Young adult political and civic engagement can create positive social change.   Some young adults participate in electoral politics or political parties.  Others take action through literature, journalism, music, and cultural expression.  Mentoring and coaching is an outlet for engagement.  Young adults also do activism, consciousness-raising, protest, and resistance.  The PAYCE podcast stories explore young adult efforts, in all their diversity, to create social, economic, and political change.

Palestinian American Youth Civic Engagement (PAYCE) brings together Palestinian and American university students in a shared curriculum to inspire productive, effective, and positive civic engagement. Learn more about the entire project here. Housed at Al-Quds University, PAYCE includes students from Palestinian programs Al-Quds Bard, Al-Quds American Studies, and An-Najah National University. United States campuses are Drake University,  Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU), University of Hartford, and University of New Hampshire.  PAYCE is funded by The Aspen Institute Stevens Initiative, a program supported by the U.S. Department of State and the Bezos Family Foundation, which pays all program-related expenses for the participants.

The podcast series on this site will be used by faculty at the six PAYCE campus programs for virtual exchanges across Palestinian and U.S. classrooms.  Students from both locations will meet in real time online as well as through asynchronous exchanges.

In January 2018, PAYCE Fellows from the six university programs created season one of an audio-story podcast series. They completed interviews with young adults active in political and civic engagement.  It contains sixteen produced stories as well as bonus episodes under the direction of PAYCE faculty Darcie Vandegrift (Drake University and The Stories Together Project).  Listeners can learn about young adults who campaigned for office, changed local politics to focus more on affordable housing, disrupted a primary presidential campaign gathering, organized women in consciousness-raising, and many other stories.  How do these political actors measure success?  What advice do they have?  How do their Des Moines stories sound to Palestinian and visiting American college students? Learn about the values and hopes for the future through the eyes of PAYCE Fellow Storytellers.


PAYCE Stories were created through generous funding from:





Video on January 2018 Fellows Workshop by Afnan Abbasi