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CIRCLE believes that research is essential for creating systemic changes in youth access and opportunity, and that research must be informed by what's happening on the ground and paired with local knowledge and expertise to create change. As a result, we are in regular conversation with a range of stakeholders and partners in order to make our work more impactful.

Over the past two decades, CIRCLE has played a central role in the fields of youth civic education and engagement, both through our research and through deep collaborations with partners who share our goals and values. These partnerships are central to our mission. We are proud to serve as collaborators and conveners with a wide array of institutions that are similarly committed to improving diverse young people's access to participation in democracy.

Some of our current in-depth partnerships include:

LEADE logoLeveraging Equity and Access in Democratic Education (LEADE)

Our colleagues at LEADE leverage research to promote equitable and effective k-12 civic education. LEADE is a partnership between the Civic Engagement Research Group (CERG), part of the University of California-Riverside, and UCLA's Institute for Democracy, Education and Access. We collaborate closely with LEADE on projects that leverage lessons from research for educational efforts and resources aimed at developing schools' abilities to educate for informed and equitable voting. During the fall of 2019, CIRCLE partnered with LEADE on an 8-week course for k-12 educators on how schools can promote informed and equitable voting.

Generation Citizen logoGeneration Citizen (GC)

Generation Citizen is a civic education organization that works with school districts, classroom teachers, and college students to provide an Action Civics curriculum nationwide. CIRCLE is working with Generation Citizen and the Oklahoma City Public School District on a multiyear initiative to support teacher capacity-building focused on centering civic life in Social Studies and ELA classes through civically inspired, project-based, "Deeper Learning." CIRCLE is also proud to join Generation Citizen and iCivics as a member of the Civic Education Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Steering Committee, where our director Kei Kawashima-GInsberg joins cross-sector leaders in discussions and strategic planning about the future of civic education.

Lou Frey Institute logoMcCormick Foundation and the Lou Frey Institute/Florida Joint Center on Citizenship (FJCC)

CIRCLE has had fruitful collaborative relationships with both of these organizations on civic education  projects in their respective states. Since 2012, we have served as their evaluation partner in Illinois and Florida's efforts to roll ambitious new civic education laws, led by the McCormick Foundation, and FJCC, respectively. An important aspect of both partnerships has been intentional support for teacher professional development. As a result of these projects, we continue to work with both partners on the development of a system that allows educators to track, document, and assess their own development and skill-building through a new micro-credentialing system for educators.

Opportunity Youth United logoOpportunity Youth United (OYUnited)

OYUnited is a movement of young leaders working to broaden which youth have significant opportunity in the U.S. by mobilizing young people against poverty through community organizing, voter engagement, and federal advocacy. We have partnered with OYUnited on various initiatives, including a major report on how election administrators can help increase access to election information and processes among low-income youth, as well as a follow-up cohort of OYUnited local community action teams working to build partnerships with their local election administrators.

Teaching for Democracy Alliance logoTeaching for Democracy Alliance (TFDA)

CIRCLE is a founding partner and serves as coordinator for this 13-member coalition working to help educators teach about voting in a non-partisan, productive way. TFDA was founded in large part as a response to the recommendations of our Commission on Youth Voting and Civic Knowledge.

These are just some of the fantastic organizations with which we've been pleased to collaborate. We know there are many other groups and organizations that we have not worked with who are making valuable contributions to the fields of civic education and engagement, and we are always interested in learning from them.

For More Information

If you'd like to learn more about our partnerships, please email:

Abby Kiesa
Deputy Director