Celebrating civic coming-of-age with young people across the nation.
Citizen Redefined is a civic and moral formation program for teenagers led by adult mentors. Through our training program, mentors learn how to use the Citizen Redefined curriculum to help teenagers practice the attitudes and behaviors of strong citizenship.
Mentors are educators from many backgrounds — program facilitators, teachers, supplemental educators, librarians, coaches — who are searching for deeper ways to be civic role models for young people. In our Citizen Redefined mentor training, you’ll develop civic skills and strengthen your sense of civic character as you plan to form and facilitate small groups of teenagers in your community at home. Anchored in the curriculum, you’ll help your groups engage in self-reflection, reckon with moral tensions in American history, make sense of the current state of our democracy, and develop the skills, confidence, and conviction to live as responsible citizens. A culminating Civic Confirmation rite-of-passage ceremony marks the movement of these young people into civic adulthood.
We’re currently working with host institutions to bring Citizen Redefined to people around the country. If you’re interested in bringing this to your organization, please reach out to Davis Endava at Davis@CitizenUniversity.us.
About the mentor experience
Joining a small cohort of educators from across the country, you’ll learn, practice, and experiment with us for eight weeks before starting a group of your own.
Start with Mentor Training.
Over a few months, you’ll dive deep into a personal and professional development experience with your cohort. We’ll train you in Citizen Redefined pedagogy — and you’ll have the chance to reckon, redefine, and reflect with your peers.
Experience the Curriculum.
Before you use the curriculum, you’ll dig into the lessons and activities yourself, making sense of what powerful, responsible citizenship means to you. From learning how to argue better to circulating power, each of the twelve sessions provide tangible “civic super skills” as the foundation for active citizenship. Delving into parts of the curriculum with your fellow mentors-in-training will set you up to facilitate Citizen Redefined rooted in your own values and commitments.
Lead Your Groups.
You’ll organize and lead small groups of students using the Citizen Redefined curriculum as a guide. This might look like one session a week, two sessions a month, or maybe even an immersive camp-like experience—the choice is yours.
Celebrate through Civic Confirmation.
Civic Confirmation is the culmination of the Citizen Redefined experience. Akin to a religious or cultural rite-of-passage, your students will make a personal declaration, voicing their own commitments to living like citizens, and marking their movement into civic adulthood!
Why be a mentor?
Students these days are facing personal and societal challenges like never before. They encounter moral dilemmas where there’s not a clear answer. It can be confusing, lonely, and scary to figure out what they stand for — and how to orient their moral compass. That’s why mentors are crucial in helping their groups define their role as responsible citizens and build their sense of civic character. They’ll determine the ways ways they want to show up as a member of our shared society.
Reviving faith in democracy — and building the commitment to tackle challenges facing our country — takes more than just knowledge of how a bill becomes a law. It requires curiosity, mutuality, and responsibility.
By equipping young people with the skills and practices of powerful, responsible citizenship, we’re forming the building blocks of a strong civic culture — and a stronger democracy.
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Our mentors are breathing creativity and freshness into the work of understanding and defining citizenship. Here are a few ways they’re creating transformative experiences for young people using the Citizen Redefined curriculum.
Bringing civic learning to a faith group.
Noreen is integrating sessions — like how to develop and act on your own set of morals — into a summer camp with her faith community.
Integrating with a high school curriculum.
Kyle is a high school teacher who is using his social studies class as a place to reflect on what it means to take responsibility for society around us. He’s kicking off the new school year by integrating the CR curriculum into his class twice a week.
Adding character to civics education.
Adrian’s organization works to close disparities in civic education. He saw the chance to use the Citizen Redefined curriculum to enhance their work and hosted a virtual summit for their student leaders.
About the curriculum
The Citizen University team has developed a curriculum you’ll use to lead your Citizen Redefined groups. You’ll guide students as they develop a core set of “civic super skills” so that they actively live as citizens — wherever they go and whatever they do. Through their arc of learning, participants experience ritual, reflection, complexity.
The twelve units follow this flow.
- Joining the Call: Hello? America on the Line…
- Reflecting More & Morally: How Did We Get Here?
- Deep Listening: Curiosity on the Loose
- Effective Learning: Bye-Bye Binary
- Argue How?: #ArgueBetter
- Argue Now: Better Arguments, Better Character
- Reading Power: Redefining “Power Hungry”
- Practicing Power: Active Power
- Circulating Power: Responsible Power
- Serving as a Citizen: Taking Responsibility
- Collaborating on Confirmation: Planning Civic Confirmation
- Civic Confirmation: Gathering, Committing, Celebrating