Dear friends and partners,
It is an extreme honor and privilege to take the reins as Director of CIRCLE—Tisch College’s Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement. I inherit the rich tradition of timely, impactful, and reliable research on youth civic learning and engagement which CIRCLE has been known for since its founding in 2001. I am thrilled to lead our organization toward a deeper understanding of civic disparities and the systems that affect all aspects of youth civic participation.
We strongly believe that young people play a critical role in the health of our democracy, and that all young people can effectively participate so long as they are well-prepared and well-supported. Yet as our research has shown time and time again, our country has a two-tier system of democratic and civic opportunities. The most marginalized members of our society are also the most disengaged; they are virtually shut out of civic life without access to the same civic preparation and resources as their more privileged peers. This bifurcated system negatively impacts youth in poverty, youth of color, immigrant youth, women and girls, as well as other marginalized groups.
CIRCLE’s mission has long been to focus on those young people who are marginalized or disadvantaged in political life, but in the coming years we will bring new depth and perspectives to this work. In partnership with our rich network of researchers, practitioners, and policy makers, CIRCLE will delve further into issues of inclusion in a range of dimensions including race, gender and class; analyzing how individual and systemic factors affect civic participation.
Our work in research, education, and practice are deeply integrated and I want to renew CIRCLE’s commitment to this approach in the following areas:
- Research focused on critical aspects of civic development and the impact of system-wide efforts.
- Education of ourselves and our communities, sharing our latest research in ways that are accessible to a range of audiences.
- Practice as a growing and integral dimension of our work—conducting research informed by practice, and engaging practitioners with the latest research.
Throughout our work, we will be guided by principles of transparency, inclusion, equity, rigor, innovation, and collaboration.
I am thrilled to follow Peter Levine and William Galston as Director of CIRCLE, and I look forward to Peter’s continued involvement through his new role overseeing all Tisch College research as Associate Dean.
I am profoundly grateful for this opportunity to continue and grow the work I have done with CIRCLE since 2008. I look forward to taking CIRCLE to new heights through deep and thoughtful collaboration with my colleagues at Tisch College, and with our partners throughout the United States and beyond.
All the best,