American democracy and higher education were not guided by the principle of equality. However, the sociopolitical history of the United States does not negate the responsibility that educators, university administrators, and policymakers maintain today. As a means to advance the praxis of civic engagement within higher education, this study details the work that was accomplished to (a) establish a nonpartisan higher education coalition in the state of Tennessee and (b) institutionalize student political learning and engagement at Vanderbilt University, Tennessee's premier research university. Tennessee is a voting restrictive state with poor educational outcomes for historically marginalized populations—this present day reality illustrates longstanding civil rights violations and educational inequities that are especially prevalent in the American South. Given the sociopolitical context in which this work was developed, the findings from this study inform best student political learning and engagement policies and practices for voting resrictionist and hyper-partisan states.
"The Praxis of Realizing Election Imperatives in Trump’s America,"
eJournal of Public Affairs: Vol. 11:
1, Article 15.
Available at: https://bearworks.missouristate.edu/ejopa/vol11/iss1/15