Last week, I attended a panel discussion on women's issues hosted by the Howard County Commission on Women and the League of Women Voters. After the panel finished discussing their personal experiences and perspectives, we broke into smaller discussion groups. I participated in the Employment and the Government/Public Service groups.
Why am I thinking about that right now, you may ask.
Because my friend posted a picture of her son protesting in Baltimore City with her.
The two of us both have tweens that are only children. As such, they get dragged along to a lot of our community activities...Campaigning, political meetings, food banks and protests, etc.
On Saturday, we were talking about how we can increase female involvement in public service. One way, our group decided, is to say sometimes it's OK if kids attend these types of activities. I made Lil sit through a Planning Board meeting last fall about Inner Arbor because I needed to testify. Yes, she had some homework and electronics when she finished her book.
Civics is a very abstract thing for kids. But I try to demonstrate that I, an average citizen, have the right to speak, and that I, as a Stay-at-Home mom, have the ability to speak. Believe me, she gets bored sometimes, but in the car afterwards, she always has a takeaway.
Today, she worked at a food bank in Sandtown with me and my friend. She saw a diverse group of people working for their city. Delegates, college kids, faith leaders, friends and strangers, just coming together to help a beleaguered community. My friend and I share the belief that kids can play a part in that.
Civic engagement can be learned at any age.