Civic Engagement Reading List

5 Books to Ignite Your Passion for Civic Engagement

Civic Engagement Reading List
Civic Engagement Reading List

2020 is a year of surprise and change, and it’s not going to stop. Every day is an opportunity to learn, and with the 2020 election coming up it’s more important than ever to make your voice heard. Inspiration is the starting point for change. Whether you’re a working professional wanting activism in their skillset or a young adult leading Generation Z in digital movements, these 5 books will give you ideas on how you can get civically engaged. 

1. You’re More Powerful Than You Think: A Citizen’s Guide to Making Things Happen

Author | Eric Liu 



Eric Liu has made a career out of teaching civic power; in his book, he aims to give insight on how “bottom-up citizen power” is taking root in American society. Liu describes the ways in which individuals can exercise their power in civic engagement. Citizens continue to become more empowered, and Liu hopes to inspire individuals to organize and play a vital role in American democracy.


2. Memes to Movements: How the World’s Most Viral Media Is Changing Social Protest and Power

Author |  An Xiao Mina

Social media is a powerful tool that can be used for everything from updating your community on what you ate today to voicing your opinion on racial inequalities. This vast range in the usage of social media creates the ability for wide audiences to become interested and engaged. Mina looks at how memes have transformed the political space and given marginalized, and otherwise silenced, communities the ability to have a voice in political and social discussions. 


3. How to Start a Revolution: Young People and the Future of American Politics

Author |  Lauren Duca 

From writing award-winning columns for Teen Vogue to using social media as a platform for her ideas and beliefs, Lauren Duca has become an important voice for the young generation interested in making a change. Her book highlights important young people making waves in communities across the country, like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, and Amanda Litman, the founder of Run for Something. Through her exploration of modern-day politics, Duca looks to inspire the youth to stand up or what they believe in. 


4. #HashtagActivism: Networks of Race and Gender Justice 

Authors |  Sarah J. Jackson, Moya Bailey, Brooke Foucault Welles

#Hashtag Activism is a deep dive into how social media and hashtags have transformed the political space. By looking at some of the most covered social movements in recent history (such as #BlackLivesMatter and #MeToo) the authors are able to describe how digital storytelling can act as a platform for mass mobilization and activism. In a world where most people get their news from social media and digital spaces are becoming increasingly more important and used, it it important to look at the power that hashtags can have for activists and political advocates. 


 5. How I Resist: Activism and Hope for a New Generation

Author |  Maureen Johnson  


Johnson’s collection of essays, interviews, songs, and illustrations is a book meant to inspire individuals from all generations and walks of life. By detailing stories of inspiration, steps for movement, and outcomes of pursuits for change, the book acts as a source of inspiration to get involved and make a difference. Many people don’t know what they can do or how they can make their voices heard - Johnson brings together a diverse group of changemakers to shed light on how they can start. 

Net Impact is dedicated to starting conversations and creating solutions for important issues in our communities. Learn about how you can make an impact by joining or starting a chapter, participating in international events, or joining the conversation online. Check out our other reading lists on Social Entrepreneurship and Racial Equity to explore some of the topics important to our Net Impact community.