New Name and Focus—on Strengthening Democracy—for a Longtime Nonprofit

February 16, 2021

The Institute for Citizens & Scholars President Rajiv Vinnakota spoke with the Chronicle of Philanthropy about the new name and expanded mission of the organization. From the article:

“There are serious questions about the strength of our democracy. What really worries me is our inability to find common ground and the tone of the rhetoric being used. At its core, a constitutional democracy like ours is dependent upon norms and behaviors — the ways in which people interact with each other. It’s dependent on the ability that I have to walk up the street and interact with people who come from very different backgrounds or have different political ideologies and know that we’re all in this together. Those things are breaking apart. They have been for a while, but now it is just staring us in the face.

When you think about how we develop citizens in this country, it goes beyond civics or government class. It happens in high school, but it also happens in higher-ed, and it happens in community organizations and religious institutions. It happens at home. It happens online. You learn how to be a citizen in multiple locations and through different experiences.”

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