MGA Political Science Department To Host Youth Civic Summit

Author: News Bureau
Posted: Monday, January 22, 2024 12:00 AM
Categories: School of Education and Behavioral Sciences | Pressroom | Events- Public | Faculty/Staff

Macon, GA


Motivated by a desire to help area high school students learn more about local government and community issues, the Middle Georgia State University (MGA) Department of Political Science is sponsoring its first Youth Civic Summit in early March. U.S. Rep. Sanford D. Bishop Jr. of Georgia's 2nd Congressional District is the keynote speaker.

The summit, open to all interested students in grades nine through 12, is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 9, in the Arts Complex Theater on the University’s Macon Campus. The free summit includes lunch for all registered participants. Freddie Broome of the Georgia Municipal Association will be among those giving opening remarks, while Bishop will speak at 10 a.m. in the theater.

“Civic engagement is important, especially at the local level, and we want to educate and empower young people to be more actively engaged in the community,” said Dr. Julie Lester, an MGA political science professor and key organizer of the event. “We also recognize workforce development needs for local governments, and we want to provide an opportunity for youth to learn more about public service career pathways.”

Lester said civic engagement instills an understanding of the principles of democracy and rights and responsibilities of citizens, leads to informed decision making, enhances critical thinking, and boosts community building.

Summit activities will help participants build leadership skills. The summit will include speakers – many of whom graduated from MGA – who work in local government or government-adjacent organizations, so participants will have a chance to network. The following local leaders are scheduled to lead a roundtable discussion beginning at 10:20 a.m. about careers in government: Dr. Keith Moffett, Judge Crystal Jones, Jeffrey Harvey, Jorge Roque, and Stephen Adams.

Other topics up for discussion include "Expressing Beliefs with Confidence and Humility," "Civic Passion," and "Seeing Communities as Partners."

High schoolers interested in attending the summit can go to to register. Email questions to Dr. John Hall at

MGA’s Department of Political Science, part of the School of Education & Behavioral Sciences, offers bachelor’s degrees in political science and interdisciplinary studies, along with minors in political science, African and African diaspora studies, global studies, pre-law, local government administration, and environmental policy studies. The department also offers a certificate program in European Union Studies.