Civic Season is a nationwide celebration spanning Juneteenth to July 4th that encourages historically-informed civic engagement by the inheritors of our democracy. More than 400 organizations across the country have created thousands of events, activities, and resources that focus on helping participants discover their place in the American story. Atlanta History Center is on the Steering Committee of the Made By Us coalition, the organizer of Civic Season, and also presents our annual Juneteenth program as part of our Civic Season.
What will your summer look like? Read on for suggestions about how to get involved in Civic Season—but first! Do you know your Civic Superpower? Take the quiz to discover your superpower and get advice on which types of events and activities might appeal most to your interests and skills.
Looking to celebrate your Civic Season in person? Look no further than Made By Us member organizations right here in Atlanta: Atlanta History Center and the National Center for Civil and Human Rights.
Sunday, June 18th, 10am–4pm
Join us as we celebrate Juneteenth 2023 (and Father’s Day) by honoring the history of Black genealogy and agricultural practices. This year’s event features something for everyone– live music, powerful storytelling, interactive crafts, and delicious food. Our workshops and talks will provide valuable insights into the history of Juneteenth and offer tips on how to research your family tree and preserve family artifacts. Bring the entire family and mark this important occasion with us for this free event.
Saturday, June 17th, 6–8pm
The National Center for Civil and Human Rights and Made by Us are hosting a Slice of History, a meet-up for young adults ages 18-30, to kick off Civic Season 2023. The event features free pizza, drinks, a live DJ, and a trip back to the past to discover some lesser-known parts of history through a history scavenger hunt. Y2k attire is highly encouraged.
Watch, Read, Learn
Being an active participant in your community is more than just voting (though, voting is a great way to participate!) History can help inform and contextualize our current moment by providing information to explain how we got here and give us valuable information to make future decisions. Learning about each of our personal stories can also help us better relate to our families and communities, inspiring us to be more involved. At Atlanta History Center, our digital storytelling department produces a variety of content designed to tell undertold stories and encourage curiosity and perspective—a perfect way to celebrate Civic Season.
Here are our top picks of AHC Originals for the summer:
Explore the controversial history of the Stone Mountain carving through online resources and a documentary film.
Viola Ross Napier and Bessie Kempton Crowell made history as the first women to hold elected office in Georgia. As legislators they faced opposition and a political ceiling that made their journey difficult. Despite this, Napier and Kempton Crowell left a lasting legacy visible even today.
At the end of the Civil War, millions of enslaved people living in the United States became free. “Freedom Across Georgia” explores the experiences of six formerly enslaved people from Georgia and their individual stories of freedom.
Learn about iconic artifacts from the African American regiments during the Civil War who fought for freedom and to restore the Union, risking their lives or re-enslavement in the process.
Recharge & Reflect
With all of the hustle and bustle of daily life, it’s important to stop and take time to reflect and recharge—including on your civic journey. Luckily, Goizueta Gardens at Atlanta History Center offer the perfect place to do that. Spending time in nature is hugely beneficial to health and wellbeing. While at Goizueta Gardens, you’ll also have the opportunity to spend time in intentionally curated outdoor spaces that directly tie to Georgia’s history, including through native plant collections, formal gardens reflective of horticultural traditions, heirloom agricultural plants, walking trails through secondary growth forests, and more. If visiting Goizueta Gardens inspires you to think about how you can more responsibly steward your local environment as part of your civic duty, check out these resources on composting and other green practices.
While reflecting on your civic journey, do certain individuals come to mind who are worthy of recognition? Points of Light, headquartered in Atlanta, offers the opportunity to nominate an individual for their Honor Roll as part of their Civic Season.
Looking for More?
Did you know that Civic Season has an official podcast? Check out Democracy Vibe Check, produced by Atlanta’s own NPR station, WABE, for nationwide conversations about Civic Season, and the opportunity to contribute your own ideas to the conversation.
Even if you’re not in Atlanta, or unable to make it to the in-person events, there are still many ways to celebrate your civic season online or in other cities. To get a full list of events, visit thecivicseason.com to filter by location or by virtual options. You can make your own curated list of activities and events and get inspired by the Civic Season guides who offer their top picks.
What will your story be this summer? We look forward to seeing how all of Atlanta’s Civic Superheroes make the most of Civic Season 2023.