After the Vote: a Community Discussion on Voice, Power, and Participation

A Round-Table Discussion at WBEZ

Dec 06 2012

Prior to the November elections, the Center for Civic Reflection and Mikva Challenge joined with WBEZ to invite Chicago residents to think and talk together about how we participate in democracy--and what we hope for when we do. Three weeks after the election, on November 29th, a group of thirty community members, students, and civic leaders convened to explore what happens next. Voting is one form of participation, but how does it stand next to other forms of involvement as we move forward? How else can we act to improve our city and our world, and what, however we express ourselves, are we hoping to get done?

To dig into these questions, representatives from Global Citizenship Experience, Chicago Cares, the Odyssey Project, Teach for America, Project Soapbox, Morgan Park High School, the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics, and several other groups engaged in a participatory discussion about the power and the limits of participation in all its forms. The discussion revolved around a series of images, William Carlos Williams’ short poem, “Election Day,” and participants' views about what they feel, want, and work for when they participate.

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