Inspiring Civic Action: Justice and Equity


Never has there been a more consequential time for young people to confront the challenges facing our democracy, to engage with diverse perspectives, and to consider solutions to the complex issues of our time. This winter, Close Up is offering Inspiring Civic Action, a series of six online civic engagement workshops to bring together high school students from communities across the country.

Our curriculum specialists will also provide teachers with a virtual professional development training session and ready-to-use classroom resources to support continued student discussion at home.




Through a series of online discussions designed and facilitated by Close Up instructors, students will engage with peers nationwide for weekly, one-hour sessions. In those sessions, students will build community, learn about and share their political values, deliberate about critical policy issues brought forward by young activists, and consider methods of activating members of their communities to take action.

By engaging students from different backgrounds in meaningful dialogue, we aim to help students develop empathy for the perspectives of others and build the skills and confidence to empower a generation of change-makers. Students will deliberate about pressing issues such as:

  • Health Care and COVID-19: COVID-19 has shown the ways in which social and economic factors affect health outcomes. How should we address inequalities of access and care in the United States?
  • Law Enforcement Reform: In the wake of nationwide protests, how should we address racial injustice in this country and reform police practices?




This program is intended for grades 9-12 and can be integrated into a current government or civics course, an advisory program, a club, or a leadership development opportunity like student council. During this time of social distancing, the series can also replace an experiential learning trip or a community service opportunity.


  • National Program 1 (five 90-minute sessions) | Every Thursday after school Nov. 12 – Dec. 17, 2020, from 4:15-5:45pm (EST) / 1:15-2:45pm (PST)
  • National Program  2 (six 60-minute sessions) | Every Wednesday after school Jan. 27 – Mar. 3, 2021, from 7:00-8:00pm (EST) / 4:00-5:00pm (PST)
  • National Program 3 (six 60-minute sessions) | Every Thursday after school Feb. 25 – Apr. 1, 2021, from 7:00-8:00pm (EST) / 4:00-5:00pm (PST)



  • Individual Student (for 1-14 students): $175 per student
  • Classroom or Student Group (15-25 students): $3,500 per classroom/student group

For questions about scholarship opportunities, or if your school/group is interested in customizing dates for an entire grade, a course, or a specific group such as student government or a club, please email


Participation in a Close Up program requires parent or guardian approval for any participants under 18 years of age. 

Over 93% of students said Close Up’s virtual programs…

helped them understand the importance of using their voice to make change in their communities.