Episode 116: Cultivating Civic Imagination w/ Sangita Shresthova

March 1, 2021

Storytelling is a key element of the human spirit. As human beings, we respond to stories with both our emotions and our minds. Specifically, when we hear the stories of those who are different from us, we are forever changed. 



In our effort to raise conscious citizens, this should be one of our primary goals. We must be dedicated to providing opportunities for our kids to engage with diverse people groups and to hear their diverse stories. This is one way we can get them engaged in politics–a word that might not mean what you’ve always thought it means.


Dr. Sangita Shresthova is the Director of Research at the University of Southern California. I know her as the author of the book By Any Media Necessary: The New Youth Activism. Sangita has such an interesting story and incredible expertise on this area of raising conscious citizens, especially when it comes to storytelling. Tune in to hear all about her background and perspective on youth’s participation in politics.

Show Highlights:

  • How Sangita’s childhood led her to observe people and look for human connections.
  • How she used dance to reconcile all the different parts of her life.
  • What brought her to the US and to her job at USC.
  • What her research group, Civic Paths, does.
  • Young people’s history of getting engaged in politics.
  • The various and nuanced categories of politics.
  • How not allowing our kids to have any say in decisions prevents them from being empowered.
  • How to explain civic participation to our kids so that they can see how it’s all connected. 
  • The political engagement that occurs in pop culture and media.
  • How youth participation in new cultural trends is affecting their civic life.
  • How parents can support the intergenerational activism movement. 
  • The importance of listening to and learning from marginalized people’s stories.
  • Tips for helping your kids become good listeners.

Links (affiliates included):

The Civic Imagination Project –

Parenting Forward Conference Sessions –

Join us at the Parenting Forward Patreon Team –

Parenting Forward, the Book –