Project Pericles

Advocate. Facilitate. Inspire.

Project Pericles is a vibrant consortium of colleges and universities that promotes civic engagement within higher education. Building on the innovative vision of Eugene M. Lang, Project Pericles works in the classroom, on the campus, and in the community. We collaborate with colleges to encourage faculty to incorporate civic engagement and social responsibility into the curriculum, and to empower students as effective advocates and leaders.

Periclean Programs

Recent News and Updates

2019 D4D National Conference

We had an inspiring group of 60 students from Periclean campuses across the country attend the two day conference (March 28 and 29 at The New School). They were thoughtful, asked insightful questions, and were excited to be there. 

The conference featured two interactive workshops, panel discussions, a Legislative Hearing, and time to network with fellow student activists from around the country (see agenda). We had an impressive array of speakers representing many important organizations in social action, media, and advocacy (see bios). We concluded with visits to five local non-profit organizations – The Center for the Living City, College and Community Fellowship, Friends of the High Line, Harlem Grown, and "I Have a Dream" Foundation.

Top: Social Action Panel, Bottom: D4D Student Delegates. Photo credit: Odellia Lucius

During the Legislative Hearing, student teams competed for prize money to be used for work on advocacy campaigns on their campuses and in their communities (see program). For the first time, the legislative committee announced a tie! The two winning teams are Pitzer College and Whitman College who will receive $2,000 each in prize money to move their issues forward. The other finalist teams, Macalester College, Swarthmore College, and Ursinus College will each receive a $500 award.  

We have been delighted to receive many comments from our panelists and workshop leaders on how engaged and enthusiastic the students were. It is the students' questions and passion that most excite the panelists. Students have also been sharing how inspiring the conference has been for them. Here are just a few conference reflections:

"This was a great experience that will stay with me for the rest of my life." – D4D Student Delegate

"It was such a great conversation and the students reinvigorated me at just the right time." – DeNora Getachew, Panelist, New York Executive Director, Generation Citizen

"I was amazed at the quality of the written materials and oral arguments from such young undergraduates." – Martha Kanter, Legislative Committee Judge, former U.S. Under Secretary of Education 

"The idea of the D4D National Conference -Legislative Hearing is impressive because it was not just an was an implemented idea.  That is what made it special. Making an idea a reality is really difficult. The students' efforts will lead to their being strong participants to the needed leadership of the future. " – Constance (Connie) Berry Newman, Legislative Committee Judge, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs

Our thanks to Eugene M. Lang, whose vision inspired this conference and to the Eugene M. Lang Foundation for its ongoing generous support of Project Pericles. And thank you to Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts at The New School for hosting the conference.

We are proud of all the Periclean students who participated in the conference. Students are working on important issues including climate change, education access, immigration, mass incarceration, race and inequality, and voter engagement. We look forward to hearing from them as they move their work forward on their campus.

Project Pericles is saddened to share the news that Harris L. Wofford passed away.  

Harris was a longtime supporter of Project Pericles and an advocate for civil rights and civic engagement more broadly. He served as a member of the board until 2018 and as a judge at the D4D Legislative Hearings from 2008 to 2013. 

His obituary can be found here.

To the Polls - Student Teams Rally Their Classmates

Comprised of student-led task forces on our member campuses, Student Choices-Student Voices (SCSV) encourages civic participation by hosting an array of events and activities about national issues for students and community members. Leading up to the November elections, many campuses ran active voter registration and get out the vote drives. Read our 2018-19 Winter newsletter featuring SCSV updates from Macalester College, Wagner College, Hendrix College, and Bates College.

Wagner SCSV Students getting out the vote!

Project Pericles Announces New Round of the
Periclean Faculty Leadership (PFL) Program™

Project Pericles is pleased to announce the third round of the Periclean Faculty Leadership (PFL) Program. With the support of the Eugene M. Lang Foundation, we are now able to offer this signature program on an ongoing basis. Our goal has always been to build a critical mass of PFLs on each campus to serve as advocates and models for civil discourse, civic engagement, and community-based learning in the curriculum.

This faculty leadership and course development program is dedicated to incorporating civil dialogue, civic engagement, and social responsibility across the undergraduate curriculum. Our nation's future depends on ensuring that our student leaders have the dispositions, habits, and skills to apply academic knowledge to real-world problems in ways that are meaningful, thoughtful, and that they can sustain over their lifetimes

Through courses and other campus and community-based activities, Periclean Faculty Leaders reach thousands of students, faculty, staff, and community members. By developing and linking activities in the classroom, campus, and community, the PFL program promotes and reinforces social responsibility and participatory citizenship as essential elements of the educational experience. We look forward to working with our future PFLs on this exciting and important program which aligns so clearly with the mission of Project Pericles and all our Periclean Colleges and Universities.

Award announcements will be made in March 2019 for courses to be taught in Fall 2019. 

The 2018-2019 PFL Program is made possible through the generous support of the Eugene M. Lang Foundation. Previous support was provided by The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations and The Teagle Foundation.

To read more about this round of PFLs and reflections from past PFLs, read our 2018 Fall Newsletter.

