Democracy and Civic Action Week

American flag 

Democracy and Civic Action Week, originally launched in 2018, explores diverse perspectives about the role of democracy and civic engagement in the United States. During events throughout the week, community and campus departments, programs, and organizations present a wide-range of activities to engage attendees in reflecting on their rights and responsibilities that are fundamental to creating a civil society. 


Past Events

  • 2022

    5th Annual Democracy and Civic Action Week

    September 19-23, 2022

    Theme: Building Community

  • 2021

    4th Annual Democracy and Civic Action Week

    September 13 - 17, 2021

    Theme: Bringing Community Together


    Schedule of Events 


     Monday, September 13

    Centering the Community: A Discussion on Public History and Civic Engagement
    Hosted by Dr. Ian Hartman

    Panelists: Julie Varee, Aaron Leggett, and David Reamer
    View recording of Centering the Community


    Tuesday, September 14

    Debate: "All US citizens should be required to perform 1 year
    of community or military service between the ages of 18-22."
    Hosted by the Seawolf Debate Team

    7 PM
    View recording of the September 14, 2021 Seawolf Debate


    Thursday, September 16

    Civics Trivia

    6 PM
    Join Center for Community Engagement and Learning, and Student Activities for a fun trivia night! Test out your U.S. constitution and civics knowledge!
    View recording of the Civics Trivia event 


    2021 James Madison Cup Competition

    Hosted by the UAA Political Science Department

    6 PM


    Friday, September 17 (Constitution Day)

    Student Takeover: Student Life and Leadership Instagram 

    All day event
    CEEP Fellow Kylie Reese will be taking over the Student Life and Leadership instagram, and host a get to know Kylie and the Constitution session.

    Visit the Student Life and Leadership's Instagram

    One Small Step: Dialogue Across the Political Divide
    Panel discussion with Alaska Public Media and StoryCorps

    12 PM 
    Learn more about the One Small Step project here.
    View recording of One Small Step: Dialogue Across the Political Divide

    17th Annual Constitution Day Chartwell Lecture
    Speaker: John O. McGinnis

    Professor John O. McGinnis , a George C. Dix Professor in Constitutional Law at Northwestern University, will discuss the central contemporary conflict in constitutional interpretation.

    Collecting Our Community: Documenting Civic Action in Anchorage


    Arlene Schmuland, Head of Archives and Special Collections and Gwen Higgins, Archivist and Assistant Professor, discuss work with individuals and organizations in the Anchorage Community to document civic engagement in Anchorage.


    Listen to the Collecting Our Community podcast episode

    The Six Principles for Equitable and Inclusive Civic Engagement

    A display highlighting the six principles for equitable and inclusive civic engagement (Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, 2016). This approach to civic engagement emphasizes that engagement work cannot be separated from the larger cultural, political, and socioeconomic context in a community, and that the most effective forms of civic engagement must remain responsive to conditions of inequity and injustice.  The display includes highlights of the framework and copies of the full document for people to take.

    Created by Jennifer Booz, Chief Diversity Officer


    Located on the 2nd Floor of the Student Union

    Anchorage Civics Spotlight

     CCEL logo

    The Center for Community Engagement & Learning (CCEL), serves as the intersection of student learning, faculty research and creative activity, and community connections. We help to connect faculty and students to community partners -- nonprofits, local government, and businesses.

    Interested in learning more about CCEL? email us --
    Want to support programming like Democracy & Civic Action Week? Donate to CCEL HERE!

    Get involved with UAA Student Government


    Your USUAA President Tuan Graziano and Vice President Esther Dale are here again to talk to you about some changes to expect with campus life and experience for the upcoming fall semester. As of August 2nd, the UAA campus will be open to students, staff, and faculty. In anticipation of those changes, here are some of the most important things to know as a student.

    ACLT logo


    The Anchorage Community Land Trust By supporting business creation, local job growth, and resident leadership, we can revitalize communities, provide economic opportunities to families, and make Anchorage an even better place to live and raise a family.

