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date: 30 March 2023

Civic Engagementlocked

Civic Engagementlocked

  • Jennifer C. Greenfield, Jennifer C. GreenfieldUniversity of Denver
  • Heather Arnold-RenickerHeather Arnold-RenickerUniversity of Denver
  •  and Amanda Moore McBrideAmanda Moore McBrideUniversity of Denver


Civic engagement is the backbone of the social work profession. Through our civic mission, we have long organized and empowered citizens in common pursuits to address social, economic, and political conditions, although this mission may conflict with social workers’ roles in maintaining and implementing systems of oppression and social control. In the United States, social and political engagement are receiving increased attention, particularly as emerging research demonstrates a range of effects for participants, their communities, and the broader society. The challenge for social work is to increase the capacity of communities and the nonprofit sector to promote and maximize engagement, especially among historically oppressed and disenfranchised individuals, through theory-driven, evidence-based interventions, while also ensuring that these efforts center the goals, expertise, and voices of those who are marginalized and minoritized.


  • Macro Practice
  • Policy and Advocacy

Updated in this version

Content and references updated for the Encyclopedia of Macro Social Work.

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