Lauren Duca has focused her career on empowering young people, especially women and girls, and insisting on their right and duty to participate in the political conversation. GATE Faculty Research Fellow, Sonia Kang, introduced Lauren with a quote from Duca’s book, “How to Start a Revolution”.
It is only through conversation that we form the political opinions that inform the actions of practical citizenship and through conversation that we do the daily work of democracy.
Duca began the conversation by discussing how Trump’s 2016 election brought about the realization for her that advocacy is what citizenship should look like. She was able to use her social research and reporting skills to translate what was going on politically to a younger audience.
What are concrete ways that our systems can work towards letting more people in?
Duca stressed that the system currently lacks an effective approach to inviting people in to participate. Many opt out of the conversation because there is a lack of genuine interest in their voice. She continued to discuss the importance of acknowledging how people are blatantly disinvited and stressed the need to work towards creating real access to voting.
What does a routine of citizenship look like?
According to Duca, having difficult conversations and actively listening can create a foundation for advocacy. In addition to that, we need to create question who the rule makers are and what are the structures of powers that have influenced our beliefs.
How do you truly feel about things? Where do you need to do more research? It is a constant act of critical thinking.