10 Activities To Help You Explore What You Stand For
Get ready to discover something new this summer — about yourself, your country, and others who share your passions
by Hope-Marie Delgado
Civic Season is here to help you explore what you stand for.
Not sure where to start? That’s okay, we got you covered! The inaugural class of Design Fellows have picked out our favorite podcasts, archives, exhibits, and more. All of our picks cover different topics and moments in history, from the Civil War to the LGBTQ+ movement. Join Henry in his pick, “Collected,” a podcast on Black Feminism by the National Museum of American History or Trizha’s pick on using food as a creative medium in “Reclamation” from the National Museum of Women in the Arts!
While looking through these picks, feel free to also check out our Civic Season playlist that we made on Spotify. These songs were chosen based on their message and how they resonated with what we stand for. We hope you enjoy our top picks and playlist while we celebrate this year’s Civic Season!
Our Civic Season Bucket List
Collected from the National Museum of American History, Washington, D.C.
I love to listen to this podcast because it offers brilliant forays into key subjects of African American history. This inaugural season includes six episodes on Black Feminism — each segment is the perfect length to become acquainted with an important topic! Plus, hosts Dr. Crystal Moten and Dr. Krystal Klingenberg provide expert commentary and direct fascinating interviews. These deeply researched and engaging installments evince the relevance of Black women thinkers and activists in the past, present, and future.
Democracy Limited: Chicago Women and the Vote from the Chicago History Museum, Chicago IL
This virtual exhibition is my favorite because it focuses on Chicago! Okay, aside from that, it expands the narrative of suffrage beyond the traditional. It also includes work from teens from Chicago who looked at gaps in the narrative of their own neighborhoods.
Education Guides on Reconstruction from the American Civil War Museum, Richmond, VA
I like how these guides illustrate the ways the Civil War and Reconstruction happened for people — especially for African Americans and other POC — after Slavery was abolished. This includes acknowledging the things that were accomplished or promised but never delivered from a first-hand point of view.
RECLAMATION from the National Museum of Women in the Arts
I LOVE food. But beyond that, I think food holds such a special place in healing and community. It’s been a TUMULTUOUS couple of years, and when I need comfort, I first look towards food. Seeing the spreads created by different artists provides such an intimate and comforting piece of art. I’ve also learned some new recipes!
Trizha Loren Aquino
Dorothea Lange Digital Archive from the Oakland Museum of California
Photography is one of the most powerful tools we have when discussing our history. There are a multitude of images we mentally relate to historical events because imagery is influential. Dorothea Lange captured American history in its rawest form during one of its most tumultuous times. Her photos defined an era — an art form that changes with each generation.
DACA Organizers on What Democracy Looks Like from the National Museum of American History
As an immigrant that dealt with the immigration system for a short while in order to get my citizenship, I experienced only a touch of the hardships and uncertainties that a lot of undocumented immigrants face in America. This site explores five undocumented organizers, portraying five different perspectives on living in America. It really debunks the idea that in order to be a true citizen, it has to be signed and written on pieces of paper.
Gateway to Pride Virtual Exhibit from Missouri History Museum
Being pride month, I thought it would be fitting to choose a resource that is relevant not only to this time of year, but year-round. Being a queer, Latinx woman myself from Texas, there was a lot of history that I didn’t learn that is part of who I am — especially including the LGBTQ+ community.
Today LGBTQ+ History is only required in school curriculum in about five states. It is outright banned in others. This exhibit is a perfect starting place to learn about the community, and it’s a resource I really wish I had when I first started falling in love with history! Although it is centered around St. Louis, MO, the exhibit features other online sources (statewide and globally) on LGBTQ+ History, an archive collection, plus covers important key terms like pronouns, different flags, and so forth!
Hope Marie Delgado
Learning about MLK, Racism, and Activism (for Educators and Caregivers) from the National Museum of African American History & Culture
I love this infographic-guide that presents various different resources, questions, and activities for children. It helps them not only understand the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King and the concept of racism, but also encourages them to identify their own talents and passions in brainstorming ways to “make a difference, fix a problem or help someone.” It’s crucial that we amplify diverse voices and experiences in the education of young people. I’m so excited to see how children will embrace this newfound knowledge as they grow into becoming the changemakers of our future!
July 4th At Monticello with Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello Foundation
I have attended this event in person a couple of times and let me tell you — it’s one of the most inspiring civic events to witness. At one point in the ceremonies, the people being naturalized as U.S. citizens have the opportunity to speak. Their perspectives and journeys told in real-time are so moving and give such perspective. Years later, I still remember the woman who educated the crowd and compared voting rights in her country to the U.S., and the man whose enthusiasm was so infectious the judge encouraged him to run for office someday. Their pride and their joy make you feel lifted and ready — ready to stand for the ideals these new citizens often came here for and engage in civics to ensure them for everyone. And the good news is, you can also watch virtually!
Brontë de Cárdenas
The 2022 Civic Season Design Fellows built this year’s program criteria, evaluated 750+ activities and resources on the website, and designed the avenues for engagement for people all across the United States. Learn more about this year’s inaugural class!