Hey yo, I’m just like my country
I’m young, scrappy and hungry
And I’m not throwing away my shot!
-Lin-Manuel Miranda, “My Shot”
Independent civil discourse is essential to democracy, but for decades our educational system has struggled to teach the fundamentals of civics in the classroom. We believe the future of democracy rests with young people not just becoming engaged in the civic life of their communities, but in staying engaged over their lifespan.
We give students who otherwise might not be heard a platform and teach them how to explore issues and express themselves thoughtfully and powerfully through video. Our unique model allows even the most disenfranchised and uninvolved of students to ignite their passion and express themselves using the media and social tools that are natural channels for youth civic engagement.
Mistrust, a movie by students at the Stamford Academy Charter School, chronicles the lack of trust between Stamford students and local police officers.
The film features interviews with Stamford students and Stamford police officers, as well as ones with expert lawyers and civil liberties activists. The film was used in town hall meetings to facilitate conversation between the local community and the police department.
Watch this and other student films produced over the last six years at Civic Life Project’s YouTube channel.