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Civic Health Index Partnership Announced


AUSTIN, Texas – February 6, 2013 – In 2013, the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life (ASI) and National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC) will team up to produce the first-ever statewide Texas Civic Health Index. The report will look closely at how residents are engaged in their communities and democracy across the state—looking at key indicators of volunteerism and giving, voting and political participation, group involvement, trust and confidence, and social connectedness.

The NCoC is a national nonprofit organization, chartered by Congress to advance the nation’s civic life. NCoC’s civic health initiatives are efforts to explore America’s civic life and motivate citizens, leaders, and policymakers to strengthen it.

In 2006, NCoC convened a working group of leading thinkers to launch the first “America’s Civic Health Index,” measuring civic trends over the last 30 years. In 2009, NCoC was incorporated into the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act and was directed to expand this civic health assessment in partnership with the Corporation for National and Community Service and the U.S. Census Bureau. This partnership has led to the largest civic data set in the country and has allowed NCoC to expand its civic health initiatives into 30 communities nationwide.

Institute Director, Regina Lawrence, describes, "the moment we learned about the Civic Health Index, we knew that ASI needed to produce one for Texas—a state whose dramatic growth in population, diversity, and economic prosperity is not matched with high levels of civic engagement.  We are delighted to be partnering with NCoC on this project."

The partners plan to release the report in April 2013 and convene community conversations across Texas to carry forward its recommendations.

About the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life

The Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life was established as an organized research unit at The University of Texas at Austin in 2000 to respond to growing political cynicism and disaffection in the United States. The Institute's mission is strictly nonpartisan, working within communities to engage people in the political process, teaching them about the nation's democratic heritage and encouraging them to take leadership roles.

About The University of Texas at Austin College of Communication

One of the nation's foremost institutions for the study of advertising and public relations, communication sciences and disorders, communication studies, journalism and radio-TV-film, The University of Texas at Austin College of Communication is preparing students to thrive in an era of media convergence. Serving more than 4,600 undergraduate and graduate students, the College is nationally recognized for its faculty members, research and student media. For more information about the College of Communication, visit http://communication.utexas.edu.

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Contacts: Regina Lawrence, (512) 232-4433.