Human rights are at the core of the social justice work that the Center for Civic Engagement does with Kalamazoo College students and the Kalamazoo community. We strive to support the full humanity of individuals and communities we work with by affirming their multiplicity of identities. Last week’s US Supreme Court ruling to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision to legalize abortions dangerously diminishes the civil and human rights of all people who can become pregnant.
SisterSong defines Reproductive Justice as, “the human right to maintain personal bodily autonomy, have children, not have children, and parent the children we have in safe and sustainable communities.” The CCE believes that bodily autonomy and the choice to have or not have children are human rights that all people have and deserve protections for. All human rights are interconnected and therefore one cannot be taken away without endangering the status of other rights such as right to healthcare, privacy, education, and more. The recent SCOTUS decision will disproportionately impact people of color, LGBTQIA+ folks, those in rural areas, and low-income communities. The CCE will do all that we can within the law to support our communities as we navigate this recent blow to civil and human rights.
We have a history of advocating for reproductive justice and will prioritize this focus this year. Students can take action through the Students for Reproductive Freedom (SRF) and the K Votes programs. SRF and K Votes are campus-community collaboratives offering educational programming on campus and community engagement opportunities in Kalamazoo. All members of the campus community are welcome to participate with either or both programs by contacting the current program Civic Engagement Scholars. If you are a student looking for other ways to get involved, please contact Riley Gabriel. We are a resource for you, so please don’t hesitate to contact our staff.
To learn more:
Opportunities for Action:
- Become a participant in the K Votes or Students for Reproductive Freedom programs
- Educate yourself on the health outcomes of banning abortion and consider the implications to communities other than your own
- If it is safe and possible for you, bring this topic into conversation at home, with friends, or at work
- Join a discussion forum online or attend local forums or townhall meetings
- If you are able, make a donation to support reproductive justice advocacy or directly support abortion access
- Attend a protest or rally
- Contact your local or state elected representatives
- Keep an eye out for more communication from our Center regarding engagement opportunities
For students seeking resources:
For medical assistance:
For mental health assistance:
For Legal Inquiries:
For Staff and Faculty seeking resources:
For medical assistance:
For mental health assistance:
For Legal Inquiries:
Join Center for Civic Engagement’s Students for Reproductive Freedom program for an action-packed rally! Community partners, politicians, and some of your Kalamazoo College peers and professors will speak on reproductive freedom and the crisis everyone is facing regarding the right to abortion and reproductive healthcare. Art and writing activities will also be offered along with resources to make your own poster at the rally. All are welcome!
*Note that the weather is predicting 90 degree temps and full sun, so dress appropriately and bring a full water bottle!
Tuesday, May 31st, 4-8pm; speeches 4:10-6:15pm
Location: Lawn of Kalamazoo College Fine Arts Building, 129 Thompson Street, Kalamazoo, MI 49006
Rain location: inside FAB lobby
We are still hiring for Civic Engagement Scholars (CES) for the Swim for Success and K Votes programs for 2022-2023! If you are a student passionate about community-based change and civic engagement, we want to hear from you. CESs are student leaders for their peers and with a community partner in Kalamazoo. In Swim for Success, K Students provide swimming lessons and homework tutoring to KPS students and K Votes focuses on spreading election information, registering people to vote, and encouraging political engagement in a variety of ways. If either of these programs sound interesting to you, check out the application on our website and Handshake!https://cce.kzoo.edu/opportunities/slp/
For anyone interested in being a Civic Engagement Scholar with the Center for Civic Engagement, you’ll be excited to hear that the deadline to apply has been extended through midnight on Sunday, April 17th. Please complete the application on Handshake, the forms on the CCE website, and schedule an interview with CCE staff. You can find specific CES job postings by searching in Handshake for the program you are interested in working for; you can find a comprehensive list of active programs at cce.kzoo.edu. We are looking for any students passionate about social equity and excited for peer leadership. Email Moises.Hernandez@kzoo.edu with any questions!
There are a few CBIs still open! Apply now on Handshake to get an internship this summer with a $4,000 stipend! Look at our website to see which internship positions are available. If you have questions about the internships, please contact Moises Hernandez through email or Teams.
Interested in a Kalamazoo-based internship opportunity? Work with the CCE locally this summer and receive a $4,000 stipend! The Community Building Internship application deadline has been extended through 5pm on Friday, March 18th! Qualifying students should apply on Handshake. For more information, please visit our website. https://cce.kzoo.edu/oppo…/community-building-internships/
Join student Civic Engagement Scholars Thursday, Jan. 20th 4-6pm in Hicks Lower Atrium to hear about volunteer and federal work study opportunities for K students in the Kalamazoo Community. Learn how you can participate in local movements of food justice, education equity, neurodiversity, reproductive rights, and more on campus and in the Kalamazoo Community! Students will have the chance to talk directly with student Civic Engagement Scholars about the programs the Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) offers and will have a chance to win some sweet prizes! Join us in the Hicks Lower Atrium Jan. 20, 4-6pm for info and prizes!
Kalamazoo college is being recognized by ALL IN Democracy Challenge and Civic Nation with a “platinum seal” in voter turnout for the 2020 election, with a 93.4% voter registration rate and 83.7% voter turnout rate among students. We are proud of the incredible work that made this possible organized by K Votes student Civic Engagement Scholars (CES) and then-Assistant Director of the CCE, Emily Kowey (K 17).
K Votes, a non-partisan student-led program of the Center for Civic Engagement, is focused on educating and spreading awareness about voting and elections on K’s campus. One of the student CESs, Mahum Khan (K 24), who is also a Campus Vote Project democracy fellow, says, “Our main goal this past election was to institutionalize voting and voting engagement on our campus, and I think the 2020 NSLVE data provides a good representation of our ability to reach that goal in the efforts we made.” K Votes worked in partnership with their student peers, the local League of Women Voters, and the national organization, Rock the Vote, whose Executive Director is Caroline DeWitt (K 04).
K Votes CES Kaitlyn Dexter says, “It was hard being off campus, but we made virtual connections across campus to get the word out. Some of those collaborations were with the Campus Vote Project, PIRGIM, and the College’s office of Outdoor Programs.” Khan added, “These collaborations allowed students to bike to the polls, learn about voter registration and how to vote, and overall increased the College’s turnout.”
Although, K’s 2020 registration and voting rates considerably exceed the national average for students in college and university, the rate of student voting participation is higher at K for white students than for BIPOC students—and this is a gap we need to address. It is through continued collaborations and awareness work that we are able to educate globally active citizens.
The CCE will host a Homecoming and Reunion event from 2-4pm on Saturday, October 16th. Alumni, please register through the Homecoming webpage and all others interested should email Teresa Denton at Teresa.Denton@kzoo.edu. Leading up to our 20th Anniversary Celebration, we will be sharing videos of K alumni reflecting on their experiences working with the community through CCE partnerships on our Facebook Page.