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Civic Engagement and Governance Institute

About the Civic Engagement and Governance Institute

Founded in the wake of the Voting Rights Act to be an advocate of using the nation’s political system to achieve racial equality, the Joint Center continues to be the preeminent source of information on all matters relating to political and civic participation, including voting rights and redistricting, the analysis of racially polarized voting, and the similarities and differences between white and black voters on a wide variety of issues.  The mission of the Civic Engagement and Governance Institute is to explore new avenues for increasing and enhancing the effectiveness of political participation by minority citizens, as well as providing them with tools for civic engagement and opportunities to advance their skills.  One of those tools is the Economic Security Initiative, a research and policy arm that falls under the umbrella of Civic Engagement and Governance.

As part of this Institute, the Joint Center publishes a biennial analysis on the African American vote that is widely cited by journalists and academics, and in each presidential election year much anticipated guides to black participation in the two major parties at the federal, state, and local levels. The Institute also founded and convenes the National Policy Alliance, an organization that includes membership organizations representing more than 11,000 black elected and appointed officials from the local, state and federal levels.
The Joint Center’s work on political participation is centered on its strong polling and electoral analysis capabilities, through which it gathers and collates opinions and attitudes of African American voters with regards to key issues and concerns.  The continual analysis of the views and voting habits of African Americans supports the organization’s key awareness-raising activities and informs our other work in critical issues areas such as health care, climate change, media and technology, and economic security.

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