By Migwe Kimemia, AFSC Program Director
The AFSC-sponsored Pan-African Youth Caucus conduced in early August a workshop on Civic Engagement for Systemic Change in Columbus, Ohio. The workshop’s participants included student organizers from Ohio State University and Wright State University.
The main goal of the workshop was to create awareness and educate student organizers about the principles and practices of creating systemic change for a better life among the people of African descent in Ohio. The workshop also sensitized the student organizers to use their collective power and voice for equal access to opportunities that would foster their economic and social mobility in this country.
Based on the workshop participant comments, the student organizers learned, among other things, the following lessons:
• “I learned what actual civic engagement looks like.”
• “It was all about civic engagement with the youth so that we can all engage and unite as one.”
• “The importance of knowing how the laws can help us with any initiatives our organizations want to implement."
• “The importance of maintaining the culture, and how to assemble with other Africans to combat community issues.”
• “I learned that, as Africans, we are making advancements and the little steps will get us where we want to be.”
• “Promoting the quality of life in a community through political and non-political processes. And also, the importance of changing the narrative about who we are as Africans and our continent.”
The AFSC-sponsored Pan-African Youth Caucus builds civic engagement and leadership capacity to empower the young people of African descent to stand in solidarity and speak with one voice for equal access to opportunities.