Bajaj, an intern with the Bridge Alliance, is a first-year student at the University of Southern California double majoring in international relations and psychology. The Bridge Alliance operates The Fulcrum.
"We are bound by ideals that teach us what it means to be citizens. Every child must be taught these ideals. Every citizen must uphold them. ... I ask you to be citizens. Citizens, not spectators. Citizens, not subjects. Responsible citizens building communities of service and a nation of character."
Said by George W. Bush in his 2001 inaugural address, this quote truly captures the urgency and importance to be a contributing citizen in today’s society. One may ask, what does it mean to be a good citizen? While the answers to that questions are endless, we believe proper citizens will always put community and nation before party, ideology and narrow interests. They realize that someone does not have to be shunned if they have a different opinion. Rather, they center on collaboration, seeking creative ways to reach others by speaking to their individual interests.
By a citizen simply placing themself in another citizen’s shoes, communities will ignite collective interest to prioritize working together, opening up the previous untapped energy and drive to make a change. That is what the 2022 Civic Collaborations Awards — the “Civvys” — will celebrate.
Presented by the Bridge Alliance, the Civvys are the first and only national award program celebrating best practices in civic collaboration and collective action. From the inception of the awards, we have emphasized the need to celebrate people and initiatives that leverage collaboration and creativity to strengthen communities, heal partisan divides, and invigorate American democracy. Our winners in previous years have exemplified what it means to embrace diverse perspectives and make a difference. That’s why we created the Civvys, and that’s why this year we will focus on work done in 2021 that speaks to the urgency of democracy.
We hope you will join us on this journey of honoring our democracy by nominating an individual or group that embodies what the Civvys advocates. Applications must be submitted by April 18, after which an esteemed panel of civic leaders will review the submissions to designate finalists and winners. The 2022 Civvy Awards will be announced during the Civic Season in Atlanta, Ga., on June 12.
Thank you for taking a step in caring for our democracy.