A group of students sit on rocks underneath UMBC's Forum Sculpture. One student stands in the middle of the group behind a camera, which is pointing at another student who is sitting on a rock and talking.

The Center for Democracy and Civic Life helps people develop the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to create healthy communities and tackle challenges together. Our work builds from the premise that civic life encompasses everyday settings and relationships through which people can generate the power to shape their world. The ideas behind our work are reflected in the Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE) Theory of Change, which members of the Center’s staff developed in collaboration with the leaders of national higher education networks.

The Center for Democracy and Civic Life works with campus and national partners to produce, inspire, and share innovations in civic learning and democratic engagement. The Center develops learning forums in which participants enact civic values and build civic capacities, including STRiVE and Alternative Spring Break; supports thriving civic cultures at UMBC and in communities touched by our work through initiatives like the BreakingGround grant program and the Civic Courage Journaling Project; and creates strategies and tools to advance civic learning and democratic engagement.

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