"As humans, we are responsible for the well-being of those in our communities and our environment, as well as for the impact that our actions have globally. Through active participation in global and local issues, we can contribute to sustainability and a better quality of life. Social justice is about critical analysis, consciousness raising, reflection, empowerment and coalition building leading to transformative changes in our social systems that are in line with the ideals of unity, justice, and peace."
Civic engagement refers to the variety of ways people can get involved in the different communities they are a part of, whether that be one's neighborhood, the workplace, one's family, etc. It's important for everyone to play an active role in their community so that everyone is represented and as a result, the community can best reflect the needs and wants of its members. Together, the community can work as a collective unit to improve their quality of life. For one's mental health, it is extremely important to feel involved in their community. As humans, we never want to feel alone. We have to feel a sense of belonging. Becoming actively involved in the community allows for bonds to be created, and these bonds are what make lasting friendships. In terms of my future civic engagement, I want to be a part of a community that is actively involved in trying to bring about justice to those surrounding us. Ideally, I'd love to be able to bridge the gap between the communities I am apart of and those internationally, but to start, bringing together local communities would be a good start.
My civic engagement experiences have taught me how important it is to be a part of a community and to not take it for granted. We have the power to truly make a change, socially and politically, and I don't think that people take advantage of that fact enough. My experiences have pushed me to constantly get involved in any way I can and to become more aware of the local issues that are affecting my life, as well as the global issues that everyone should be taking into concern.
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead