Active citizenship and community engagement is foundational to creating a more just society. Through community engagement, we can become an Active Citizen that seeks to better our community and create positive social change.
Active Citizenship Continuum
As we grow as leaders, we start to see that there are a variety of ways to engage with our community. Some tangible ways to become an active citizen is through volunteering, advocacy, and voting.
MemberNot concerned with their role in social problems.
VolunteerWell intentioned but not well-educated about social issues.
Conscientious CitizenConcerned with discovering root causes; asks why?
Active CitizenCommunity becomes a priority in values and life choices
Education is critical to active citizenship. Below are a few resources to learn more.
“The vote is precious. It is almost sacred. It is the most powerful non-violent tool we have in a democracy.”
Former Congressman John Lewis
To find more resources about voting check out UA Turbo.
The mission of Crossroads Civic Engagement Center, an initiative of the Division of Community Affairs, is to develop engaged citizens for the State of Alabama and the world. This is accomplished through teaching, research, and service focused on four civic pillars: values, knowledge, skills, and action.
The Crossroads Civic Engagement Center’s vision is of a University that develops the civic capacity of its students and its community partners in ways that foster a thriving democratic society at the Capstone and beyond.
Effective dialogue about the toughest civic topics of the day takes skills and practice. Learn more about Campus Dialogues in the Crossroad Resource Library
Advocacy helps elevate the voices of people in our community and can take on many forms. Actions such as contacting elected officials and educating your friends and family about a specific issue are ways to raise awareness, influence and change policies, and give voice to individuals and issues that have been silenced.
Types of Advocacy
- Self-advocacy refers to an individual’s ability to effectively communicate, convey, negotiate or assert his or her own interests, desires, needs, and rights.
- In individual advocacy a person or group of people concentrate their efforts on just one or two individuals. According to the group Advocacy for Inclusion “Advocacy is having someone to stand beside you if you think something is unfair or that someone is treating you badly and you would like to do something to change it.”
- Systems advocacy is about changing policies, laws or rules that impact how someone lives their life. These efforts can be targeted at a local, state, or national agency. The focus can be changing laws, or simply written or unwritten policy. What is targeted depends on the type of problem and who has authority over the problem.