Public Participation & Civic Engagement

Active Voice

Active Voice is a nonprofit, fee-based service provider whose work is an outgrowth of promising practices developed by the Television Race Initiative (TRI). Active Voice creates campaigns based on powerful issue-driven films. AV campaigns encourage individuals and community groups to probe, discuss and take action on timely and relevant social justice issues. In collaboration with a wide range of partners, Active Voice creates companion materials and trains facilitators in how to use the films as catalysts for civic engagement, volunteerism and coalition building.

At The Table

Connect with others, share information, and help build the worldwide movement for youth participation at this online clearinghouse featuring everything you need to know about effectively involving youth in your organization and community. Hosted by the Innovation Center for Community and Youth Development.

Better Together

Better Together is the final report of the Saguaro Seminar: Civic Engagement in America, an initiative of Professor Robert D. Putnam at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. The project focuses on expanding what we know about our levels of trust and community engagement and on developing strategies and efforts to increase this engagement. A signature effort has been a multi-year dialogue held on how we can increasingly build bonds of civic trust among Americans and their communities.

The Center for Civic Networking

CCN is dedicated to applying information infrastructure to the broad public good - particularly by putting information to work within local communities to improve delivery of local government services, improve access to information that people need in order to function as informed citizens, broaden citizen participation in governance, and stimulate economic and community development. The website includes an evolving collection of online resources dedicated to supporting civic life and citizen participation.

The Center for Democracy and Citizenship

The Center for Democracy and Citizenship is a University of Minnesota resource based in the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs. Its mission is to promote democracy and strengthen citizenship and civic education within a variety of settings, with a special emphasis on youth. The Center focuses on developing practice-based theory about how to engage citizens in public life.


TheCivicMind is a gateway to information and resources about civic participation and democracy education. The site is run by Wendy Bay Lewis, a lawyer turned speaker, civics coach and consultant who tracks efforts to engage the public in civic issues and includes this info on the site. The site includes directories to help you locate civic resources by topic (university-based programs, court-based programs, election reform, etc.) or state.

Civic Practices Network (CPN)

CPN's website features an array of excellent resources for the 'new citizenship movement.' The Network shares a commitment to bringing practical methods for public problem solving into every community and institutional setting in the U.S.


CIVICUS is an international alliance dedicated to strengthening citizen action and civil society throughout the world. CIVICUS holds and annual World Assembly.

Close Up Foundation

The Close Up Foundation is the nation's largest nonprofit, nonpartisan citizenship education organization. Since its founding in 1970, Close Up has worked to promote responsible and informed participation in the democratic process through a variety of educational programs.

Constitutional Rights Foundation

CRF is a non-profit, non-partisan educational organization dedicated to influencing the civic education of young people at the local, state, and national level. CRF sponsors programs for students, trains teachers, and develops civic education materials. CRF programs and materials are designed to help young people understand our legal system and government institutions, develop citizenship and civic engagement skills, and participate actively in their communities. CRF's web site features interactive Online Lessons, including "America Responds to Terrorism," Research Links to give young people quick access to useful information on the web, and access to CRF Programs and Publications.

The Democracy Collaborative

The Democracy Collaborative at the University of Maryland undertakes integrated activities aimed at leveraging the resources of higher education institutions in support of democratic renewal, civic participation, and community building. The Collaborative's website is packed with resources, including information about "the engaged university" program, research projects on civic engagement and community building and reports on recent and upcoming Collaborative conferences and events.

Dialogue Circles

Dialogue Circles provides clients with the flexibility to hold online or traditional consultation and dialogue. According to Dialogue Circles, many of the most successful consultation and dialogue endeavors now involve a mix of online tools and traditional face-to-face approaches that complement one another. They call this mixed approach ?intermodal consultation and dialogue.?

The Faith & Politics Institute

The Faith and Politics Institute is a non-partisan, interfaith organization which fosters community and conscience in and among U.S. political leaders. The Institute works with members of Congress who want to involve citizens in discussion and action on race in their home districts.

The Harwood Institute

The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation is a non-profit institution which strives to be a catalyst for charting a different course for America's public life and politics.

International Association for Public Participation

IAP2 is an association of members who seek to promote and improve the practice of public participation in relation to individuals, governments, institutions, and other entities that effect the public interest in nations throughout the world. IAP2 carries out its mission by organizing and conducting activities to: serve the learning needs of members through events, publications, and communication technology; advocate for public participation throughout the world; provide technical assistance to improve public participation through research and programming.

Kentucky Center for Public Issues

KCPI works to actively participate in shaping Kentucky's public agenda by providing credible information and creating new forums for meaningful citizen dialogue and action regarding Kentucky's public affairs. KCPI's mission is to help citizens explore, understand, and confront issues critical to the future of the Commonwealth.

League of Women Voters

A nonprofit organization which promotes an open governmental system that is representative, accountable and responsive; that assures opportunities for citizen participation in government decision making; and that preserves public health and safety through gun control measures.

Participate America Foundation

The Participate America Foundation is a nonprofit organization committed to strengthening the fabric of American democracy by encouraging Americans to become active in their civic responsibilities and by perpetuating the positive actions that resulted from the September 11th tragedy. National Civic Participation Week (the week of September 11) is their primary project.

Roundtable, Inc.

Roundtable, Inc. is a production company that focuses on building "social capital." Roundtable produces public engagement projects in several media (television, radio, web, print, books) and partners with other production companies to help increase the impact of their work. They form regional coalitions for each project and provide online training for facilitators.

This site provides U.S. Americans with information about important issues and the opportunity to react to them by contacting decision makers. The site provides chats and debates, online surveys, and petitions.

Study Circles Resource Center

SCRC promotes and supports study circles (small-group, democratic, peer-led deliberative dialogues on important social and political issues). Their website provides downloadable copies of many of their top-notch dialogue guides and other resources.

The Teledemocracy Action News + Network

The website of the Global Democracy Movement TAN+N is primarily dedicated to the creative use of modern technologies (ICT) and face-to-face deliberative techniques in all forms that directly empower citizens to have authentic input into political systems at all levels of governance around the world.


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