This past fall, PCJ student Uma Kalkar participated in the International Fellows Program at the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress (CSPC) in Washington, D.C.,  where she met Hannah Zimmerman, a junior at Stanford University. Hannah and Uma bonded during the the program, sharing ideas with each other and eventually coming together to lay the groundwork for a nonprofit organization: The Institute for Civic Organizing, or “TICO.”

TICO brings social and political organizing to the classroom in order to provide a historical foundation for and improve the success of future movements. Through education and activism, its main mandate is to sow the seeds of grassroots movements and social change in the next generation.


The strategy behind TICO’s mission is to provide grade-appropriate curricula, syllabi and lesson plans for K-12 and university educators, empowering them to introduce civic organizing principles and possibilities to youth. The lessons plans are currently under development with help from educators, subject experts, professionals and exceptional students, who are prospectively writing 180 proposed lesson plans.

Uma and Hannah aim to pilot TICO classes across classrooms in the United States before eventually expanding to Canada and Europe.

TICO is hosting a crowdfunding initiative in collaboration with US nonprofit Please share, join, and donate!

Crowdfunding initiative:

Follow and like TICO on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.