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This summer, spend a week immersed in politics, activism, and social justice in Washington, D.C. Partnering with the Close Up Foundation, Georgetown’s Democracy in Action Institute will take you on an experiential journey examining the roles and responsibilities of citizens in a democratic society. 

Through visits to some of D.C.’s museums, political institutions, and memorial sites, you’ll explore the inner workings of the legislative process, current political policies and tensions, and approaches to responsible citizen advocacy and activism. You’ll also examine key concepts and controversies of American history and how they shaped the modern-day political system. 

Over the course of the week, you'll discuss and debate major national issues—including everything from immigration and healthcare to the opioid epidemic—and explore your ability to impact those issues through political discourse and advocacy. You'll meet with congressional committees on Capitol Hill and learn how to effectively promote a cause and defend your stance to elected officials. At the end of the week, you'll establish a plan to take further action on issues that matter to you in your local and national communities.

Estimated Tuition:


Includes tuition, housing, and meals

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The Democracy in Action Institute is offered during the following dates:

  • July 22–July 28, 2018

How You'll Benefit

  • Discuss how citizens can make a difference in their community and learn strategies for taking action 
  • Meet with an elected official or congressional staff member on Capitol Hill
  • Participate in debates on current issues and take on the role of legislators during a congressional simulation 
  • Study historic citizen action movements in key D.C. neighborhoods
  • Visit some of D.C.’s major memorials and museums, including the new Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture 
  • Explore the role of historical figures and institutions in shaping current policy decisions 

Program Format & Subject Areas

As a student in the Democracy in Action Institute, you'll spend your day immersed in a blend of lectures, hands-on activities, and group discussions. Throughout the course of the week, you'll have the opportunity to explore the following subject areas:

  • Controversial issues in the news
  • Enduring questions of American democracy
  • History of D.C. neighborhoods
  • Monuments and memorials
  • Debate and deliberation
  • Citizen activism
  • Community engagement

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