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What Is Civic Infrastructure and Why Is It Important?

April 1, 2021 Comments Off on What Is Civic Infrastructure and Why Is It Important?

Many of the groups supporting President Biden’s stimulus bill touted its capacity to build “civic infrastructure.”  The resulting American Rescue Plan does include elements—like support for broadband access, child care, and volunteerism—that would seem to help Americans participate in public life. Is this enough? What exactly is civic infrastructure anyway, and what more might we need to do to strengthen it?

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People-Led Recovery: Three Ways the Philippines Built Back Better After the World’s Strongest Storm

March 22, 2021 Comments Off on People-Led Recovery: Three Ways the Philippines Built Back Better After the World’s Strongest Storm

In the Philippines, “build back better” has been a rallying cry for hundreds of thousands of families affected by Typhoon Haiyan in 2013. For many, however, post-disaster recovery has been a case of “building back bitter.” Beyond stories of bitterness, there are stories that bring the principles of “building back better” to life. Worth spotlighting is Pope Francis Village—an in-city housing resettlement site considered a global role model for post-disaster reconstruction.

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Making it Count: Civic Participation and Census Success in Philadelphia

March 8, 2021 Comments Off on Making it Count: Civic Participation and Census Success in Philadelphia

The Constitutionally-mandated U.S. Census has significant economic and political implications, including determining how many representatives each state will have in Congress for the next decade and the amount of federal funding communities receive for roads, schools and other social services. That’s why the city of Philadelphia chartered Philly Counts 2020, an organization formed from a team of innovative researchers, well-connected activists and civic leaders, to promote Philadelphians’ participation in the 2020 Census.

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How COVID-19 Has Impacted Engagement: Learning from a Neighborhood in the Bronx

March 2, 2021 Comments Off on How COVID-19 Has Impacted Engagement: Learning from a Neighborhood in the Bronx

New Yorkers are serving their communities in several ways. They are checking in on their elderly neighbors, serving in their local churches, synagogues, mosques, and temples; coaching pee wee soccer, and fundraising for their parent teacher associations. However, when you look at the national data on volunteerism, New York City (NYC) ranks among the lowest in the country. 

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Not Just Fun and Games: Sustainably Engaging Communities and Building Resilience

December 22, 2020 Comments Off on Not Just Fun and Games: Sustainably Engaging Communities and Building Resilience

“A game that engages residents around environmental resilience, infrastructure projects and the ecology of Jamaica Bay in Brooklyn.”  “What is Jamaica Bay Jeopardy, Alex?”  Public Agenda and the Science and…

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Building Blocks to Support Youth Leadership in Nevada

December 7, 2020 Comments Off on Building Blocks to Support Youth Leadership in Nevada

In addition to being the leaders of tomorrow, young people can be catalytic leaders for today. This capacity has become increasingly evident in the past few years, as youth leaders…

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Claiming One’s Seat: 65 Years After Rosa Parks

December 1, 2020 Comments Off on Claiming One’s Seat: 65 Years After Rosa Parks

As I reflect on this tumultuous year, I am focused on the diverse coalition that participated in a resistance movement led by Black young adults in response to the police…

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Activating the network to fight COVID-19 in Pennsylvania

November 23, 2020 Comments Off on Activating the network to fight COVID-19 in Pennsylvania

The coronavirus pandemic has posed huge challenges for many organizations, including nonprofits, grassroots groups, community organizing initiatives, and government agencies. When the crisis hit earlier this year, organizations that relied on face-to-face relationships to engage their constituents, or even to work together within the office, suddenly had to adapt.

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Can Health Councils Plan for a Culture of Health in New Mexico?

November 4, 2020 Comments Off on Can Health Councils Plan for a Culture of Health in New Mexico?

As COVID-19 swept across the country, one of the hardest hit areas were the lands of the Navajo Nation and nearby Native American communities in Northwestern New Mexico. Throughout the…

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Can 2020 Teach Us How to Make Democracy Work Better?

November 2, 2020 Comments Off on Can 2020 Teach Us How to Make Democracy Work Better?

Beneath the endless and alarming headlines about divisive politics, racial injustice, surges of COVID-19, and a faltering economy, the crises and conflicts of 2020 have a deeper meaning. They illustrate…

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