     About Welcoming Anchorage


    Welcoming Anchorage is a collaboration between the Municipality of Anchorage, the Anchorage School District, local businesses and organizations, and the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation. In 2016, the Mayor’s Office, supported by Wells Fargo, the State of Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development, and the Alaska Community Foundation was awarded a Gateways for Growth grant from Welcoming America and the New American Economy. The grant supported Welcoming Anchorage’s multi-sector strategic planning process. This document is a culmination of that process - an action-oriented strategic integration plan to identify policy changes, guide implementation activities, and ultimately serve to remove barriers to Anchorage becoming a more welcoming community in which all residents are fully integrated into economic, cultural, and linguistic life.

     Anchorage Youth Court Commercial


    Anchorage Youth Court is a juvenile justice system that empowers students to serve as defense attorneys, prosecutors, and judges in cases involving their peers. It gives students accountability, education, and the opportunity to have a positive influence on others’ lives while providing the community with an effective and comprehensive alternative justice system.

     Story Works What How Why Fall 2020


    Story Works Alaska supports youth voices through storytelling and writing workshops that develop skills, build resilience, and increase access to opportunity. We believe in the importance of listening, the protective value of connection, and the power of stories to foster wellness for individuals and communities.

     Anchorage Municipal Ombudsman video


    The Municipal Ombudsman's Office was established in addition to other remedies or rights of appeal, as an independent, impartial municipal office, readily available to the public, responsible to the Assembly, empowered to investigate the acts of Municipal agencies and the Anchorage School District, and to recommend appropriate changes toward the goals of safeguarding the rights of persons and of promoting higher standards of competency, efficiency, and equity in the provision of municipal services (A.M.C. Chapter 2.60). The office was established in 1977 by AO 1977-94.

  • 2020

    The 3rd Annual Democracy & Civic Action Week 

    September 14-19th, 2020

    Theme: Designing a Future for Democracy


    This year, Democracy & Civic Action Week went virtual with all events happening on Zoom or FB Live. 

  • 2019

    The 2nd Annual Democracy & Civic Action Week 

    September 16-21, 2019


    Event Schedule

    • Monday, September 16

      4:00 - 6:00 pm
      UAA Bookstore

      Chad Briggs Presents "Disaster Security: Using Intelligence and Military Planning for Energy and Environmental Risks"Chad Briggs is professor of Public Policy at UAA the new Director of Graduate Public Policy and Administration Programs.  Much of his research focuses on post-conflict environmental health and energy reconstruction, disaster planning in the Arctic and Asia-Pacific, and the integration of energy and environmental risks to joint planning and intelligence operations.An architect of U.S. government scenarios by planning various approaches to climate and energy security intelligence and hybrid/cyber warfare, he questions what does climate change mean for security and how do natural disasters depend upon human actions and human vulnerabilities? Presented by UAA Bookstore.

      7:00 - 8:30 pm
      Gorsuch Commons 107

      Seawolf Debate: "All US Citizens Should be Required to Complete a Year of Public Service before Their 22nd Birthday."

    • Tuesday, September 17

      11:30 am - 2:30 pm
      Cuddy Quad 

      • Read a Line, Get a Vine: Public Reading of U.S. Constitution
      • Distribution of Copies of the U.S. Constitution 

      Coalition for Democracy & Civic Action

      5:30 - 7:00 pm
      SSB 118


      "Civil Disobedience in American History" 

      Dr. Ian Hartman, UAA History Department

      7:30 - 9:00 pm
      LIB 30715th Annual Constitution Day Chartwell Lecture "The Living Constitution: Its Origins and Significance" Bradley C.S. Watson, Professor of Political Science and Philip M. McKenna Chair in American and Western Political Thought, Co-Director of the Center for Political and Economic Thought, St. Vincent College, Latrobe, PA. Professor Watson's lecture will explore the role of progressive thought in creating the idea of a "living Constitution," tracing the enduring influences of intellectual progressivism on the way of the Supreme Court interprets the American Constitution.  

