and engaged, take responsibility for the foreseeable consequences of one’s actions, face changes bravely, and act in accordance with one’s core values and beliefs.
UMBC student, faculty, staff, and alumni journal bearers respond to prompts from the Center for Democracy and Civic Life by creating entries in their journals. Many journal bearers also share their reflections publicly through social media posts like this, art projects, or conversations at monthly gatherings.
If you’d like to be involved with the Civic Courage Journaling Project, send us an email: email@example.com.