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Our Mission, Vision & Values

We believe that civic participation can occur almost anywhere, at any time, and can be a life-long practice. Civic participation is how and when people are actively engaging (challenging, transforming, changing, etc.) in/with the systems, institutions, narratives, cultures, and people that impact our lives. In other words, we feel that civic participation is a broader and more expansive term than traditionally described.



Empowering youth to be actively engaged participants and leaders in our communities.


All people in California are informed, active, lifelong participants in a democratic society. 

CalCenter Core Values

We have identified a set of core values that guide our work and the programs we develop and facilitate.


  • Accessibility- We strive to ensure that students from all neighborhoods, cultures, academic and leadership abilities, can access our programs and that staff are available to support their ideas and/or concerns with openness and understanding.  

  • Intersectionality- We implement intersectionality in every social justice, racial, economic and environmental issue, so we have a holistic understanding that everything is connected and we have a responsibility to view it as so.

  • Connection- We value authentic relationships with our community and students, and strive to build transformative partnerships. Connection is what enables us as people to go far together and feel fulfilled in our lives.

  • Wellness/Healing- Working together towards creating systems that allow youth to live healthy and connected lives to support them in reaching their fullest potential.

  • Imagination- We encourage youth to dream audaciously and understand that they can create a future that better serves the world we live in; the freedom to dream audaciously.

  • Embodiment- The aligning of our values with our actions create the power for transformative change. We must embody the beliefs and values we hold dearly and set the example for others.

What does civic participation mean to us?

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