Tuesday, February 20, 2018

In today's Civitas newsletter:
  • Last Saturday: Great program on immigration and refugees with Marie  Aimée Abizera .
  • This Saturday: Spring Model U.N. & Challenges to American Democracy -- both at the Drury!
  • Pulitzer Global Gateway in St. Louis next week -- focus is on the battle against infectious diseases
  • RenegadeSTL bus tour to historic manufacturing centers in STL
  • Middle School Teacher Meeting Next Week!
  • Student Trivia Players Needed
  • This past week at the United Nations
  • Calendar of Events
  • Important Civitas Links
Outstanding presentation last Saturday by
Marie-Aimée Abizera of MIRA   

In a session that was most characterized by give and take; questions and answers, Marie-Aimée Abizera covered a wide range of issues related to immigration and refugees. She wove into her presentation stories of her youth in Rwanda as genocide was taking place, her emigration to the United States, and current issues facing those who want to enter the United States, or even become citizens.

Marie-Aimée, who is executive director of Missouri Immigrants and Refugee Advocates (MIRA), gave an overview of issues on a national level and focused specifically on challenges in the St. Louis community.

It seemed that the conversation repeatedly gravitated towards the American educational system, and how many schools and teachers are reluctant to discuss important issues such as immigration and refugees. Somewhat related, Marie-Aimée has found an appalling lack of knowledge among Missouri state legislators as she works there to answer questions relevant to immigrants.

Marie-Aimée , her husband, and their child who is expected in May, will be moving to divide their time between Harvard University and medical service in Africa. We in St. Louis will truly miss her.

You can see more photos from Saturday by clicking here
Civitas Spring Model UN this Saturday morning

The spring Civitas Model United Nations is this Saturday, Feb. 24, from 8:30 - 11:30 AM at the Creve Coeur Drury Inn (map). Keep in mind that in the afternoon, we will have our "Challenges to American Democracy" in the same venue.
The maximum number of delegates that we can take for the Model UN session is 80; no more than ten per school. As of today, only 14 spaces remain, so sign up as soon as possible! Students will represent the same countries that they had in the fall. This means that we may have more than one delegation from the same country. We have had this situation in the past, and it works without problems.

Resolutions are due by midnight tonight (Tuesday) and can be sent to info@civitas-stl.com or uploaded to our MUN Google Classroom. 
Delegate slots will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis. So, interested students should register ASAP. To register, click here.
Challenges to American Democracy this Saturday afternoon

The first "Challenges to American Democracy" conference is this Saturday  at the Creve Coeur Drury Inn ( map), from 1:00 - 4:00 PM. This is an opportunity to brainstorm solutions to many of the tough problems facing the United States.

The conference follows the morning Model UN and a lunch break. Students can choose to attend one or the other, or both.
The "Challenges" will consist of two parts:
  1. Brainstorming a list of issues that seem to be most important to advancing American Democracy. These can be "bread and butter" issues like poverty or the environment, or they can be procedural ones like the Electoral College or voter suppression.
  2. Developing a method to seek solutions to the problems. We don't have to solve the problems, at least not on that Saturday. But what we do have to do is ask the key questions, and then develop options for action. There will be no effort to reach a group consensus, but at the end we will ask each student to write a summary of his or her ideas on the issues and we will post these on the Civitas blog.

Interested students can register by clicking here. 

Special Pulitzer programs for teachers and students next week

The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting  is sending two outstanding and experienced journalists to St. Louis next week to talk with high school students and teachers about the current challenges that the world faces with infectious diseases. The journalists will also be spending considerable time meeting with students and faculty at Washington University, including the Medical School.

Jon Cohen  and Carl Gierstorfer  will join Pulitzer staff including Education Director Mark Schulte for a special workshop on Monday, Feb. 26, at 6:00 PM at St. Louis Public Radio ( map). During the week, the schools that they will be visiting include Collegiate School of Medicine & Bioscience, Collinsville High School, Crossroads College Preparatory School, Gateway Science Academy, Grand Center Arts Academy, Kirkwood High School, Lafayette High School, Lindbergh High School, McCluer North High School, McKinley Classical Leadership Academy, Nerinx Hall High School, Parkway Central High School, Parkway West High School, Pattonville High School, St. Joseph's Academy and St. Louis University High School.
On March 3: Civitas goes on RenegadeSTL bus tour called "Meet Your Makers"

Join us on Saturday, March 3 for another exciting Renegade Bus Tour called MEET YOUR MAKER(S). Here's how the RenegadeStL website describes the tour: "Beer and shoes get a lot of play (historically speaking) when it comes to STL's manufacturing badassery. But we've made a crazy amount of other cool things-and STILL DO. Ever wonder just what in the heck is happening in all those nondescript buildings along the riverfront? Do you get hot and bothered when admiring the gorgeous architecture of nineteenth century warehouses? Want to feel blessed not to have a tannery down your street? Join us as we drive all over this darn city and be prepared to learn a crapload about the crazy, fascinating history of making shit in St. Louis! This tour features multiple stops with factory tours, a few strange smells, and, for the fist time, FOOD SAMPLES."

The bus will depart from the Civitas parking lot at 9:00 am sharp, so please arrive by 8:45. We will return by 11:30. Space is limited, so hurry and sign up for this exciting opportunity here.

Middle School Teacher Meeting Next Week!

Students from Pattonville Heights are studying Human Rights
Next Monday (Feb. 26th) is the last Middle School Model UN teacher meeting before General Assemblies begin in March. The meeting will be from 4-5 pm, at the Civitas office . Besides selecting which resolution topics students will debate we will also discuss final preparations for the General Assemblies, bus information, resource sharing, and resolution submission guidelines. A reminder about the meeting will be mailed to all teachers. If you have any questions or cannot attend, please email Bobbi at bobbiclemons@gmail.com.
Student Trivia Players Needed

Civitas has morning and afternoon activities this Saturday, February 24, and now we're adding an evening one. We have a table at the League of Women Voters annual trivia event. The Civitas group has finished in first place two of the past three years, and this means cash rewards for the participants. Admission is free for all Civitas students.

This year we are looking for up to nine student participants. If you are interested, please contact Arthur at arthur@civitas-stl.com.

Additional information below:

Black: High School     Blue: Middle School              

 NOTE: All Civitas Activities are free of charge 
Saturday, February 24
8:30 - 11:30 AM
Spring Model United Nations (one session)
Drury Inn - Creve Coeur; 11980 Olive Blvd., 63141 (map)
Saturday, February 24
1:00 - 4:00 PM
Student Convention on Challenges to American Democracy
Drury Inn - Creve Coeur; 11980 Olive Blvd., 63141  
(map )
March 3
8:45 - 11:30 AM
Renegade Bus Tour of Historic Manufacturing in St. Louis
Meet at Civitas; 10845 Olive Blvd., Suite #155; 63141 ( map)

Inspiring teens to be active citizens!

Civitas Associates
(314) 367-6480