Power to the People ECS | Course Description
Power to the People | How You Can Change the World
Essential Question: The famous quote by Mahatma Gandhi “Be the change you wish to see in the world”
is well-known and often repeated, but how and why one becomes and furthers that change is the question.
How can ordinary individuals make a difference in and do extraordinary things?
Course Description: When people hear the word “politics,” they may think of annoying, lying, cheating
politicians and all the madness surrounding today’s polarized political climate. While that is part of what
politics include, learning about politics is at its core learning to understand power — the ability to
influence people and events in our lives. This ECS will examine the ideas and practice of power in a wide
variety of settings.
We will look at politics - local, state, and national — as well as movements of dedicated people
working together to make change in a wide variety of fields, from citizen activism to youth movements to
government, we will examine a wide variety of strategies people have used to make changes in the past
and in the present for our future.
This ECS will start with a 2-day retreat at a remote mountain cabin where we will examine the
dynamics of power, society, and how people work together and against each other through hands-on
activities, including some social role playing games. From there, we will dive into the world of politics as
students choose a political party and candidate to follow here in Colorado. We will spend time in Denver,
our state capitol, and we will also look at the daily realities of working in government at the city, state,
and national levels. Our group will also examine the successes and failures of people and groups
committed to making change in our world, whether it is related to education, the environment, civil rights,
or other topics of interest.
Student interests that match this ECS:
Social justice, youth activism, politics, community organizing, and more. Whether you consider yourself a conservative, a liberal, a progressive, a socialist, a moderate, independent or just plain undecided…this ECS is for you!
Instructors: Amy Johnson-Smith, David Benson, and Josh Gillon