      Presented by the Department of Political Science and Union League of Anchorage with assistance from grants from the Jack Miller Center and the ACLU of Alaska. 

    • Wednesday, September 18

      11:00 am - 1:00 pm 
      Student Union

      Citizenship Quiz Game

      CEL A292: Introduction to Civic Engagement

      5:00 - 7:15 pm
      LIB 307

      Spectrum of Advocacy Workshop Learn more about framing an argument, letter writing, lobbying, and civil disobedience. Led by Tim Hittenberger, WWAMI and Steve Johnson, Seawolf Debate

      6:30 - 9:00 pm 
      SSB 119

      James Madison Cup Competition. Presented by Political Science Association and Pi Sigma Alpha

      Law School Fair & Panel
      10:00 - Noon

      FAIRSSB Lobby- Meet with law school professionals to discuss how a career in law provides you with the skills to enact change and challenge public policies both within you local communities and nation wide.PANEL
      Noon - 1:00 PM

      SSB 254- Hear law school tips from admissions officers and explore what responsibility lawyers play in shaping an engaged responsible democracy.Presented by UAA Career Exploration & Services

    • Thursday, September 19

      6:00 - 8:00 pm 
      LIB 307 Atrium

      Keynote Address & Reception

      • Essay Contest Awards
    • Friday, September 20

      11:00 am
      Wendy Williamson Auditorium

      Naturalization Ceremony & Reception. Presented by U.S. District Court & League of Women Voters of Anchorage

      5:00 -7:00 pm
      RH 101

      Documentary Screening: "From Paris to Pittsburgh" UAA/APU Books of the Year

    • Saturday, September 21

      Noon - 3:00 pm
      Loussac Public Library: Atrium 

      Civics Fair- Loussac Public Library, Center for Community Engagement and Learning, and Welcoming Anchorage

      Noon - 3:00 pm
      Loussac Library: Assembly Chambers

      Young Engaged Citizens, Coalition for Democracy & Civic Action and Welcoming Anchorage

    • Week-Long Events

      ESSAY CONTEST "What does a well-functioning democracy need from its citizens?" Entries due Thursday, September 12th. Awards sponsored by the ACLU of Alaska & League of Women Voters of Anchorage

      Democracy Wall- Student Union Student Life & Leadership

       Democracy & Civic Action Display
       UAA/APU Consortium Library, First Floor

    • 2019 Planning Committee
      • Donna Aguingia, CCEL, Co-Chair
      • Lauren Criss-Carboy, Student Representative
      • Ian Hartman, History
      • Tim Hinterberger, WWAMI
      • Marsha Olson, Communications, Co-Chair

    Welcoming Anchorage

    Keynote Speaker & Reception

    Thursday, September 19th, 2019
     6:00 - 8:00 pm 
    UAA/APU Consortium Library, Room 307


    Chris Kolerok, Director of Strategic Alliances for Rural Alaska Community Action Program, is a lifelong Alaskan whose family is from Nunivak Island. Chris’ career has been dedicated to developing and improving economies in Alaska’s regions and villages. Chris previously led a regional housing authority overseeing the acquisition, rehabilitation and construction of affordable housing for low-income and rural families. While in that role, Chris served as the Legislative Committee Chair for the Association of Alaska Housing Authorities. Prior to that Chris worked in executive management for an Alaska Native village corporation, and led financing and consulting activities for Alaska’s largest non-depository institution. Chris served as the point person on the financing team that closed the largest New Markets Tax Credit transaction in the state of Alaska, which was in rural Alaska. Chris is a certified Economic Development Finance Professional, holds a Bachelor’s degree from UAA and a Master’s degree from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. 

