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NEWS

University of Mississippi ENACT Students Meet with Lobbyists and Legislative Staffers
On March 7th, ENACT Faculty Fellow James Slack and a group of eight students from his University of Mississippi ENACT seminar visited the Mississippi State Capitol and the national office of Parents for Public Schools. Read more.

ENACT Faculty Fellows from 15 States Come to Brandeis to Support “Laboratories of Democracy”
ENACT Fellows in discussion at the ENACT Institute
In May 2016, the Ethics Center welcomed the inaugural cohort of 15 ENACT Faculty Fellows to Brandeis for a 5-day institute. They hail from colleges and universities in or near state capitals across the US, and are leading the expansion of ENACT, which builds on an initiative begun at Brandeis. Read more.

More news from ENACT

ENACT: The Educational Network for Active Civic Transformation

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“The most important office, and the one which all of us can and should fill, is that of private citizen.” – Louis D. Brandeis

ENACT is a new national program to engage young people in state-level legislative change. Students enrolled in courses taught by ENACT faculty fellows at colleges and universities in or near state capitals learn how to work with advocacy organizations, legislators and legislative staff members to advance policy. 

Students  learn through direct engagement in this work, traveling to the state capital, meeting with and lobbying legislators, strategizing with advocacy organizations and creating outreach materials to advance their chosen issues. 

This new major program of the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life at Brandeis University is made possible by a generous gift from Ethics Center Board member Norbert Weissberg and his wife, former Board member Judith Schneider. ENACT is also supported by the Rice Family Foundation. 


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ENACT represents a national expansion of Advocacy For Policy Change, a model program for civic engagement that since 2010 has engaged Brandeis undergraduates with the legislative process on key state-level social issues. The new program builds upon the original vision for the Center, which was inspired and supported by Abraham Feinberg, the father of Judith Schneider.

In Advocacy for Policy Change, student teams research their chosen issues, and they design and implement models of legislative activity. Students choose existing laws they can challenge on policy, legal or moral grounds, or propose laws that redress perceived wrongs. Students work with a legislative mentor and/or a member of an advocacy organization, and strive to effect social change.

The results have been impressive: 121 students have been engaged with the legislative process for 40 bills – 15 of which have been signed into law – concerning 27 policy areas.

Professor Melissa Stimell, the instructor for Advocacy for Policy Change, is the academic director of ENACT. David Weinstein, longtime communications specialist for the Ethics Center, is the ENACT Coordinator.

MS CapitolOver the course of three years ENACT is helping to launch new programs in 15 colleges and universities located in or near state capitals, and is building a national online network of students, faculty, activists and legislators. The ENACT Network will be a strategic and information hub – a needed resource for state-level players – that will enable participants to connect with counterparts throughout the country, with guidance from the team at Brandeis.

Participating schools represent a diverse range of higher education institutions. They are linked through an online network that enhances their learning, connects them with people active in the field, and provides an opportunity for them to share their work to inspire and instruct others who seek to make an impact on civic life in the United States. 

The Educational Network for Active Civic Transformation will be a major voice in addressing challenges to American democracy by engaging young people around the country in civic activism built on knowledge, cooperation, justice and integrity.