Civics for Adults

To Enhance Civic Knowledge
& Inspire Political Engagement

About


Check out Donna's interview on OPB's Think Out Loud program from Nov 3, 2020!!
A great way to learn about what Civics for Adults is all about.
https://www.opb.org/article/2020/10/30/civics-educator-aims-to-enhance-knowledge-and-engagement-in-political-process/

Civics for Adults has gone virtual! See latest list of workshops on the Schedule page!
[Schedule changes frequently.]

Workshops are available for presentation online! The format is a PPT presentation/lecture of just about one hour, followed by a question/discussion time. More information and registration via the Schedule page!

I have to say, this one, from the Citizen Activism workshop, is my favorite:
"Donna provided useful and detailed information that was inspiring! It was in depth, but attainable. I, also, liked the focus on local policies that affect us directly. She encouraged me to be the activist that I have wanted be, but have stopped myself from being. She said to start by doing something simple, but courageous. Thank you for this gift."

"The most important political office is that of the private citizen."   Justice Louis Brandeis

Our democracy is strengthened when citizens have accurate and non-partisan civic knowledge. The goal of Civics for Adults [and Others!] workshops is to provide information typically hidden behind the headline-grabbing, background noise of our lives, to inform citizens about our most essential government and political structures, to support critical thinking skills by illuminating the ways that information may be distorted and to encourage citizen engagement by highlighting the multiple ways that we can influence civic and political life.

My workshops have mostly been presented at public libraries, but private groups also sponsor them. Any group that would like to improve the civic and political literacy, and information literacy, of its members is welcome to inquire about the workshops. High schools students also benefit, especially from the Misinformation and Activism workshops.

Come explore these timely and information-rich presentations.


For more non-partisan civic and political resources follow my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Civics-for-Adults-1490728887922036/  and/or join my email list - which I use sparingly and I will never give your email address to others:  dcohen@hevanet.com

Workshops Offered


Check out Donna's interview on OPB's Think Out Loud program from Nov 3, 2020!!
A great way to learn about what Civics for Adults is all about.
https://www.opb.org/article/2020/10/30/civics-educator-aims-to-enhance-knowledge-and-engagement-in-political-process/ 

Testimonials from the first virtual workshops...Testimonials-Participants-and-Librarians-Aug2020pub.pdf

I have to say, this one, from the Citizen Activism workshop, is my favorite:

"Donna provided useful and detailed information that was inspiring! It was in depth, but attainable. I, also, liked the focus on local policies that affect us directly. She encouraged me to be the activist that I have wanted be, but have stopped myself from being. She said to start by doing something simple, but courageous. Thank you for this gift."

DescriptiveFlyer-Virtual-2020.pdf

Misinformation, Fake News and Political Propaganda
Are you overwhelmed with messages from politicians, news sources and other media? Distinguish truth from fiction using real-world examples of political ads, news headlines, logical fallacies, graphs/charts, the effect of word choice in messaging, statistical data and other types of information. Become your own “fact-checker!”
Also, learn how to find accurate information.

“Well organized, excellent information!”
“This was fun and informative! Thank you so much!”
“...students need this!!!”

Citizen Activism 101—Making Change Happen
Want to improve life for yourself and your neighbors or have a concern about local, state or federal laws? Discusses: Strategies for change; Examples of successful advocacy; Brief historical perspective; Choosing your battles; What matters to you?; Who makes the rules?; Getting heard; Tools for change; "Lobbying"; “Tracking” legislation; Providing “testimony.”

“ACTIONABLE!”
“Great presenter...should be a day conference!”
“Very practical information!”

The Constitution: Fulfilling Democracy's Promise?
Look at the Constitution’s creation and its structural limitations, and trace major changes to its interpretation. We puncture some myths and develop a perspective that helps evaluate its meaning more thoughtfully.

“Every citizen should take this serious look at our Constitution.”
“Good level of history and contemporary political ideas”


Beyond Voting: Elections and Campaign Financing
This is a unique workshop covering topics related to our electoral systems and presenting specific ideas for bi-partisan civic/political engagement. Topics include: Voting as Constitutional right(?), Voting Security, Alternative Systems, Redistricting, Electoral College, Campaign Financing, Tracking Money/Campaign Finance Databases, Public Financing of Elections.

