Civics for Adults

To Enhance Civic Knowledge
& Inspire Political Engagement

About


"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.


To hear more about why I do these workshops and more details about each, watch this 30 minute interview from Jan, 2020. I discuss all of my non-partisan workshops. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMl3E6i-GhE&fbclid=IwAR3k4SazJrhV30jfVtk9B-PIQZJ8i3p8moloLkK7fErOrpdSXXchrUAutrQ 

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


NEW-COMPLETE-DescriptiveFlyer-2019.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; “Tracking” legislation; Providing “testimony.”

“ACTIONABLE!”
“Great presenter...should be a day conference!”
“Recommend this class to be taught to high school students.”

The Power of the Constitution on Political Conversation
By looking at the creation of the Constitution and tracing major changes to its interpretation we puncture some myths and develop a perspective that helps us evaluate current politics 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, Dark Money, 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  FLYER-Feb-June2020.pdf

Misinformation, Fake News and Political Propaganda

Weds Feb 19   6:30-8:00   Bethany Library Annex  4888 NW Bethany Blvd, PDX

Sun April 5   1:00-2:30    Hillsboro Public Library- Shute Park 775 SE 10th Ave

Citizen Activism 101—Making Change Happen

Sun June 7   1:00-2:30    Hillsboro Public Library-Brookwood  2850 NE Brookwood Pkwy

Beyond Voting: Elections and Campaign Financing

Sat April 18   2:00-3:30   Bethany Library Annex  4888 NW Bethany Blvd, PDX

Sun April 26   1:00-2:30   Hillsboro Public Library- Shute Park   775 SE 10th Ave

The Power of the Constitution on Political Conversation

Thurs April 2  6:00-7:30 Sherwood Public Library 22560 SW Pine St, Sherwood

Sun May 17  1:00-2:30  Hillsboro Public Library- Brookwood   2850 NE Brookwood Pkwy 



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-Fall2019B.pdf

Resources-Advocacy-StJohns-March2019.pdf

ResourceList-VotingWorkshop-Fall2019docx.pdf

Resources - Constitution - April-2019.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 you 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. 

CivicsForAdultsUpdate-2020Jan28.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.