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NHPR’s civic engagement on many levels, and in many communities

Building Civic Engagement from the Franklin Opera House
Building Civic Engagement from the Franklin Opera House

Here in NH, we pride ourselves on our civic engagement—especially at the local level. Civics empowers us as individuals to be well-informed citizens with an opportunity to change the world (and our state and community). It is the cornerstone of a democracy that uplifts every citizen with knowledge about our republic and our Constitution.

Over the last 10 years public trust in state and national government has declined dramatically, as civics education slipped out of most school curricula. The Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol to stop Congress from certifying the results of a presidential election has been seen as a measure of the decline in civic engagement.

Recently, NH Civics and NHPR kicked off a series of candid conversations on citizenship today. Building Civic Strength—NH Community Conversations to be held around New Hampshire with a diverse panel of guest speakers hosted by Laura Knoy. For more information about how you can participate and be heard, visit us at Building Civic Strength

For those feeling as if they could use a refresher on the basics, NHPR’s award-winning podcast, Civics 101, is a straightforward guide to understanding our complicated democracy. Taking questions about our government and the people who run it, the program covers both the basics and digs deep into civic engagement. And its reach has gone beyond the podcast: Partnering with the Civics Renewal Network, an alliance of more than 38+ nonprofit, nonpartisan organizations that provide no-cost online classroom resources and materials for civics education. To check out episodes and ask questions go to Civics 101.

We are also introducing, In Our Backyard, the newest incarnation to NHPR’s civics initiatives. Our reporters strive to find out what civic engagement looks like on a local level. Grappling with rising polarization and misinformation has complicated matters for communities trying to find common ground on local voting procedures, school masking rules and more, though some of these trends have also been building for a while. With that in mind, we want to explore how this is playing out in communities across the state, and while town meetings are largely behind us, we'll continue to explore these topics in the weeks ahead. Stories and new segments will be released intermittently in the coming weeks through at least the start of April. You can find all of our series coverage to-date here.

Our hope is that with these collected civic initiatives we can inform and review how NH communities are dealing with the state of democracy today as we head into the upcoming midterm elections this fall. NHPR is planning to offer comprehensive coverage of the races, including hosting debates with the candidates. We remain focused on empowering NH citizens with the fundamental understanding of civic engagement across the state.

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