(Madison, WI) I wrote this on Sunday in preparation for an exciting day at the National Archives and the Newseum in Washington, DC.
First, at the Archives, the National Conference on Citizenship will release its 2008 national survey of Americans’ Civic Health, which includes questions about public support for policies that would encourage citizen participation. A whole “civic policy agenda” emerges from the survey data. CIRCLE designed and led the analysis of the survey. Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and others will speak on the program at the Archives. Check out NCOC.net for the survey results.
Second, in the same venue, the Corporation for National and Community Service will announce a set of new grants. CIRCLE won several of these. We received $570,000 to build (and study) a new online social network for college students in the Boston area. Students will conduct community research, discuss, compete, and thereby strengthen their service and activism. We were also asked to serve as the lead evaluator for a whole group of new grantees who are working on social networking projects. And we received a separate grant to analyze national data on volunteering and other forms of engagement.
Third, the National Conference on Citizenship will hold a kind of mini-conference on how to carry civic engagement past Election Day, with many experts and leaders around the table to discuss strategy.
I’ll be blogging about the Boston social network, the survey data, new strategic ideas, and other substantive matters in the weeks to come.