Signature Initiatives

Our Signature Initiatives are programs and projects created or commissioned by The Democracy Commitment for the purpose of enhancing civic engagement participation on member institutions’ campuses.  Signature Initiatives are open to all TDC and ADP campuses.  Only TDC member institutions will qualify for any grant money or resource support through TDC Signatures Initiatives.  TDC will work closely with member institutions to train, support, and promote these signature initiatives.  The following are current and previous TDC programs and projects with links for more information and invitations for participation:

Engage the Election: 2016 Initiative powered by icitizen

Engage_the_Election_logoThe Engage the Election 2016 initiative will include a series of webinars focused on various aspects of political engagement. The initiative will also include a series of presidential debate watches in the fall with live tweet-ups. Finally, we will collect and share a variety of resources to help our campuses and students navigate the ever-growing amount of information, tools and opportunities focused on advancing nonpartisan student political engagement.

Economic Inequality in Our Democracy: an ADP/TDC Joint Initiative                                                                          

ei_icon-logo_square2A cohort of two- and four-year ADP and TDC member institutions joined our lead institutions in a three-year initiative to understand the impact of economic inequality on our democracy. The goal of this initiative is to help students think about and take action to confront the complex causes of growing economic inequality.

The Civic Outcomes of Community Colleges  

The Civic and Community Engagement Survey is currently open to all TDC member institutions. In addition, efforts are currently underway to institutionalize the project within various state-level initiatives aiming to incorporate student learning outcomes associated with civic and democratic engagement. We invite all TDC member institutions to participate in the spring 2016 administration.

“Citizenship Under Siege” Project

“We need the humanities, now more than ever, because they give us access to the most fundamental and consequential dimensions and forces of our experience.”

–The Common Good: Humanities and the Public Square, William D. Adams, NEH Chairman

The Democracy Commitment (TDC) and The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) announced the receipt of a $200,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to sponsor a series of public forums around the country on “Citizenship Under Siege” in partnership with seven TDC community colleges. Seven of the community colleges will sponsor forums that will facilitate a tapestry of public dialogues exploring who counts as citizens and who has been accorded full rights to democracy’s promises.

“Bridging Cultures to Form a Nation” Project

Ten community colleges have been competitively selected to participate as leadership institutions in the Bridging Cultures project. Bridging Cultures to Form a Nation: Difference, Community, and Democratic Thinking is a three-year curriculum and faculty development project supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The Bernie Ronan Award

In honor of his tremendous devotion and commitment to TDC and the national civic engagement movement, we renamed our TDC student scholarship award after him last year.  The “Bernie Ronan Award” will stand as a living testimony to this good and loyal friend.

Partner Opportunities

Partner Programs are opportunities vetted by TDC at the local, state, or national levels in which – through partnerships or approval of the coordinating entity – we anticipate and encourage our colleges to participate. They generally require more sweat equity and collaboration than actual funds, and are excellent opportunities for all levels of the college to engage students and the community in civic life.