New initiative aims to boost civic awareness in Greater Philadelphia area

The Civic Education Consortium is an informal, nonpartisan gathering of several significant civic organizations in Philadelphia, including the Global Philadelphia Association (GPA).

All of these organizations’ work touches in some way on K-12 or adult education, and all of them see the need for civic education to be improved and expanded among young people and adults alike in the Greater Philadelphia area.

In a new initiative led by the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia, these organizations have now come together around this common sense of mission, as the Civic Education Consortium. Craig Snyder, President and CEO of the World Affairs Council, spoke to GPA about the project. 

“Civic education, as we view it, means encouraging the greater understanding of four things – the institutions of United States government; the values and philosophy underlying those institutions; the role of individual citizens in the democratic process; and democratic system and people’s own ability to participate in it,” he explains.

“There are already many activities happening in Philadelphia that touch on these themes, but they have not yet been arranged or coordinated around specific goals. This is where the Civic Education Consortium comes in – bringing Philadelphia organizations together to make these activities more cohesive and scale their growth.”

These organizations may have different resources and different specialties, but all share a common purpose of boosting civic education in our area for both children and adults. The group was started by the Free Library of Philadelphia, FPRI, the Museum of the American Revolution, the Rendell Center, PHENND, the Philadelphia Education Fund, the Museum of African American History, the National Liberty Museum, the National Constitution Center, and the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia, and is growing all the time as new organizations are brought in by existing members.

Craig Snyder explains that going forward, the Consortium is developing three working groups on youth development, adult education; and structure, administration and fundraising. “In these groups, representatives from the different organizations will drill down into those areas, exploring ideas such as whether the Consortium should be created as a specific entity or remain informal; how fundraising should be managed; and what the Consortium’s goals will look like.”

The ultimate aim is to produce a strategic plan for the Civic Education Consortium by the end of 2019 – watch this space! 


Article written by Alice Krainock on behalf of Global Philadelphia Association