We welcome a new year of civic engagement with the first Civic Saturday of the year on February 2nd 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.
Again, we were able to listen to the fantastic poetry of Naa Akua and the resonant music of guitarist Michael Feldman. The theme for this session was “Beyond Liberation”, and Eric began with a discussion of the revolutionary figure Frederick Douglass, his actions against slavery, and how Douglass redefined the abstract concept of freedom. Eric continues on from Douglass’s example to explain the differences between liberalism and freedom. Finally, he used a heartfelt personal anecdote to demonstrate how freedom is not derived from the removal of restraints, but rather the responsibility of giving opportunities to others. The full transcript of his speech can be found here: https://www.citizenuniversity.us/wp-content/uploads/Beyond-Liberation-February-2.pdf
Following the sermon, participants had the opportunity to digest Eric’s lessons in small discussion circles. Everybody was able to gain insight from listening to each other’s actions and how they view impact on one’s community and unpack the meaning of “community”.
Once the meeting adjourned, many people lined up to purchase books. The bookstand featured a variety of autobiographies regarding civic engagement, including Eric Liu’s own books “A Chinaman’s Chance” and “You’re More Powerful Than You Think”. Eric readily signed the books we purchased, leaving us with feelings of gratitude and respect.
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 Laurent Man