For Civic Information & Resources, including Voter Registration Forms, electoral maps, and more, please visit the Resources Page on our website!
Welcome to the 2020 Civics 101 Workshop!
- Civics 101 is a free, 2-day workshop focused on building community power through civic knowledge! Food, childcare, and Spanish <-> English translation is provided. Stay up to date on the schedule of events by joining the Facebook event page here!
- Friday, October 16th, Saturday, October 17th, & Sunday, October 18th, 2020
- Arnold Bernhard Center for the Arts & Humanities, University of Bridgeport
- What makes a community powerful? A well-informed and engaged electorate! That’s why we started Bridgeport Generation Now. Our mission is to boost civic engagement through education, community organization, advocacy, and political accountability to all Bridgeport citizens, not just a select few. Our commitment to that mission is the motivation behind our upcoming event, Civics 101.
- Civics 101 is a weekend workshop that is free and open to everyone, young and old! It pulls together people who’ve been in the trenches, have subject matter expertise, and are willing to share their knowledge, with the hopes of bettering the community we all love. It is also an opportunity to engage, learn, network, and share ideas in a safe, fun, and collaborative space!
FRI, OCT 16th, 2020: The Civics 101 Kickoff Event with Dr. Mary Frances Berry!
We are deeply honored to welcome Dr. Mary Frances Berry, Author, Activist, Educator, and Historian to Bridgeport for our Civics 101 Kickoff Event!
Dr. Berry will speak with us about her book, “Five Dollars and a Pork Chop Sandwich, Vote Buying and the Corruption of Democracy,” and how absentee ballot fraud shaped our 2019 local elections.
Dr. Berry believes that each generation has the responsibility to make a dent in the wall of injustice. She continues to speak boldly for those who can’t speak for themselves and motivates all of us to take action!
SAT, OCTOBER 17th, 2020
SAT, OCTOBER 17th, 2020
10:00am: Registration & Brunch
10:45am: Meditation & Centering Exercise
BUILDING COMMUNITY POWER: Part 1
ROOM 1: Civics 101 – Power, Democracy, and You!
This workshop is an introductory-level course on personal power & community organizing, our 2020 elections, local government versus state government, and how local & state laws are created.
Facilitators: Members of Bridgeport Generation Now
ROOM 1: Lazar v. Ganim – Lessons from a historic trial
This workshop looks at the history of absentee ballot fraud and abuse in Bridgeport, the 2019 primary election, the canvas and investigations leading up to the trial, and the learnings and lessons from the trial judge’s and Supreme Court’s decisions.
BUILDING COMMUNITY POWER: Part 2
ROOM 1: Labor Organizing & the History of Unions in Connecticut
This workshop is an introductory-level course on unions, the history of labor organizing in Connecticut, and how unions impact our daily lives!
Facilitator: State Representative Joe Aresimowicz, 30th House District and the Education Coordinator for the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Council 4.
ROOM 2: Youth Organized Workshops
This workshop is a youth-led space, for Bridgeport youth to discuss their issues, concerns, and visions!
Facilitators: Student organizers with Connecticut Students For A Dream
ROOM 1: Education Funding & the City Budget: Where do we go from here?
Facilitators: Members of FaithActs for Education
ROOM 2: Strengthening Emotional Intelligence for Youth!
This workshop is for youth only, designed for young people in Bridgeport and beyond to engage in an emotional intelligence training. Emotional intelligence or EQ is about the ability to: 1) Recognize, understand and manage our own emotions, 2) Recognize, understand and influence the emotions of others, 3) Be aware that emotions can drive our behavior and impact the people around us (positively and negatively), and 4) Learn how to manage those emotions — both our own and others — especially when we are under pressure.
Facilitator: Empress Ayana Love-Bey, Onyx Restorative Justice
Census 2020: Bridgeport Counts!
This half-hour training will explain why the Census is an important tool for racial and social equity in Bridgeport, and how you can help be part of the movement to get your friends and neighbors to complete the Census and make Bridgeport count!
Facilitators: Members of the Bridgeport Counts! canvassing team
Closing Group Discussion
SUN, OCTOBER 18th, 2020
SUN, OCTOBER 18th, 2020
11:00am: Registration & Lunch
11:45am: Meditation & Centering Exercise
ROOM 1: Public Safety & Community Accountability
This session will discuss the relationship between public safety and public health, and examine their status in Bridgeport. Together, we’ll examine whether our City Budget reflects our needs and concerns in these areas.
Facilitators: Kacey Perkins, Takina Pollock Shafer, and Julian Shafer; Police Accountability & Public Safety Committee
ROOM 1: How To Run A Political Campaign
This workshop builds on the expertise of past campaign managers and candidates. It will provide concrete knowledge and skills to individuals considering running for local or state office.
Facilitator: Gemeem Davis, Vice-President & Co-Director of Bridgeport Generation Now and more!
ROOM 2: Preserve Remington Woods – Climate Change and Environmental Justice
This workshop will explore environmental justice and racism through a historical analysis and connect it to our current relationship with earth and nature. Then, participants will learn about the “Preserve Remington Woods” movement and local action!
ROOM 1: Electoral Reforms – Our Vote, Our Rights
This workshop focuses on important electoral reforms in the state legislature which will expand our voting rights, while protecting our civil rights. These reforms include absentee ballot reform, voting rights restoration for parolees, early voting, and ranked-choice voting.
Facilitators: Voter Choice CT, Bridgeport Generation Now, and more!
CLOSING: In This Together – Bridgeport 2036
What is our collective vision for Bridgeport? What is the city that we are working towards? What do we want Bridgeport to look, feel, and be in 2036, the year of our bicentennial? Join this illuminating discussion, in the hopes that we can unify with others under a common purpose and forward-thinking visions.