2023 Summer Encampment

“Politics is a challenging space to develop relationships; so many of my friends would appreciate the Encampment’s compassion in giving space to the youth for growth and education. The Encampment is unlike a typical classroom environment; it allows people to have natural discussions, see real situations, and learn from real advocates.” — Monica

“It’s a place where I feel like I belong. I loved every moment and am grateful for this great opportunity. This was such an amazing experience!” — Brooklyn

2023 Encampers:

Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., greeting Encampers.
Formed a community with peers from around the country sharing their diverse cultures and communities.
2013 Encampment, Richmond VA.
Met activists working on often intersecting issues such as immigration, farmworker health and safety, language justice, preserving and reclaiming Indigenous culture, environmental justice and more.
2013 Encampment, Richmond VA.
Were welcomed into the water culture of the Chumash Barbareño Tribe. Click for video of Encampers exploring the ocean.
2013 Encampment, Richmond VA.
Learned from these activists and each other, sharing stories of community organizing about topics such as allowing African-American history to be taught in school; book bans; diversity that includes neuro-divergent people; obstacles to immigrants integrating into the community; and trans and homophobia.
2013 Encampment, Richmond VA.
Practiced critical thinking skills as they explored the local Mixteco community and learned about community mapping. Click image for a brief look into Adriana Diaz's workshop.
2013 Encampment, Richmond VA.
Participated in a wetlands clean-up with members of the Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE) and The Nature Conservancy. Click image for Johan talking about the cleanup.
2013 Encampment, Richmond VA.
Created public service announcements (PSAs) coached by a local activist. Click image to hear a few Encampers talk about their PSAs.
2013 Encampment, Richmond VA.
Journeyed to Limuw Island (original indigenous name) with members of the Barbareño Chumash Tribal Council who shared some of the culture, history, economics, and ecology of the island that is part of their ancestral homeland.
Click links below for brief looks into the Limuw experience.
2013 Encampment, Richmond VA.
As part of EFC’s inquiry-based and experiential approach, had in-depth interviews with farmworkers at local community organization Mixteco Indigena Community Organizing Project/Proyecto Mixteco Indigena (MICOP).
Click on the links below to hear Quin and Melanie's experience with the farmworker interviews.
2013 Encampment, Richmond VA.
 Shared group interactive workshops created as part of the summer program at the InterGen. The InterGen is EFC’s intergenerational program that invites alums, parents, supporters and community members to see what the Encampers have been learning. The three workshops in 2023 were: Using the Arts for Activism; Systems of Oppression; and Gender and Feminism.
2013 Encampment, Richmond VA.
In the second session, Encampers presented poems, paintings, and public service announcements (PSAs) that related to their EFC experience. The presentations ended with Jane Sapp leading the singing and playing keyboards on an EFC favorite. Click image for video of Encampers singing "I'm Gonna Lift My Sister Up."
For a deeper look into the 2023 Encampment, click our week-by-week blog links:

For a look at other recent years, click here.

For the best experience of the Encampment, apply for the 2024 Encampment in Montgomery Alabama focused on civil and voting rights. The application will open soon. If you are interested now, contact us at admin@encampmentforcitizenship.org.

A shout-out to all the Encampers, staff and volunteers for making the 2023 Encampment a learning community filled with creativity.

Thank you to Ruth Thaler-Carter (White Plains 1970) for her copyediting skills that make our text more readable. We appreciate her years of service to the Encampment. Any mistakes here were made after her edits.

Thank you to Adriana Campos-Ojeda and Elibet Valencia Munoz for their photo/video skills that enliven our text, letting you see and hear the Encampers. You can reach Ms. Campos Ojeda at aoc.cinema@gmail.com and Ms. Munoz at evalenciams@gmail.com.

Eleanor Roosevelt with 1946 Encampers

2023 Encampers and staff at the InterGen(erational) Program.

2023 Encampers Speak Out

Move your mouse over the slide to stop to read.

The Encampment has been the most transformative experience of my life...

As a refugee of war, it’s very rare that I feel connected to a community comprised of Americans. But you have given me the gift of understanding that I belong here … you have given me the gift of meeting people from all different racial backgrounds that make space for me. – Ola, Sacramento, CA

I'm now stronger, braver, wiser, a better leader, more adept at talking to people, and more open-minded.

I stepped out of my comfort zone more than I ever thought I could…we helped the community through a beach cleanup which truly felt like I was making a difference, and visited Limuw Island, the ancestral home of the Chumash people….

– Max, Austin, TX

The Encampment served as a window to a world far beyond the confines of my familiar bubble.

