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ENACT at the National Conference of State Legislatures Annual Summit
The National Conference of State Legislatures' Annual Legislative Summit brought more than 5,000 state legislators and others to Boston in August. ENACT was there. Read more.

At a Time of Political Change, a Focus on State GovernmentA report on the progress of ENACT (The Educational Network for Active Civic Transformation) programs around the country, iincluding spring updates from ENACT classes at Drake University, the University of Mississippi, the University of New Hampshire, and Boise State University.

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.

More news from ENACT

Testimonials and Endorsements [PDF]

ENACT: The Educational Network for Active Civic Transformation

enact logo

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

Launched in 2015, ENACT: The Educational Network for Active Civic Transformation is a national program engaging undergraduates at colleges and universities in state-level legislative change by learning to work with legislators, staffers, and community organizations to advance policy. It is becoming 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.

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.

ENACT brings the commitment to citizen participation embodied by Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis to students and organizations engaged in state-level legislation across the United States.

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.

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 ENACT courses 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: More than 200 students have been engaged with the legislative process for dozens of bills – 15 of which have been signed into law – concerning 28 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 CapitolENACT has launched new programs in 16 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 is becoming a strategic and information hub – a needed resource for state-level players – that enables 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 is becoming 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.