Seniors Engage in "Democracy Matters" Experience

Woman presenting to classroom of students

by Madelyn C. ‘24

On Oct. 11, Notre Dame seniors gathered for our annual Democracy Matters event. Democracy Matters aims to connect what students learn in their classes with  making meaningful change and contributions in their communities, through the power of democracy. 

The morning kicked off with a presentation from social studies teachers Eran DeSilva and Nicholas Teder. DeSilva and Teder reviewed fundamental concepts from Global Studies and Government classes, and introduced the background and meaning of the event. 

Following the presentation, seniors had the opportunity to hear from Julie Ramirez, Manager of the Division of Equity and Social Justice for Santa Clara County. Ramirez’s speech detailed her journey from a justice-minded student to a powerful example of female leadership within local government.

Ramirez was not the only role model students heard from that day. In intimate breakout sessions, community leaders representing groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union and the League of Women voters gave students further insight into the pathways to becoming “justice advocates” and “community leaders,” per the ND graduation outcomes.

The Democracy Matters event served as a vital stepping stone for seniors to connect their classroom learning with the real-world power of democracy. With informative presentations and inspiring speeches, students gained valuable insights into leadership, and are ready to make meaningful contributions to their communities.