What is “civic engagement”?
Civic engagement refers to the ways in which individuals and groups participate in the life of a community in order to improve conditions that shape the community’s future. Participating in civil society by voting, understanding the issues of the day, and engaging in civil and productive conversation with others is one of the many strengths of the United States and an important part of integration for new Americans.
Civic engagement is a key component of integration and building welcoming communities
Voting and participating in civil society are key to both the integration and naturalization processes. When naturalized immigrants and refugees exercise their right to vote, they empower themselves to be full members of their new communities. Even immigrants and refugees who are not yet naturalized, and therefore cannot yet vote, they bring important contributions to social issues important to their communities, through participating in events educating the public about the benefits that newcomers bring to their communities and the need to build stronger, more welcoming communities.
We affirm that it is important for policy makers to take time to meet refugees and immigrants and understand their struggles. Although our various faiths come from many political perspectives, we come together to educate our local policy makers on the importance of building stronger, more welcoming communities. The level of civic engagement in which our network participates helps build champions across party lines, at the local and national levels to create policies that lift up and value refugees and immigrants in our communities. Civic engagement work can also energize current volunteers and develop new leaders, as it brings communities together to engage with policy makers on meeting challenges and building stronger communities.
Our civic engagement work is non-partisan, and does not endorse any candidate or political party
The IIC is made up of non-partisan, 501(c)3 organization. This means that we will not be endorsing parties or candidates, but we will continue, as we always have, to promote welcoming communities.