Sustaining our democratic republic requires an informed and engaged public. But this fundamental pre-requisite is threatened by the decades-long decline in civic education that has left Americans lacking the skills to fulfill their essential role in moving us towards a more perfect union. We must invest in reinvigorating civics for all ages, K-12 and adults. All Americans need to understand the fundamentals of our democratic republic and their role in sustaining it. There is an urgent need to rediscover our shared values, relearn the fundamentals of our constitutional republic, and re-form a sense of civic identity and commitment in our communities and across the nation. This is the role of civics education.
Business leaders are optimally positioned to lead this charge. As leaders, employers, community members, and patriots, businesses must be at the heart of any effort to reinvigorate the public's civic awareness and engagement. Commerce, innovation, and American competitiveness all depend upon a healthy democracy and continuing commitment to the rule of law. Civic literacy is a fundamental part of a successful and thriving community, and businesses have a unique ability to contribute by investing in their workforces.
In the Civics at Work initiative, CSIS, in collaboration with civics groups, is working with business leaders to reinvigorate civics literacy as a national and economic security imperative, both through their respective workforces and in their larger communities.
In joining this initiative, business leaders commit to putting civics to work by:
- advocating for a nationwide emphasis on educating students on the fundamentals of democracy and the role of the individual in sustaining it,
- conducting civics conversations within the workforce to empower workers to contribute positively to their workplace, their community, and their country, and
- supporting our communities in activities to promote civic literacy and engagement.