Changing the Frame: Civic Engagement Through A Racial Equity Lens

Since Robert Putnam’s book Bowling Alone: America’s Declining Social Capital came out in 2000, policymakers, nonprofit funders, and pundits have sent out warning signals about declining civic engagement in the U.S. This report provides a broader analysis of civic life using a racial equity lens, taking into account racial inequities and the practices and policies that reinforce them along with the perspectives of people engaged in the critical work of addressing these inequities. By incorporating a racial equity lens and the voices of these community actors into our analysis, the authors hope to broaden the discussion of what counts as civic engagement and better understand how to encourage it.