9:00 am EDT - 12:30 pm EDT

Past Event

National service: Rebuilding America’s civic fabric

An event co-hosted by the Brookings Institution and Service Year Alliance

Thursday, October 10, 2019

9:00 am - 12:30 pm EDT

Brookings Institution

1775 Massachusetts Avenue N.W.
Washington, DC

There is no question that America’s civic health is declining. Civic institutions that were the glue of tight-knit American communities—churches, unions, political parties—are disappearing or changing rapidly. In turn, Americans are feeling more isolated and disengaged than ever. At a time when the country is becoming more politically divided, new efforts are necessary to bridge the divide and restore a universal sense of community and belonging. Expanded national service has the potential to bridge that divide by connecting and engaging Americans with others from different economic, racial, and geographic backgrounds, while instilling values of civic responsibility, leadership, and commitment to country.

On October 10, the Future of the Middle Class Initiative at the Brookings Institution and Service Year Alliance hosted an event marking the release of a new report on universal national service by John Bridgeland, president of Civic and vice chair of Service Year Alliance, and John J. DiIulio Jr., professor of politics, religion, and civil society at the University of Pennsylvania. The event featured keynote remarks from Joe Heck of the Commission for Military, National, and Public Service, Jesse Colvin of Service Year Alliance, former Governor of Massachusetts Deval Patrick, and Barbara Stewart of the Corporation for National and Community Service. The event concluded with a panel of former and current participants in national service.

Why we need national service

Panel: National service in practice & Closing remarks