    Sponsored by UAA Office of the Chancellor
    Additional Support from UAA Seawolf Debate and its partner The Atwood Foundation and Northrim Bank

  • 2018

    Democracy & Civic Action Week 

    September 17-25, 2018


    Event Schedule

    • Monday, September 17

      Noon - 3:00 pm
      Cuddy Quad

      • Read a Line, Get a Vine: Public Reading of U.S. Constitution
      • Distribution of Copies of the U.S. Constitution

      Coalition for Democracy & Civic Action7:30 - 9:00 pm
      LIB 307

      14th Annual Constitution Day Chartwell Lecture

      "Birthright Citizenship and Administrative Law: Did an Unelected Bureaucrat Alter the Meaning of the 14th Amendment's Citizenship Clause?"

      Dr. John C. Eastman, Chapman University

      Made possible by support from the Jack Miller Center for Teaching America's Founding Principles and History through a grant from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust.

      Presented by the Department of Political Science and Union League of Anchorage

    • Tuesday, September 18

      Noon - 3:00 pm
      Cuddy Quad

      • Read a Line, Get a Vine: Public Reading of U.S. Constitution
      • Distribution of Copies of the U.S. Constitution

      Coalition for Democracy & Civic Action7:30 - 9:00 pm

      LIB 30714th Annual Constitution Day Chartwell Lecture "Birthright Citizenship and Administrative Law: Did an Unelected Bureaucrat Alter the Meaning of the 14th Amendment's Citizenship Clause?" Dr. John C. Eastman, Chapman University Made possible by support from the Jack Miller Center for Teaching America's Founding Principles and History through a grant from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust. Presented by the Department of Political Science and Union League of Anchorage1:00 - 3:00 pm
      Student Union Citizenship Quiz Game Department of Communication & School of Social Work3:00 - 4:00 pm
      Student Union: Cafeteria Pizza & the Press: A Conversation with Local Journalists
       The Northern Light6:00 - 7:30 pm
      LIB 307 Thwarting Democracy: The Ebb and Flow of Voting Rights in America Dr. Ian Hartman, Department of History Free Parking | Library Lot Only 6:00 -8:00 pm
      RH 110 Know Your Rights Presented by the Latino Student Union & ACLU of Alaska6:30 - 9:00 pm

      SSB 119 James Madison Cup Competition Presented by the Political Science Association and Pi Sigma Alpha

    • Wednesday, September 19

      Noon - 3:00 pm
      ARTS 129

      Theatre as a Means of Promoting Social and Political Change: An Interactive Workshop Using Boal's Techniques for Community Engagement

      Participation limited to 25.

      Dr. Brian Cook, Theatre & Dance Department

      Free Parking | East Lot

      6:00 - 7:30 pm
      Student Union in The Den

      Compulsory Citizenship: An Ethics Bowl Debate and Discussion of Mandatory Voting Dr. Stephanie Bauer, UAA Ethics Center & Philosophy Club

      Free Parking | South Lot

    • Thursday, September 20

      11:30 am - 12:45 pm
      LIB 307 

      Think Tank: How Can We Safely Reduce the U.S. Prison Population?

      Coalition for Democracy & Civic Action & ACLU of Alaska

      Free Parking | Library Lot

      3:00 - 4:30 pm
      Student Union: South Cafeteria

      How to Start the Plastic Free Challenge: A Civic Action Plan

       Dr. Herminia Din, Department of Art 

      Free Parking | South Lot 

      6:00 - 7:00 pm Reception
      7:00 - 9:00 pm  Forum
      Wendy Williamson Auditorium 

      Alaska Gubernatorial Candidate Forum Candidates: Bill Walker, Mike Dunleavy, and Mark Begich Presented by The Anchorage Branch of NAACP, the UAA Multicultural Center, and Kappa Alpha Psi Anchorage Alumni Chapter 

      7:00 - 8:00 pm
      Gorsuch Commons 107

      Debate: "Youth Votes Should Be Weighted to Count More than Votes Cast by Elderly Citizens" Seawolf Debate Program

      Free Parking | Willow Lot

    • Friday, September 21

      11:00 am - 1:00 pm 
      Wendy Williamson Auditorium

      Naturalization Ceremony & Reception

      Presented by U.S. District Court & League of Women Voters of Anchorage

      5:00 - 8:00 pm
      SSB 118

      Movie & Panel Discussion: "This Changes Everything"
      UAA/APU Books of the Year