“...solid information – This is what all Americans need to know.”
“I consider myself a well-informed citizen but I learned a great deal of new information”
“You are a great teacher, Donna.”


Schedule


Current Workshops Scheduled  

Check back regularly, as details about workshops and registration change frequently. And, of course, you are always welcome to request your local library or organization to be a sponsor! [Flyer with descriptions - DescriptiveFlyer-Virtual-2020V3.pdf ]

Misinformation, Fake News and Political Propaganda

December 8. 6-7:30. Sponsor, Multnomah County Library. Register [live link]: Misinformation, Fake News and Political Propaganda | Multnomah County Library (multcolib.org) 

Beyond Voting: Elections and Campaign Financing 

January 13. 6-7:30. Sponsor, Bandon Public Library. Register anytime if you live in BPD district; two weeks in advance if you don’t:  541-347-3221 or bandonlibrary2018@gmail.com

January 19. 6-7:30. Sponsor, Multnomah County Library. Register anytime if you live in Mult/Wash/Clackamas Cnty; two weeks in advance if you don’t. [Live link:] Beyond Voting: Elections and Campaign Financing | Multnomah County Library (multcolib.org) 

Citizen Activism 101—Making Change Happen 

March 3. 6-7:30. Sponsor, Bandon Public Library. Register anytime if you live in BPD district; two weeks in advance if you don’t:  541-347-3221 or bandonlibrary2018@gmail.com

The Constitution - Fulfilling Democracy's Promise? 

Feb 4. 6-7:30. Sponsor, League of Women Voters - Umpqua Valley. Registration for non-LWV folks, TBA.

May 12. 6-7:30. Sponsor, Bandon Public Library. Register anytime if you live in BPD district; two weeks in advance if you don’t:  541-347-3221 or bandonlibrary2018@gmail.com




Resources


Resource Lists - Enjoy.

Resources lists do get updated regularly. Also, they are customized, e.g. if you live in Beaverton then a resource list for the Activism workshop will have info on Beaverton City  government. Most info, though, is applicable to all readers.


MisinformationResourceList-Fall2020.pdf

Resources-Activism-August2020-WashCntyVer.pdf [Local gov info customized for Wash Cnty, OR]

ResourceList-Elections-CampaignFinance-SPECIAL-COVID-ELECTION-SEASON-Fall2020docx.pdf [Updated 10/6/2020].

Resources-The Constitution-Fulfilling Democracys Promise - Maybe-2020August.pdf

Additional material for Constitution -  CloseToDissolution.pdf and FranklinsFinalRemarksatConstitutionalConvention.pdf

EIU-DemIndex-ScoringModel.pdf [This is the scoring model for the Democracy Index, produced by the Economist Intelligence Unit

Discussion-Constitution.pdf

For more non-partisan civic and political resources follow my Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/Civics-for-Adults-1490728887922036/

and/or join my email list - which I use sparingly and I will never give your email address to others:

dcohen@hevanet.com 

UPDATES

Updates are sent to the email list about once/month and contain information about scheduled workshops and also a selection of the informative civic/political posts from the Civics for Adults Facebook page. 

2020July1-Update.pdf

2020July25-Update.pdf

2020Aug31-Update.pdf

2020Oct2-Update.pdf

Follow Civics for Adults On Social Media

Donna L Cohen MLIS MEd


Donna L Cohen  MLIS MEd Donna L Cohen  MLIS MEd
Donna L Cohen, MLIS [Master of Library and Information Studies], MEd

I was a teacher and librarian and now devote my time to developing, refining and presenting these workshops. My background, expertise, and interest have combined to help me fill a need. 

I believe that civic education should be lifelong and also that public libraries are the best places for this. I agree with Ms Spaulding, and these workshops are my contribution:
“Civic education is a national security imperative and something that really needs to be reinvigorated in our schools and in our communities!” Suzanne Spaulding, former Under Secretary for cyber and infrastructure protection at the US Department of Homeland Security.

The life of our democracy depends on its citizens thinking critically, understanding basic political structures and engaging in the work of sustaining and building our society.