This Civic Season, participate with purpose

This is the fourth year that partners around our country are gathering to celebrate our powerful American ideals.

Happy Civic Season! This is the fourth year that partners around our country are gathering to celebrate our powerful American ideals. Starting on Juneteenth and ending on Independence Day, the Civic Season also commemorates the anniversary of the ratification of the 26th Amendment that gave 18-year-olds the right to vote, as well as the anniversary of the signing of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
Started in 2021 by Made By Us, the Civic Season “mobilizes Americans to connect with the past, take action in the present, and shape the future, through activities and events in our neighborhoods, cities, towns, and social spaces. The future is up to us.”
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. In honor of the Civic Season, here are some great local and virtual events that honor, reflect on, and celebrate our nation’s founding creed.

Join in the jubilee

Dating back to 1865, Juneteenth commemorates the day when 250,000 slaves in Texas, which became the last bastion for slavery during the final days of the Civil War, were declared free by the U.S. Army. Nebraska’s metro areas have several Juneteenth celebrations in the works on Saturday, June 15, including:
In Omaha: Omaha Freedom Festival, Juneteenth Joy Fest, Juneteenth Parade
In Lincoln: Malone Center Juneteenth Celebration, Juneteenth Freedom Day Celebration

Take the citizenship test

How well do you know the tenets of citizenship? Preparing for the Oath is designed as an easy-to-use study guide for the civics portion of the 2008 U.S. Naturalization Test, but it’s a great refresher course for all Americans, native-born or naturalized. Here, you can learn about U.S. history and government and practice for the test.

Add your wish for America’s future

My Wish For U.S. invites anyone and everyone to voice their hopes and dreams for the future of the United States, as we approach the nation’s 250th anniversary. This is the first step – by articulating the kind of nation we want to build, we can inspire one another to act. My Wish For U.S. has been named the first program officially recognized by America250, the U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission coordinating the largest, most inclusive commemoration of U.S. history yet – our 250th anniversary in 2026.

Host a ‘Feast of Reason’

In the spirit of Jeffersonian dinners, which were known for great food and conversation, the Thomas Jefferson Foundation created a card game to promote civil discourse, a respectful form of civic discussion. It’s called a Feast of Reason, and is designed to help you navigate the strong opinions so many of us hold about civic issues in a fun and engaging way – helping make breaking bread an event that will once again bring us closer together.  

Listen to Abe

Warning Signs: Lincoln’s Response to Rising Tensions in the 1850s features four short films that help us understand our present reality. Explore different perspectives about an extremely polarized moment in U.S. history and what it reveals about maintaining a healthy democracy today. The films feature three dynamic experts who focus on how polarization before the Civil War affects our current civic lives. Together, four professors describe Lincoln’s struggle with the morality of slavery and its westward expansion, the increasingly irreversible political divide, the character of the Constitution itself, and the ultimate value and meaning of human equality.

Claim your civic power

From our friends at Citizen University, learn how power is like a language: the better we can understand, interpret, and “read” how power works, the better mastery we achieve. If we think of it this way, “fluency” in power helps us better plug into the power structure ourselves so we can work towards making our society “of, by, and for the people.” Watch a short video on how to understand power, and then reflect on the questions.

Come to Strengthening Democracy Awards

Join Civic Nebraska on June 27 in honoring five outstanding Nebraskans who strengthen our democracy in remarkable ways. We invite you to attend an evening celebrating the power of collective voice with Tennessee Rep. Justin J. Pearson, whose experience of being ousted from office for using his voice speaks to the urgency of being loud and clear – even in the face of oppression. A limited number of tickets remain – if you’re unable to attend, be sure to watch our YouTube page for a video of the entire celebration.
Find these and many other in-person and virtual activities on The Civic Season’s website. Happy Civic Season, everyone!

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