Democracy Summer

This is what democracy looks like

This photo blog is composed of images from the Raleigh-Durham office of Citizenship and Immigration Services. Earlier today, with the help of the Democracy Summer interns, we were able to register to vote many of our newest citizens who had just sworn their oath of allegiance. I am given hope by looking at the diversity in this electorate of the future. There were so many smiles as folks checked that first box.

Naturalization Ceremony photoblog

With the immigration issue in the national spotlight, many hopes rest on the changing demographics of the future electorate. Strength through diversity seemed to be one of the resounding themes at a naturalization ceremony that I attended with my two Democracy Summer interns earlier today as individuals from over 30 different countries became American citizens. And with our help, many of them registered to vote. Here is some of what we saw.

Moral Monday 10th wave photoblog

There must be something about round numbers that makes people want to take part, because the 10th wave of the Moral Mondays had a strong turnout. There was a lot of pink and purple to be seen. Some rainbow colors as well. And the Democracy Summer interns even got in some voter registration.

Even as Moral Mondays have been a huge success in terms of turnout and media attention, we have to be thinking about what's ahead as the legislative session nears its end, and one piece of what is ahead is voter registration and mobilization.

Youth take their concerns to the Governor

The second Witness Wednesday, a spin-off recurring bit of activism from the Moral Mondays, was led by North Carolina's youth and students. It started with a press conference and was followed by a march to the Governor's office to deliver their demands relating to civil rights, voting rights, education, the racial justice act, and other important issues.

Democracy Summer opening act

Every summer Democracy North Carolina has talented young undergraduate student interns join the team to do nonpartisan organizing in regions all across the state. They will be documenting their experiences through weekly blogging. In their first week they met elected officials, attended meetings, spoke at events, and helped push Mega Moral Monday all over the region. Meet my team:

Hi! I’m Cassandra Perkins, “Cassy.” I’m a junior at UNC-Chapel Hill studying Political Science and Journalism. Having grown up in Bethesda, MD, working in Eastern NC will be a whole new adventure for me. I’m excited to learn about the current issues facing NC and work with the community to create change!

Hi! I’m Martina Evans. I am a senior at UNC-Chapel Hill studying Global Studies and Medical Anthropology. I was born in Greenville which is why I am filled with excitement about what the summer holds. I’m happy to be able to go back to the community I grew up in and make a change.

Democracy Summer 2013

We're hiring! With the General Assembly being distracted from jobs by breast bills, attempts to fire oversight personnel, and attacks on voting rights and education, those might not be words you hear too often in NC these days. But Democracy North Carolina is hiring undergraduate student summer interns, who are interested in non-partisan organizing, to join the team for the summer.

Interns earn a $2,500 stipend, while they build relationships and receive training that will help them start a career in social and political change. Now in its 14th year, Democracy Summer is ideal for college students interested in working in social and economic justice, community-based advocacy, research, politics, law, nonprofits, or public service.

Greenville city council passes the anti-Citizens United resolution!

You may remember reading about all the hard work the Democracy Summer internship teams did over the summer. In particular one project the Greenville team took on was to rally public support and meet with a majority of the City Council members to educate them about the anti-Citizens United resolution. Through their hard work over the summer, last night we won the milestone 10th city in North Carolina to pass this resolution, and the first east of 95!

Final week of Democracy Summer

This clip is from the final week's blog from our Triad Team:

Through my work with Democracy NC, I have seen my worth. I plan to continue to engage others students on my campus in our work—the work of democracy. This experience would have been nothing without the mentoring and love of Linda Sutton and the companionship of Tyshia Gray.

- Keren Salim
Triad Team

Penultimate week of Democracy Summer

Greenville Team: "(Nearly) Closing Thoughts"

It’s been a long, fun, productive summer, and I’m taking time to reflect on what I’ve learned, both about organizing and myself. We’re gearing up for a busy final week!

Fayetteville Team: "Raising Voter Turnout in Cumberland County"

My efforts to raise voter turnout all across the southeastern region have been dynamic, creative, and borderline exhaustive.

Charlotte Team: "Some Good Things Come to an End, but Greater Things Arise"

As we have reached the home stretch of our Democracy Summer experience, there lingers this sense of “sadness” amidst the enthusiasm and excitement of each day.

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