News and Insights

Civic Literacy Roundup

Nov 28, 2022

The Listening Post Collective works with a cohort of 10 civic media partners  committed to fostering civic engagement by providing them with a support system and capacity-building resources to set them up for long-term service in their communities. 

Of course all 10 were busy making sure the communities they serve had the information they needed to participate in the mid-term elections and understand the impact of the results. 

One of the challenges of doing their important work, engaging marginalized communities, is mirroring how peoples participation can translate to civic power. Everything from voter turnout to pushing for legislation and candidates that reflect their needs and experiences. This is why our partner’s role in increasing the civic literacy of their communities is so vital. 

What is Civic Literacy? From the Youth Urban Agenda/Civic Literacy Project at Wayne State University: “The knowledge of how to actively participate and initiate change in your community and the greater society. It is the foundation by which a democratic society functions: Citizen Power as a check and as a means to create avenues for peaceful change.”

Media has always been a critical part of the ecosystem that can drive or hinder civic engagement. Here are some ways our partners approached the mid-terms and are increasing civic literacy in their communities.   

In Cicero, Illinois, a small suburb outside Chicago, many local seats will be open for the 2023 election, but not many people know what these positions do and how to run for them. Cicero Independiente organized a panel discussion with past candidates to share how to run for local office with the community. The event was live-streamed on Cicero Independiente’s Facebook page, with Spanish interpretation available in person.  This nonpartisan educational event provided printed resources for people interested in running for office.

For the 2022 mid-terms, Conecta Arizona recognized its essential role to play in a battleground state where misinformation and disinformation had taken center stage. In AZ, there are 2.8 million voters – of which approximately 23% are Latinx– and who had to vote to elect candidates for federal (legislative) and state (executive, legislative and judicial) offices. Conecta Arizona developed 8 Spanish-language guides on how to vote.

The Frontline Observer publishes news and stories that focus on the Inland Empire’s movement for environmental justice.  As part of their information sharing and community engagement strategies, they post important updates on meetings that are open to public to encourage participation.  During the 2022 election, The Frontline Observer created easy to read infographics to explain what was on the ballot for environmental justice.

USpark Valley created a 2022 midterms voter guide to break down the candidates and propositions by endorsements from local political organizations. Since they have a young and diverse audience, they highlighted political organizations that reflect the demographics of their audience.  

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