      Moderator: Dr. Ian Hartman, Department of History

      Panelists: Dr. Mei Mei Evans, APU; Dr. Alex James, UAA; Dr. Shannon Donovan

    • Saturday, September 22

      10:30 - Noon
      Loussac Public Library: Learning Commons

      Voting Stories

      Hosted by Campus Vote Project & Dialogues for Public Life with support from Loussac Public Library

      Noon - 3:00 pm
      Loussac Public Library: Atrium 

      Civics Fair 

      Hosted by Loussac Public Library, Welcoming Anchorage, & Coalition for Democracy & Civic Action 

    • Monday, September 24

      4:00 - 5:30 pm
      Multicultural Center, RH 106

      Voting Stories

      Campus Vote Project, Dialogues for Public Life & Multicultural Center

      Free Parking | West Campus Central Lot

    • Tuesday, September 25

      11:30 am - 4:00 pm
      RH Lobby

      Voter Registration

      Multicultural Center & Campus Vote Project UAA

      6:00 - 8:00 pm
      LIB 307

      Closing Celebration & Reception

      • Keynote Address: "Creating a Culture of Democracy on Campus: What's Your Role?" by Dr. Jennifer Domagal-Goldman
      • ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge
      • Essay Contest Awards

      Free Parking | Library Lot

    • Week-long Events

      ESSAY CONTEST  "Is Voting a Right, a Responsibility, or a Privilege?" Entries Due Tuesday, September 18th Awards sponsored by the ACLU of Alaska & League of Women Voters of Anchorage Democracy Wall 

      Student Union

      Student Life & Leadership U.S. Constitution Display LIB, First Floor UAA/APU Consortium Library 

    • Planning Committee
      • Donna Aguiniga, Co-Chair, Social Work
      • Stephanie Bauer, Philosophy Faculty, Political Science 
      • Jackie Cason, English
      • Brian Cook, Theater & Dance
      • Herminia Din, Art
      • Ian Hartman, History
      • Marsha Olson, Co-Chair, Communication
      • James M. Muller, Political Science
      • Andre Thorne, Multicultural Center
    • National Study of Learning, Voting and Engagement

      The National Study of Learning, Voting and Engagement (NSLVE) is an initiative from Tufts University that provides registration and turnout rates to participating universities. UAA began participating in NSLVE during the summer of 2016 and intends to continue for the foreseeable future. As a result of our participation, we have access to both the 2012 and 2016 registration and turnout rates from our students. Using this data as a jumping-off point, Campus Vote Project UAA has strove to provide consistent voter outreach to our students. We're happy to note that our NSLVE report shows a 21.7% increase in the number of students registered to vote at UAA and a 7% increase in student voter turnout from 2012 to 2016.

      NSLVE UAA Report

    Keynote Speaker

    Tuesday, September 25th, 2018

    "Creating a Culture of Democracy on Campus:
    What's Your Role?"
    6:00 pm | UAA/APU Consortium Library, Room 307

    Jennifer Domagal-Goldman is the Associate Director of the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge. Prior to joining  ALL IN, Dr. Domagal-Goldman served for seven years as the national manager of the American Democracy Project, a national civic learning and democratic engagement network of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU). Dr. Domagal-Goldman serves on the editorial board of the eJournal of Public Affairs. She has contributed to a number of civic engagement publications including co-authoring chapters in Reimagining Democratic Societies: A New Era of Personal and Social Responsibility (2013), Becoming a Steward of Place: Four Areas of Institutional Focus (2014), and Student Civic Outcomes in Service Learning: Conceptual Frameworks and Methods (2017), She also contributed to Higher Education’s Role in Enacting a Thriving Democracy: Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Theory of Change (2018). Dr. Domagal-Goldman earned her doctorate in higher education from the Pennsylvania State University. She received her master’s degree in higher education and student affairs administration from the University of Vermont and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Rochester.

    Additional support from Seawolf Debate Program and Atwood Foundation

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