In 2012, for the first time in its history, the Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network will invest the visionary talent and resources of its national network to comprehensively expand its operations into new areas, developing a new generation of leaders at community colleges. By piloting chapters, providing trainings and connecting community college students with alumni, faculty, partner organizations and other students in the Network, we seek to create a sustainable presence at community colleges that will engage students in the policy process. Enrolling over 44 percent of all students, mostly of low-income, first-generation and ethnically underrepresented backgrounds, community colleges serve as the most democratic institutions in higher education and most closely represent the diversity of the Millennial generation. In a time when the importance of increasing civic and political investment among members of this generation cannot be overstated, community colleges present a unique opportunity to prepare future generations to address the major social, economic and political challenges we face.
What is the Roosevelt Institute Campus Network? As the largest student‐driven policy organization in the country, the Roosevelt Institute Campus Network is uniquely situated to elevate these voices in public discourse, empowering progressive leaders and activists to engage with the political process in their communities. Founded in the wake of the 2004 election, the Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network was formed in order to strengthen the progressive movement by meaningfully engaging young people in politics. The founders of the Campus Network recognized that this generation was capable of so much more than just registering voters and knocking on doors – the traditional forms of political engagement at the time. Instead, the Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network challenged students to identify challenges in their communities and create change through their ideas. This model – tapping into the ideas of a community-minded, progressive generation to drive action – has only become more powerful during a period of economic turmoil and political gridlock. How will students benefit from Roosevelt? Students involved with the Roosevelt Institute will gain firsthand knowledge of how to research and write policy. By taking advantage of our publication opportunities, these students will have the opportunity to get their ideas published and read by stakeholders. Roosevelt students have been able to testify before Congress, build and implement local initiatives, and help draft legislation.
Beyond making immediate impact, Roosevelt students will be able to make strong connections with other future leaders, partner organizations, and alumni working in a variety of professions. The Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network not only affords students an opportunity to make change now but also gives them the tools and network to do well in the future.
How will we make this happen? Aware of the unique challenges and opportunities facing civic engagement efforts at community colleges, the Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network plans to pilot a tailored and experimental approach at five to six community colleges across the state of California this year. We currently plan to open new chapters on each campus, and introduce a new approach that draws on Roosevelt’s successful model. Our threepronged strategy for a sustainable presence on college campuses focuses on:
1. Intensive training focused on impact-oriented outcomes 2. Relationship building among alumni, faculty, partners, and students 3. Fostering strong relationships between four-year Roosevelt students and community college students The Roosevelt Institute is diligently laying the groundwork for this initiative while maximizing our current resources. However, increasing civic engagement at community colleges will require investment from the surrounding area institutions, faculty and partners over the long-term. This is why we are reaching out to you. Your input and investment in this initiative will determine its success! By the end of the 2012-2013 academic year, we hope to make great strides made in this initiative and see a stronger community of students, alumni, and faculty in California devoted to civic education and political engagement at institutions of higher learning. Success with community colleges in California will serve as a model for other institutions in the West and across the United States
"The Roosevelt Institute Campus Network gave me an incredible skill set that I have used throughout my education and career in education policy. Roosevelt taught me how to understand, research, analyze, and write policy - these are skills I use everyday in my job. Being a community college graduate, I'm excited that community college students will have the same opportunities that I had at my baccalaureate institution."
–Casey Maliszewski, Roosevelt member from Mount Holyoke College, graduate of Raritan Valley Community College
This success starts with you. If you are interested in getting involved with this initiative, we would love to connect with you either in person or over the phone. See the contact information below.
Best, Joelle Gamble National Deputy Field Director [email protected]
Toni Gomez Western Regional Coordinator [email protected]
www.rooseveltcampusnetwork.org 570 Lexington Ave, 5th floor New York, NY 10022