Shining the Light: Voter Engagement


Collaboratory’s Shining the Light series highlights the amazing work of our institutional partners and shares examples of community engagement and public service activities captured in Collaboratory. 

Recognizing that community engagement is an integral strategy through which campuses contribute to and achieve the mission and goals of their institutions, this series is guided by the Benefits of Civic and Community Engagement Primer co-edited by Collaboratory’s own Kristin Medlin and published by our partners, North Carolina Campus Compact’s Community of Practice, Inquiry & Learning (COPIL).

The primer:

  • Assembles evidence of how civic and community engagement (CCE), when done well, contributes to the overarching goals of higher education
  • Highlights the range of CCE activities occurring in community-campus partnerships throughout the state of North Carolina
  • Provides a tool to aid in deepening the practice of engagement, and
  • Makes the case for investment in and commitment to CCE

This installment of Shining the Light features community engagement and public service activities related to democratic participation and voter engagement.

Buen Vecino

Only 60% of Ventura County’s population are registered to vote. The students working on this project recognized that their community partner, Buen Vecino, did not have a strong online presence. The goals of this collaboration were to increase the number of registered voters in Ventura County, bring awareness to the importance of voting in our community, and create more online posts to bring attention to Buen Vecino’s efforts.

Investigating the Usability of Voting Information for Pierce County and WA State

#PassTheMicYouth Program Coordination

#PassTheMicYouth amplifies the voices of young people by sharing their lived experiences and stories of activism through a podcast and blog. This platform highlights youth-centered issues, demonstrates the necessity of youth leadership, and provides educators and youth-serving professionals with useful tools and resources for fostering youth leadership, cultivating critical consciousness, and strengthening youth/adult partnerships.

In addition to its multimedia program, #PassTheMicYouth has developed two curricula aimed at amplifying young people’s voices and fostering youth-led community engagement. 

Dr. Maru Gonzalez co-created #PassTheMicYouth and currently serves as one of two faculty program directors. She partners with NC State students and faculty to recruit, train, and mentor young leaders who produce podcast episodes and blog posts centered around youth-focused issues and activism. Although facilitated and managed by students, Dr. Gonzalez lends her expertise in youth leadership and curriculum development. Additionally, Dr. Gonzalez works with students to select topics, find interview participants, produce episodes, manage social media, and disseminate the podcast and blog posts to young people and educators. 

CAst your Vote!

CAst your vote! is a student-led voter information hub orginating from California State University, Chico.  

CAst your vote! was founded as part of a virtual advocacy project.  Our mission is to inform people about low voter turnout in California while encouraging more Californians to register AND vote. We connect voters to voting resources, information, and more.  We regularly post infographics, student-produced videos, fun facts, and statistics about all things voter-related.

We’ve partnered with like-minded organizations including, Campus Vote Project, Campus Election Engagement Project, Let America Vote, and Vote In Or Out.  We’ve also been recognized by activist and Spread the Vote founder Kat Calvin and musician James DeBerg.  

Let us help you #CAstyourvote  

Pressing Matters: Printmaking, Self-Advocacy, and Community Activism

Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts Design and Arts Corps

An initiative of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, the Design and Arts Corps (DAC) builds on the ASU Charter centering access, equity and purpose-driven research while taking “fundamental responsibility for the economic, social, cultural and overall health of the communities” we serve. In partnership with community, we use design, art, and culture to consciously advance well-being and strengthen participatory democracy. When fully realized, the Design and Arts Corps will be the largest socially engaged design and arts program in the nation, and all Herberger Institute students will participate in DAC projects at least once during their studies at ASU. Three levels of participatory engagement place Herberger Institute students, faculty and staff in direct and ethical collaboration with the community in executing design-and arts-based programming/actions that activate community goals while facilitating experiential learning and purpose-driven research. 

Mission: The Design and Arts Corps partners with communities to place designers, artists, scholars, and educators in public life and prepares students to use their creative capacities to advance culture, strengthen democracy and imaginatively address today’s most pressing challenges. 

Egan Center – The Council of Elders

The Council of Elders works closely with Egan’s staff and students to share their collective wisdom and knowledge to reinforce the vision and mission statement of the Egan Office. These conversations culminate into action as elders and students mobilize on issues such as authentic civic engagement and the role of the citizen, and informed Chicago election activism and critical parent engagement in Chicago’s deeply segregated communities. 

Want to learn more about Collaboratory?

Email [email protected] to learn more about how to leverage Collaboratory to tell your institution’s story of engagement.

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