Civic Lab Online provides information on issues facing our community for you to explore. Take a look at thought-provoking materials for teens and adults that allow us to engage in open conversation and grow together as a community. For each online topic, you can discuss what you’ve learned and questions you still have in the comments section of the blog post for that topic.
Before the Civic Lab was online it was in the library. You may be familiar with the in-person, interactive Civic Lab at North Spokane Library that began in April 2019 and ran through March 2020. We’ve added those topics below and included links so you can download those hand-outs to explore those Civic Lab topics as well.
Critical race theory has generated a lot of buzz recently. Schools are trying to puzzle out what it is. Legislation to keep it out of public schools is making headlines. Disagreements have erupted across party lines about how to right past wrongs. So, what is critical race theory and why is it so controversial?
View the information on this topic in the blog post Civic Lab Online: What is Critical Race Theory?
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) protects our privacy when it comes to personal health issues. You may be wondering what HIPAA covers and what organizations must abide by HIPAA. Here are some fast facts about HIPAA to provide some answers and help you dig even deeper into this act.
Thousands of people now turn out for Spokane’s Pride Month celebration, but how did it begin? Why is it in June? How does the history of LGBT people in Spokane compare to elsewhere in the nation? View the information on this topic in the blog post Civic Lab Online: What is Pride Month?
Increasing the minimum wage has been a topic of discussion in the news due, in part, to President Biden’s support in recent legislation. What would change if we changed minimum wage? What are the pros and cons of raising the minimum wage? View the information on this topic in the blog post Civic Lab Online: The Raise the Wage Act.
While many major factors affect our environment, small home gardens have an important place in our ecology. In this Civic Lab Online, we provide some tips for gardeners to increase their green thumbprint while gardening, some ways to reduce the amount of water used for yards, a DIY guide for creating your own rain barrel, and more ideas to increase water conservation efforts in your home and yard.
View the information on this topic in the blog post Civic Lab Online: Water Conservation & Gardening
Our nation and our world have changed significantly in the past 30 years. Has access (or lack of access) to the internet made the divide between rich and poor, educated and uneducated, empowered and disadvantaged even worse?
View the information on this topic in the blog post Civic Lab Online: What is the Digital Divide?
The news of the second impeachment of President Donald Trump has resulted in much news coverage about the possible results. Here’s what we know about the process and history of impeachment in the United States.
View the information on this topic in the blog post Civic Lab Online: What is impeachment?
The United States has had a long history with the two-party political system. Our political system has adapted over time, and there are pros and cons to the two-party system we have today.
View the information on this topic in the blog post Civic Lab Online: The Two-Party Political System.
There are many things we don’t yet know about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the disease that has caused a worldwide pandemic. Scientists, researchers, and medical professionals continue to look for answers about how the virus will behave seasonally, how to create a working vaccine, and how long the virus remains intact in certain environments. Here we provide facts on what we do know about the virus so far, including how it spread across the world and what the science is behind keeping ourselves safe.
View the information on this topic in the blog post Civic Lab Online: What we know about the COVID-19 Pandemic.
We celebrate Women’s History Month by showcasing accomplishments of women in history that have been mostly overshadowed or forgotten.
How can our region’s black history inform and help reform our future policies and attitudes? What should our city, state, and nation do to make sure everyone has equal opportunities?
How does the Electoral College work, and why was it created? Should it be improved or abandoned, or has it worked as intended since its creation over 100 years ago?
The holidays can be a particularly difficult time to reduce stress and fight depression. We share strategies and resources that can help. Share your ideas to help others.
Washington state stores the largest amount of high-level nuclear waste of any state in the nation. What do we need to consider to responsibly house, contain, and dispose of nuclear waste?
Who has the right to vote, and when do citizens forfeit that right? How long have different groups had the right to vote?
We all need to eat to survive. Beyond survival, what other considerations should we give to what and how we eat? Explore resources and share your thoughts about locally grown food and imported and packaged foods and their impact on us as individuals and on our community.
We take a look at the scientific method versus others for determining scientific evidence. What are the differences in thought and belief when it comes to science? Explore resources and share your thoughts about science and where it is heading.
What do we need to consider before having a military force in space? Explore resources and share your thoughts about militarization beyond our planet.
When we think about space travel, we often focus on the science. What about space laws and ownership of space? Explore resources and share your thoughts on who owns space as we venture farther into our universe.
What are the different types of poverty we see in developing nations vs. our own neighborhoods? What does it look like in Spokane to live below the poverty line, and what can we do about it? We’ll discuss the different ways that poverty affects our world and our city.
Immigration continues to be a topic often discussed and debated in our country, but how many people know the difference between a stateless person, an undocumented immigrant, a refugee, and an asylum seeker? We’ll add some clarity to who the different displaced groups in our world are, with a focus on where refugees come from and what the rules and processes are for refugees that enter the United States.