In 2001, motivated by a desire to better understand and to strengthen young people's civic participation, the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement was founded at the University of Maryland's School of Public Affairs. Over the years, our work has changed: we've gone from funding research to undertaking it, we've broadened our focus to include myriad aspects of young people's civic life, and we're now based at Tufts University's Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life. But our guiding purpose remains the same: to ensure that all young people have the ability and the opportunity to engage in democracy.
In 2021 we celebrated CIRCLE's 20th anniversary and produced CIRCLE at 20: Striving Toward a More Equitable Democracy. This chronicle of our work over the past two decades highlights our impact and lays out a roadmap for the work we will continue to undertake to address major challenges to equitable youth participation in civic life.