The Womxn Project is a statewide organization focused on leveraging the power of art, activism, advocacy and education to advance the principles of reproductive justice, which demands that we all have the right to determine when and how we build our relationships, families and futures and that we have the ability to live and raise our children with dignity.
We are proud to submit testimony in support of H. 5028, which is aimed at promoting civics literacy by requiring public school students in Rhode Island to complete a course in American Civics proficiency. While most states require the teaching of the history of our country, too many students leave high school without an in-depth understanding of the systems and processes that create the laws, policies and programs that have a huge impact on their day to day lives. The work that happens through civic engagement is critical in influencing what happens today and essentially changing the course of history and yet young people are not taught what the means or how they can play a role in shaping the course of our communities, our state and this nation.
As we look at the people who have been rising up across the world to speak up for racial justice and address systemic oppression, including many of our volunteers and leaders, we see a history making moment of civic engagement and yet many students simply will not have the knowledge to enable them to connect this current event to what else is happening in the world or to understand the impact or intention of this kind of social movement.
The goal of having a civics requirement is to help young people acquire and learn to use the skills, knowledge, and attitudes that will prepare them to be competent and responsible members of the community throughout their lives. This is very important as we wrestle with some big challenges and questions as a society.
Studies have shown that by encouraging students to be active and engaged citizens, they not only gain civic knowledge and literacy, but also have an increased understanding and commitment to volunteerism, social-emotional learning, and voter participation.
We have the opportunity to truly change the way that our government works, shift power, and advance change to make sure we can all live with health and dignity. This will require that young people be adequately prepared to lead the nation toward essential civic and social change at the local, state, and national levels. This bill is an important first step. We urge you to vote yes on this legislation. Thank you.
Contact: Jocelyn Foye, 714-501-9863, [email protected]