Join the McKelvy House Scholars online on Sundays at 4 p.m. for intellectual discussions. The next topic is Civic Engagement/Participation. Email the group for the Zoom link and to receive the reading material before each discussion.

Outside view of McKelvy HouseOlivia Barney ’21 and Aidy Ung ’21 will lead Sunday’s discussion. “This past summer we saw thousands of people protest for Black Lives Matter, and voting registration continues to grow as a topic of focus with November right around the corner,” they state in their preview. “Civic participation is a mode for change while creating unity, but also a way for people to engage in their own interests and beliefs…think about how you contribute to your community (your nation) and why others choose less active stances on issues of politics, social justice, the environment, etc.”


Some facts

According to the 2006 National Civic and Political Health ​Survey​, ​7 percent​ of 15- to 25-year-old Americans participated in 10 or more community engagement or political activities within the previous year.  When compared to their peers who report no civic engagement activities, this group was more likely to be African-American, urban, attend church regularly, from a family with parents who volunteer, a current student (in college or high school), and from a college-educated home.


  • Is there importance in civic service, e.g. voting, recycling, protesting, jury duty?
  • What are the obligations related to citizenship and how does that reflect in civic service?
  • Can you fault people who choose to stay out of public problems and movements?
  • Sometimes, people are threatened by the authority to engage/not engage with public problems and movements. Should people prioritize their security/safety over their freedom to express themselves?
  • What would our society think if civic duties became mandatory (like jury duty)? How would that shape our perceptions of our country?

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