AFT - American Federation of Teachers

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Civic Voices

The Civic Voices International Democracy Memory Bank Project is a civic education exchange program that involves teachers and students from around the world in preserving the legacy of their countries’ democratic struggles.

Participating teachers prepare their students to conduct interviews with change-makers in their communities who have helped advance human rights and freedoms. Students then transcribe these interviews and analyze them to explore how civic ideals are realized through grass-roots efforts. Finally, the narratives are archived for use by educators, scholars and researchers in a Democracy Memory Bank on the Civic Voices website. The site also features a comprehensive teacher’s guide and other free teaching materials that use interviews to explore key concepts of democratic governance.

civic voices

Civic Voices: Preserving the Past and Inspiring the Future

The American Federation of Teachers Educational Foundation is proud to coordinate this project with teachers’ unions in seven countries. The Democracy Memory Bank contains stories from dozens of countries, but targets these important struggles from our partner countries:

  • Solidarity Movement in Poland
  • The Peace Process in Northern Ireland
  • People Power Revolution in the Philippines
  • Anti-Apartheid Struggle in South Africa
  • Democratic Transition in Mongolia
  • Struggle for Rule of Law in Colombia
  • Rose Revolution in Georgia

Hundreds of teachers in each of these countries have received professional development through the project, and its exchange opportunities have provided unique cross-cultural experiences in which educators share expertise and best practices with their peers abroad.

Civic Voices is funded by a three-year grant (Q307A090003) from the U.S. Department of Education under the Education for Democracy Act approved by the U.S. Congress. However, the contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education, and endorsement by the federal government should not be assumed. More information on the project is available on this downloadable flier.