This past Saturday, December 8th, 2018, was the final Civic Saturday for the year. Civic Saturday is an event held by Citizen University (a civic engagement advocacy group founded by Eric Liu) every two months to foster a sense of civic mindfulness in all attendees. Civic Saturday does this by bringing the community together for an event filled with civically oriented singing, poetry, and discussions.
The first thing we noticed about the event was the integration of art into the program. Poetry readings by resident poet Naa Akua and group sing-alongs led by guitarist Michael Feldman were intermittently placed throughout the program. Not only did these acts allow us to celebrate local artists, they also contributed to the calm yet joyful atmosphere which permeated the event.
Each Civic Saturday session is built around a central idea such as “Faith in Each Other” or “The Trails and Paths of Conscience”. The theme for this session was “Time and Citizenship”. The sermon on this topic began with a reading of excerpts from the 14th Amendment of the Constitution, Chinese Exclusion Act, and Supreme Court Ruling of the Wong Kim Ark v. United States case. Eric Liu then gave a sermon examining how to use time in civic life. Although these topics may seem very abstract, Eric’s articulate speaking style made it easy for us to digest the information and find practical uses for the knowledge. You can find the transcript of his speech here: https://www.citizenuniversity.us/wp-content/uploads/Time-and-Citizenship-12818-Civic-Sermon.pdf
Perhaps the most exciting part of Civic Saturday came towards the end with the small group discussions. Meeting new people and hearing about the awesome things that they are working on inspired us to do better ourselves and work even harder to achieve our goals.
If you didn’t get the chance to meet Eric at this event, you can come to our annual conference on August 2nd where Eric will be the keynote speaker, we hope to see you there!
Written by Edwin Ong & Erik Ma