Citizen University

Fostering empowered (and joyous) citizenship through activation, communication, and education. 

The Problem

Polls and surveys show that Americans are unhappy with the direction of the country and with the failure of government to address the nation’s challenges and improve their lives. At the same time, people feel they have no say about what the government does. After 40 years of rising inequality, with the rich getting richer and everyone else stagnating or falling behind, a feeling of disenfranchisement and powerlessness runs deep in America. People have a sense that the preferences of wealthy people have a much bigger influence on policy than those of poor or middle-income people. And they’re absolutely right.

The Solution

Citizen University is a national platform for fostering responsible and empowered citizenship through activation, communication, and education. Founded by former Clinton White House speechwriter Eric Liu, CU brings together artists, activists, and above all citizens in cities around the country, organizing gatherings, festivals, courses in civic literacy and more. The organization seeks to empower and inspire everyday citizens with a renewed sense of civic and moral purpose, providing lessons in how to be an effective, change-making citizen. “We believe in the promise of a nation where more people are more literate in civic power — and more steeped in a sense of civic character.”

Stage of Development

  • Early Stage
  • Established Prototype
  • Scaling
  • Other

Organization to Receive Funds

Citizen University

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