What does civic engagement mean? There are many ways the concept of civic engagement is interpreted. Some of the definitions used by organizations include:
- Civic engagement refers to the many ways in which people participate in civic, community, and political life…From proactively becoming better informed to participating in public dialogue on issues, from volunteering to voting, from community organizing to political advocacy, the defining characteristic of active civic engagement is the commitment to participate and contribute to the improvement of one’s community, neighborhood, and nation. (Animating Democracy)
- Civic engagement means working together to make a difference in the civic life of our communities and developing the combination of knowledge, skills, values and motivation to make that difference. (Silicon Valley Community Foundation)
- Being civically engaged is so much more than just exercising our right to vote. It is also about being committed to making a difference in our communities, doing good for others and helping create the conditions for a stronger, brighter future. (The Chicago Community Trust)
These definitions reflect a common understanding that civic engagement includes both political involvement and other forms of community involvement. It includes all the ways people participate in the life of their community in order to improve conditions for others or to help shape their community’s future. Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement (PACE) recently created this fabulous infographic to help visualize the many forms civic engagement can take.
SE Uplift is an organization that is committed to creating communities that are safe, livable, socially diverse and vital. We are excited to engage our partners and community members in inclusive opportunities that support the full spectrum of ways people can build and strengthen their communities, whether defined as a place or a shared identity or interest.