Special Lecture for Students: Mind the Civic Empowerment Gap

| March 2, 2015

Mind the Civic Empowerment Gap (1) (1)

Calls to close the civic empowerment gap have traditionally focused on improving and expanding civic education for students in high poverty urban schools. While important, this recommendation implies that closing the gap is in and of itself a sufficient end and that the civic education of elites is unproblematic. In this talk, Swalwell explains an explicit aim for the gap to close in a way that moves U.S. society towards radical democratic egalitarianism, and a response to the gap that includes consideration of the civic education of affluent students. It suggests that an “activist ally” approach rooted in emancipatory social science, political compassion, affective motivations, and empathetic listening may be a useful framework for a critical civic education curriculum with elite youth.