The Center for Democracy and Civic Life contributes to thriving civic cultures at UMBC and in communities touched by our work. The Center coordinates the BreakingGround grant program, which awards funds to students, faculty, and staff who are infusing civic values, practices, and experiences in existing or new projects and courses.
Center for Democracy and Civic Life staff also engage members of the UMBC community in conversations about what people can do to strengthen their communities and address systemic injustices and other issues through effective communication, relationship-building, and everyday practices. These engagements take the form of consultations, reading groups, convenings, and reflective journaling. In consultations, we work collaboratively with students, staff, and faculty to identify aspects of their environments and practices that could be altered to empower people as co-creators and active participants. The people who connect through the Center explore their own civic motivations and aspirations; identify paths to positive social impact through their careers; and learn to create space for the full participation of their neighbors and colleagues in decision-making and community life.