It exposed me to real people passionately fighting for positive change in their communities, which in turn ignited a fire within me. Among the inspirational figures I had the privilege of meeting were Andi Garcia and Marcus Lopez Jr. Their unwavering determination and resilience in the face of challenges and rejections left an indelible mark on my soul. Their stories infused me with a sense of empowerment that I now carry with me. – Monica, Union City, NJ

The Encampment gave me true confidence in my abilities as an activist, photographer, and filmmaker.…

that confidence gave me the initiative to jump at every opportunity to create change that came my way when I returned home. I became comfortable starting and facilitating diversity initiatives both at my school and in my extracurricular activities. Currently I’m co-president of my students of color organization and vice-president of an organization called the Black Student Coalition I attribute my ability to be a proficient leader to the Encampment.

– Basil, Harlem, NY

The workshops, while challenging, really forced me out of my shell!

I got to practice my public speaking while also sharing my knowledge. I’ve gotten the chance to feel and learn with my fellow Encampers. Dancing with them during the Danza, or swimming with them in the beach and even during the beach cleanups, I’ve gotten the chance to really get to know everyone! – Ariella, San Diego, CA

With the help and tools I have gained from this program, I want to pursue the career of being an attorney and an activist.

I’m majoring in African American Studies and dream of going into Pre-Law. I want to be a help throughout the world with defending people and providing resources to people that don’t have much access to them. – Brooklyn, Lexington, KY

From start to finish we've had experiences deepening our understanding of ethics and community building.

One of the experiences that sticks out foremost in my mind is Israel Vasquez’s presentation. Israel spoke of his work providing access to information regarding workers’ rights, job safety, legal protections, and more to the indigenous farm workers of southern California who lacked the access to and an understanding of English or Spanish to get this information directly. I plan on getting more deeply involved myself in the local access station. – Ursa, Amherst, MA

…Limuw was so awesome. We got to see amazing foxes, beautiful animals, we got to go on a hike and see all the nature

… Marcus [Lopez] Sr. was so wise – you can hear his passion and his experience  through his words. [On another field trip,] we got to pick up trash as well. It makes me feel like I’m doing something.– Johan, Austin, TX

I am taking the strength I have gained from all the powerful individuals I’ve met through this experience back home and using it to fuel myself in my own artistic expression and activism back home.

I am someone who loves the overlap of social justice and film/theatre, and I aim to keep reaching more people with my voice. I aim to inform, aid, and give a voice to the voiceless. Thank you for giving me a voice of my own.

– Imani, Windsor Locks, CT

I've learned so much and felt so much in my three weeks here.

… Whether it be the circle on the third day where we all cried together, or the trip to Limuw and meeting Marcus and his family and hearing their story, or just the friends I made along the way, I loved every second of this experience and I will cherish it forever. As a filmmaker, I want to use what I’ve learned here and tell other’s stories through film. This program has filled me with a new-found motivation that I felt I had lost amongst the rigor of junior year and the college application process. – Finn, Boston, MA

One of the most influential parts of the Encampment was meeting Guadalupe…

who is an indigenous Mexican farm worker who has learned Spanish and continues to learn how to understand her rights. Her story, as well as, the other communities we’ve gotten to interact with including the Chumash Tribe, the organization CAUSE, and many more have contributed to the inspiration the Encampment provides. I hope to go back home and to my school to continue sharing my story [of domestic abuse and resources for women and families] and find other organizations to work with. – Melanie, Orange, NJ

I came to the Encampment to build my skills as an advocate through my art and writing.

Thank you so much for making it possible for me and my fellow Encampers to have this wonderful opportunity and experience! I gained so much in community building and [learning] the importance of it. Knowing that, it’s crucial to bring back to my home and incorporate into my advocacy.

– Quin, Sacramento, CA

All that I experienced and all that I learned at the Encampment this year concentrated my passions toward one career path: journalism.

When I get home, I hope to continue to work in making news more accessible for my community, something that Israel [Vasquez] taught me the importance of through the PSAs he made for his community. – Jessica, Harlem, NY

The Encampment is something special ...

and you can’t find this often — to get a chance to meet like-minded people from across the nation. I’m continuing to find ways to make changes in my community, small and big, including stopping Chevron from dumping oil in the water. It was fun to do things that were different but related to the same topic and it helped me get out my shell. 

– Jaden, El Sobrante, CA

The Encampment served as a window to a world far beyond the confines of my familiar bubble. It exposed me to real people passionately fighting for positive change in their communities, which in turn ignited a fire within me. Among the inspirational figures I had the privilege of meeting were Andi Garcia and Marcus Lopez Jr. Their unwavering determination and resilience in the face of challenges and rejections left an indelible mark on my soul. Their stories infused me with a sense of empowerment that I now carry with me.


2023 Encamper, Union City, NJ

We are strengthening democracy by creating community.