The CivIC Agenda: Building a New American Civic Square
The last four years have awakened many Americans to the reality that democracy is not a spectator sport and it doesn’t just happen every four years like the Olympics. We must set the bar as high for mid-terms as we do for Presidential elections. And we must fill the spaces between elections not just by voting but by joining, learning, speaking, engaging. By connecting. This is the founding mission of the Civic Innovation Center (CivIC) at the School of Public Policy.
If all politics is local, then building and sustaining the foundation for a healthy democracy must begin at home on the University of Maryland campus.
- Facilitating Full-Time Civic Activities “Filling the space” between election-based competitions to expand civic engagement and civic education activities beyond voting, starting on the UMD campus.
- CivIC Innovation Challenge Drawing energy and ideas from UMD’s innovative campus environment to help solve challenging public policy problems in our local community.
- SPP Student Engagement Harnessing SPP student insights into civic motivation and sustainable engagement in CivIC activities including scholarship, research, and practice.
LEVERAGING THE BIG10 NETWORK
- Discourse Working with BIG10 partner schools to tap the hunger for civic discourse and facilitate BIG10-wide event(s) that leverage Discourse chapters for student-led discussions.
- BIG10 “Constitutional Convention” Working with BIG10 public policy school partners to convene students, faculty, and staff in a mock “Constitutional Convention, conversations addressing challenges for a new generation of electoral democracy.
STRENGTHENING CIVIC HEALTH: STATE OF MARYLAND / PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY
- K-12 Civic Education Leading research efforts in a new coalition of Maryland civic education and service learning stakeholders working to modernize and realize the full potential of Maryland’s singular service learning graduation requirement.
- The Prince George’s County/Maryland We Want Partnering with other campus units and community stakeholders on a comprehensive examination of civic health challenges in Prince George’s County and the State of Maryland. Identifying civic issues of importance to the community and State and preparing an annual/semi-annual report tracking these issues.
- 16-Year Old Voting Working with campus and local partners on a study of local MD jurisdictions with 16-year voting and issue a research report on its findings.
A RENEWED NATIONAL COMMITMENT TO CIVIC ENGAGEMENT AND EDUCATION
Working to leverage relationships and establish partnerships to promote the cause of rebuilding the nation’s civic infrastructure and civic education, tied to service learning.