Project Pericles

Advocate. Facilitate. Inspire.

Project Pericles is a vibrant consortium of colleges and universities that promotes civic engagement within higher education. Building on the innovative vision of Eugene M. Lang, Project Pericles works in the classroom, on the campus, and in the community. We collaborate with colleges to encourage faculty to incorporate civic engagement and social responsibility into the curriculum, and to empower students as effective advocates and leaders.

Periclean Programs



Recent News and Updates

Our Newest Initiative: VOTING MATTERS!  

Project Pericles is delighted to announce our newest initiative, VOTING MATTERS!
This classroom module on voting will be released nationwide through our collaboration with the Students Learn Students Vote (SLSV) CoalitionThe module for use by faculty illustrates why voting matters, why students should care, and provides an overview of the registration and voting process. Designed to fit into a single class period, it includes sections on deliberative dialogue that can be customized for courses in the arts, humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences. We will pilot the module this fall in partnership with our Periclean Program Directors and Periclean Faculty Leaders.

The SLSV Advisory Board and Young Invincibles selected Project Pericles to carry out this important work citing our deep relationship with faculty members and knowledge of curricula. SLSV will distribute the module to colleges and universities across the country extending our reach to public colleges, community colleges, and universities. VOTING MATTERS! complements the work we are already carrying out on voter registration and voter engagement through Student Choices – Student Voices (SCSV)

We appreciate the support of the Students Learn Students Vote (SLSV) Coalition and Young Invincibles. This work is also made possible by the Eugene M. Lang Foundation.

2018 D4D Letters to an Elected Official Competition 2018 Winners Announced

Read the full article in our 2018 Spring Newsletter

Teams from Carleton College, Pace University, Pitzer College, Reed College, and Skidmore College were selected as the winners of the 2018 Debating for Democracy (D4D)™ Letters to an Elected Official competition. Each team will receive a $500 award to use on an advocacy campaign focused on their issue.

Carleton College-Ilan Friedland '21, Marlena Resnick '21, Sophie Rogers '21, Justine Seligson '19, and Jackie Tyson '20 wrote to Representative Jason Lewis (R-MN). Their campaign focuses on support for Bill H.F. 3022 which "directly targets the aspects of current gun legislation that makes it easier for violent individuals to possess a gun." 

Pace University-David Lê '19 and Laurianne Gutierrez '22 wrote to Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) "to implore (you) to introduce legislation to repeal the Dickey Amendment in order to permit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to fund research that could help provide a solution to the problem of gun violence in the United States." The pair are planning a petition drive as well as outreach to elected officials.

Pitzer College-Marquise Brooks, Malakai Embry, Pedro Florez, and Amber Burkhart '20 and Blake Clement '20 wrote to Representative Nanette Barragán (D-CA) in support of Title I of Bill 3356, which would support research on strategies to reduce recidivism among the formerly incarcerated. The five students are part of a Pitzer "Inside-Out" class. They wrote, "The course takes place at California Rehabilitation Center (CRC) so some of us writing this letter are incarcerated" the others are "typical college students at Pitzer." The group plans to advocate for greater support to assist the formerly incarcerated in integrating into their communities.

Reed College-Soha Ahmed '20, Maya Arigala '20, Mayaki Kimba '20, and Kwani Marcellay '20 wrote to Oregon Governor Kate Brown (D) about the implementation of House Bill 2845 which directs the Department of Education to develop Ethnic Studies standards for adoption into existing standards for public K-12 education. They requested greater geographic and racial diversity on the advisory group responsible for the implementation of ethnic studies in the Oregon public school system.

Skidmore College-Isaac Bardin '20 and Ted Randell '19 wrote to Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) "to urge you as a member of the subcommittee on Fisheries, Water, and Wildlife to introduce legislation ... to prohibit oil and gas leasing. We need legislation to protect our coastlines, wildlife, and communities from the Trump administration's ill-advised attempt to drill for fossil fuels off the coast of the United States." The team is planning on mobilizing a grassroots campaign in support of the bill and will visit Albany to meet with their Representatives and Senators.

2017 Debating for Democracy (D4D) Students Protect the Hudson River from Oil Tankers 

The Pace University 2017 D4D team ran a successful campaign to protect the Hudson River from the threat of oil spills. Thanks to the work of Rowan Lanning  ('18) and Christina Thomas ('19),  and many others, the Coast Guard withdrew its proposal to permit anchorages for oil tankers in the Hudson River. The Coast Guard appointed the students as official observers for its Port and Waterway Safety Assessment meetings. The students collaborated with Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and other elected officials on this effort. Christina and Rowan won the 2017 D4D Letters to an Elected Official competition for their letter on this issue.

For more updates on our 2017 teams, please read our Winter 2018 and Early Fall 2017 newsletters.

Creating Curricular Coherence
through Inquiry-Based Curricula and Thematic Pathways

Project Pericles and a cohort of Periclean institutions (Macalester College, Morehouse College, and Widener University) are exploring unique but allied approaches to fostering greater coherence in the undergraduate curriculum employing pathways models and problem-based approaches to redesign curricula as well as programs of study within departments. They are streamlining their courses of study and using civic engagement and community-based learning as catalysts in their efforts. This $225,000, three-year project is part of The Teagle Foundation's Faculty Planning and Curricular Coherence initiative and is also supported by the Eugene M. Lang Foundation. 

Project Pericles in The Chronicle of Higher Education

In its recent article, "How Colleges Ignite Civic Engagement." The Chronicle of Higher Education cited Project Pericles as one of the civic engagement organizations making a difference with college students. Pericleans, Goucher College and Pitzer College, were also highlighted. Our Executive Director, Jan Liss, emphasizeded our goal of institutionalizing civic engagement across the curriculum.

From The Chronicle - "...College students need to be able to see public issues from a wide variety of angles," says Jan Liss .... "We'd love to see civic-engagement courses embedded in a number of majors — everything from music to physics to theater." Link to article.



Project Pericles Needs Your Support

Please consider making a generous contribution so we can continue our work encouraging tomorrow's engaged citizens: Donate today! Also, sign-up for the Project Pericles e-newsletter to stay up-to-date on our projects and events, and to hear about the amazing work of our Periclean colleges and universities: The Periclean Progress E-Newsletter.