Around the world, billions of people are excluded from full participation in the political, economic, and cultural systems that shape their lives. When so many lack access to and engagement with their government, policies fail to address their needs, favoring instead those who already have power and resources. This is a fundamental driver of inequality.
This situation is neither natural nor inevitable: Governments have the potential to remedy inequality or to reinforce it. And history makes clear that people—when they have the ability to organize, speak up, and engage—have the potential to hold their leaders and institutions accountable, pushing them to be responsive and fulfill their promise to serve the common good.
In the US and internationally, we believe that meaningful civic engagement is an antidote to inequality, with rich potential to empower underrepresented and marginalized people and communities to raise their voices, claim space, influence decisions that affect them, and hold governments to account. In the current global order, civic space and civil society are both under threat. Our work is to help them thrive.