The International Youth Democracy Summit hosted by the University of Virginia Center for Politics, Presidential Classroom, the federal Jamestown 400th Commemoration Commission served as the opening conference of the commission’s International Conference Series on the Foundations and Future of Democracy marking the quadricentennial anniversary of the landing at Jamestown.
Three hundred high school student delegates from 42 states and 22 nations assembled for this historic summit on the Grounds of the University of Virginia and in Washington, D.C. The theme of the summit was the importance of civic engagement for a healthy democracy and how service to community serves as one of the important legacies of the 1607 settlement at Jamestown.
Throughout the summit students actively participated in informative seminars, crossfire debates, and caucuses designed to fully explore several areas of civic understanding and visit sites important to the foundation and continuation of modern democracy.
As part of the summit curriculum, delegates developed Civic Action Plans that assisted in determining areas of civic engagement that needed improvement in their communities and shared ideas and personal experiences on ways these plans could be implemented upon their return. They departed the summit with a greater understanding of the necessity of civic engagement for a healthy democracy, ideas on how to increase civic engagement, and a heightened awareness of the importance of Jamestown to the founding of the American nation and the beginning of modern democracy.
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