Project Pericles to Present Panel at AAC&U in Atlanta, Georgia

We are delighted to share the news that Project Pericles' will be presenting a panel, "Creating Curricular Coherence: Three Examples of Institutional Change" at AAC&U's 2019 Annual Meeting on January 24 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Higher education faces the challenge of creating efficient and cohesive educational experiences for students that integrate academic learning, civic engagement, and preparation for life after college. Project Pericles and three Periclean institutions (Macalester College, Morehouse College, and Widener University) are exploring distinct approaches to designing streamlined and integrative curricular pathways within majors, interdepartmental initiatives, and college-wide general education requirements. This panel will share insights, strategies, and resources to inform and inspire curricular coherence and pathways at other institutions. The three-year project is part of The Teagle Foundation's Faculty Planning and Curricular Coherence initiative and is also made possible through the support of the Eugene M. Lang Foundation.

Project Pericles Launches Initiative on Student Voter Registration and Engagement  

Read the full article in our 2018 Summer Newsletter

Project Pericles is delighted to announce a new initiative on voter registration and engagement. Through a collaboration with the Students Learn Students Vote (SLSV) Coalition, Project Pericles is developing a classroom module on voting that will be released nationwide. For use by faculty, the curriculum will illustrate why voting matters, why students should care, and will provide an overview of the registration and voting process. Designed to fit into a single class period, it will include sections on deliberative dialogue that can be customized for courses in the arts, humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences. We will pilot the module(s) in partnership with our Periclean Program Directors and Periclean Faculty Leaders. 

The SLSV Advisory Board and Young Invincibles selected Project Pericles to carry out this important work citing our deep relationship with faculty members and knowledge of curricula. SLSV will distribute the module to colleges and universities across the country extending our reach to public colleges and universities, as well as community colleges. The initiative complements the work we are doing on voter registration and voter engagement through Student Choices - Student Voices (SCSV).

We appreciate the support of the Students Learn Students Vote (SLSV) Coalition and Young Invincibles. This work is also made possible by the Eugene M. Lang Foundation.

About: The Students Learn Students Vote (SLSV) Coalition is a diverse group with over 240 local, state, and national organizations dedicated to increasing student voter participation. SLSV promotes civic learning and engagement on campuses across the country by providing a series of key steps and information on best practices that institutions can use to create a more voter-friendlycampus.

About: Young Invincibles (YI) is a non-profit working to expand opportunities for young Americans ages 18 to 34 and to amplify the voice of this generation in the national political conversation. Founded by and for young adults in the summer of 2009 during the debate over health care reform, YI has quickly grown into a leading voice for young people on issues including health care, higher education, and employment.

2018 D4D Letters to an Elected Official Competition 2018 Winners Announced 

Read the full article in our 2018 Spring Newsletter. 

Teams from Carleton College, Pace University, Pitzer College, Reed College, and Skidmore College were selected as the winners of the 2018 Debating for Democracy (D4D)™ Letters to an Elected Official competition. Each team will receive a $500 award to use on an advocacy campaign focused on their issue.

Carleton College-Ilan Friedland '21, Marlena Resnick '21, Sophie Rogers '21, Justine Seligson '19, and Jackie Tyson '20 wrote to Representative Jason Lewis (R-MN). Their campaign focuses on support for Bill H.F. 3022 which "directly targets the aspects of current gun legislation that makes it easier for violent individuals to possess a gun." 

Pace University-David Lê '19 and Laurianne Gutierrez '22 wrote to Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) "to implore (you) to introduce legislation to repeal the Dickey Amendment in order to permit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to fund research that could help provide a solution to the problem of gun violence in the United States." The pair are planning a petition drive as well as outreach to elected officials.

Pitzer College-Marquise Brooks, Malakai Embry, Pedro Florez, and Amber Burkhart '20 and Blake Clement '20 wrote to Representative Nanette Barragán (D-CA) in support of Title I of Bill 3356, which would support research on strategies to reduce recidivism among the formerly incarcerated. The five students are part of a Pitzer "Inside-Out" class. They wrote, "The course takes place at California Rehabilitation Center (CRC) so some of us writing this letter are incarcerated" the others are "typical college students at Pitzer." The group plans to advocate for greater support to assist the formerly incarcerated in integrating into their communities.

Reed College-Soha Ahmed '20, Maya Arigala '20, Mayaki Kimba '20, and Kwani Marcellay '20 wrote to Oregon Governor Kate Brown (D) about the implementation of House Bill 2845 which directs the Department of Education to develop Ethnic Studies standards for adoption into existing standards for public K-12 education. They requested greater geographic and racial diversity on the advisory group responsible for the implementation of ethnic studies in the Oregon public school system.

Skidmore College-Isaac Bardin '20 and Ted Randell '19 wrote to Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) "to urge you as a member of the subcommittee on Fisheries, Water, and Wildlife to introduce legislation ... to prohibit oil and gas leasing. We need legislation to protect our coastlines, wildlife, and communities from the Trump administration's ill-advised attempt to drill for fossil fuels off the coast of the United States." The team is planning on mobilizing a grassroots campaign in support of the bill and will visit Albany to meet with their Representatives and Senators.

Project Pericles Needs Your Support

Please consider making a generous contribution so we can continue our work encouraging tomorrow's engaged citizens: Donate today! Also, sign-up for the Project Pericles e-newsletter to stay up-to-date on our projects and events, and to hear about the amazing work of our Periclean colleges and universities: The Periclean Progress E-Newsletter.