Join newly-created Generation Citizen New England for a lively panel discussion of our most recent national and local changes and strains to our democracy, to inform and inspire civic Action and participation in New England.
Panelists will include:
RI Secretary of State Nellie M. Gorbea: Secretary Gorbea made history when she was sworn in on January 6, 2015, becoming the first Hispanic elected to statewide office in New England. She was re-elected to serve a second term in November of 2018. She believes government should work for people and has promoted increased civic engagement and government accessibility, as well as streamlined the state’s Business Services Division to make it easier for entrepreneurs to start a business in Rhode Island. Perhaps most notably, Secretary Gorbea has modernized RI’s election systems to increase access to the ballot box while protecting the integrity of every vote. Those improvements were on full display in the November general election, when a record number of Rhode Islanders were able to vote safely and securely despite the pandemic.
Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg: Kei is the director of The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) at Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University. CIRCLE is a renowned nonpartisan national research institute that focuses on youth civic learning and engagement. She manages CIRCLE’s expansive portfolio of research initiatives, tools for educators and policymakers, and reports that influence policy and practice in civic learning. With a background in positive youth development and interest in diverse and marginalized youth, she sees research can be a powerful tool to address inequity by affecting policies and practice. Kei was a key author on most of CIRCLE’s key reports and is widelysector,
Fallon Manyika: Fallon was born and raised in Lowell, MA, and currently serves with Americorps and attends Salem State University as a Political Science Major with a focus in civic engagement. As a young, first-generation African American, Fallon is committed to finding and creating equitable resources to the black and brown community of the Merrimack valley in her work at Merrimack Valley Black and Brown voices as a Program Assistant. She has also been a long time member of Generation Citizen through many different roles in her work in civic education. Fallon will be serving as a campaign manager for a candidate for Lowell city counsel this election cycle.
Erica Winter: Erica Winter has been an 8th grade Social Studies teacher at Kickemuit Middle School, in Warren, RI, since 2014, where she taught Generation Citizen for four years. Her classes have tackled issues big and bigger -- from tax credits for local shops that stop selling vape, to a ban on plastic straws in RI, to launching a food pantry in the school. In 2019, Erica received GC’s “Change Maker Award” for RI. Before starting her teaching career in 2010, she was a journalist for 12 years, primarily covering federal health care policy in Washington, D.C. Erica graduated Cum Laude from Mount Holyoke College, and holds an M.Ed. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
MA State Representative Andy Vargas: Rep. Vargas was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in November 2017 at age 24. He previously served on the Haverhill City Council and is the first Latino elected official in the city. Vargas is a member of the Black and Latino Caucus and Vice-Chair of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies. He is also a member of Ways & Means, Education, Public Health, and Redistricting committees. Rep. Vargas attended Boston University (BU) and received a bachelor's degree, with a double major in Political Science and International Relations and a concentration in Foreign Policy and Security Studies.