Civic life includes all the places in the “public square” where people encounter one another as citizens. It is the visible space of our identity, whether in cities and towns, or at the state and national level. The basis of civic life is not one or many religious traditions, but the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the range of ways in which citizens cooperate in civil society. In the Civic Initiative, we focus on the ways in which various religious communities, especially the newer minority communities participate in the civic life of American society. How is the public square changing with new voices and perspectives? What are the biggest challenges, whether in education, zoning, health care, or civil rights? Here our goal is to provide, through research, a more complex picture of American civic life in the 21st century.

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