Project Pericles at Rensselaer

Project Pericles

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is honored to be a member of Project Pericles, a consortium of 29 colleges and universities committed to incorporating civic engagement into their core educational mission.

Project Pericles is a not-for-profit organization that encourages and facilitates commitments by colleges and universities to include education for social responsibility and participatory citizenship as an essential part of their educational programs, in the classroom, on the campus, and in the community. This learning experience is intended to provide students with a foundation for social and civic involvement and a conviction that democratic institutions and processes offer each person the best opportunity to improve the condition of society. Learn more about Project Pericles.

Students practicing effective advocacy during D4D on the Road at Rensselaer in 2011.

Debating for Democracy (D4D) is a distinctive campus-based program that represents the mission of Project Pericles in action. On each campus, Periclean students research, develop, and advocate their opinions and positions on current public policy issues. The goal is to inspire and encourage all D4D participants to become successful and resourceful advocates in their community. Student participants learned concrete tools for successful organizing and advocacy, identify strategies for making change, develop effective messaging, and build relationships to support and sustain their work.

Student leaders from each participating Periclean college and university compete in a juried advocacy letter writing campaign in the spring each year, and students whose letters are judged to be the most effective are awarded cash prizes to advance their causes. The Debating for Democracy 2015 Legislative Hearing, is scheduled for March 19 and 20, 2015, and the Letters to an Elected Official Competition is now underway. Rensselaer students have until January 28, 2015 to submit their letter for consideration to the Dean of Students Office to compete for funding to advocate for their causes. In any event, at least 2 Rensselaer students who have submitted a team letter will be chosen to attend the National Conference For more information, contact the Project Pericles Program Director.

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