New Initiative

On October 19, the AACR Committee on Institutional Civic Responsibility (ICR) convened its first meeting at the offices of Hill & Knowlton in Washington, DC. The meeting was chaired by the committee chairman, Chad Tragakis. Several committee members actively participated in the discussion. The committee is currently working on a project to bring together representatives from various for-profit and nonprofit entities to share insights and perspectives on driving this emerging aspect of civic commitment. The committee is also exploring the viability of establishing a US Presidential Commission on Institutional Civic Responsibility within the next administration.

For more details on the AACR concept of ICR, please refer to the report dated April 26, 2004 about AACR’s roundtable discussion/conference in the “News” section of AACR’s website. If you have any questions, please contact Chad Tragakis at 202-333-7400 or chad.tragakis@hillandknowlton.com

AACR’s Proposed Projects in 2008 – 2009

The Association of Americans for Civic Responsibility (AACR), www.aacri.org, seeks to partner with diverse groups to advance civic responsibility. AACR proposes the following projects with four different core constituencies.

A. Youth Leaders

Initiate training and educational programs on civic involvement with college-level student leaders, aimed especially at introducing first generation American students and international students to civic duties.

1. Basic Goals

(a) Strengthen awareness among proven student leaders about how to foster student community service and related civic duties.

(b) Help student leaders work with community voluntary organizations to help integrate “new Americans” to learn various civic duties and contribute to a better society.  

2. Implementation Approach

  • Contact, visit, and work with corporate social responsibility (CSR) officials of business entities to participate in educational and training programs designed for the benefit of youth leaders.
  • Coordinate with student leaders and university/college authorities.
  • Organize quarterly civic responsibility training seminars, roundtable discussion sessions or educational seminars at university/college campuses in cooperation with student leaders, university authorities and academicians supported by invited CSR officers in the local geographic area close to the educational institutions. 

B. Ethnic Immigrant Community Leaders

Develop an ongoing dialogue with ethnic immigrant community leaders on the advantages of extending their civic engagement activities through cooperation with other ethnic immigrant and mainstream community groups.

1.Basic Goals

 Encourage ethnic immigrant community association officers to extend their present community service activities beyond their own communities to other community groups. This approach is intended to help foster greater mutual understanding among otherwise disparate groups and generate a better awareness of the commonweal among participating ethnic immigrant associations and various mainstream civic groups. For example, Polish American or Baltic American community leaders would work on shared endeavors with Ethiopian American or Mexican American groups. Similarly, Ethiopian American and Mexican American groups would work on common projects with immigrant communities from Africa, Asia, Europe, and South America.

2.Implementation Approach

  • In cooperation with CSR officials located in a selected major city, invite representatives of major ethnic immigrant organizations to a half-day roundtable consultation session to explore the feasibility of undertaking an inter-immigrant community cooperative program in the civic responsibility areas. A local corporate office may host this session. 
  • with CSR officials to bring mainstream community organization leaders and ethnic immigrant community groups together to begin a dialogue for future cooperation among their groups to extend to each other mutually beneficial work programs related to appropriate social and civic duties.

C. US Institutional Civic Leaders

Organize communication programs on civic duty initiatives for and with CSR officers, business education academicians, nonprofit association executives, elected public officials, government agency officers, and community organization (including minority, ethnic, and religious) leaders.

1.Basic Goal

 
Develop a common educational program on the pragmatic aspects of civic responsibility fulfillment by various segments of civil society in the United States. This common educational program will encourage institutions to adopt and practice the concept of civic responsibility (the term “civic responsibility” is explained in AACR’s Mission statement). AACR believes that such an educational program with practical civic value will develop a concept of institutional civic responsibility (ICR) in legal entities within the United States similar to the CSR concept in a corporation. Successful performance of ICR will improve the lives of residents of the United States and will ultimately transform America into a better place to live. 

2.Implementation Approach

  • Conduct research and make a list of American institutional civic leaders (ICL), including successful entrepreneurs, educators, and other social movement makers to foster the implementation of this project.
  • Communicate directly with selected ICLs through correspondence and personal visits to gather ideas and financial support for AACR’s activities.
  • Before the end of 2005, AACR will undertake and complete a project to develop a research paper on ICR, which will be helpful for the discussion and development of an ICR educational program.
  • Organize four regional conferences in four major cities in 2006 to share the knowledge and experience of various institutions in the area of civic responsibility and prepare the groundwork for a major national conference on ICR in the spring of 2007 in Washington, DC. AACR believes that this conference and the various working papers presented by proven civic leaders will pave the way for a social movement for building a better civil society in America.

D. Global Institutional Executives

Work with executives and employees of transnational corporations of American origin, US-based nongovernmental organizations focusing on global affairs, and international government agencies to foster globally the elements of civic responsibility. Convey information and support dialogue on best practices, teaching and public communication, and organization and problem solving related to the promotion of civic involvement by American institutions abroad.

1.Basic Goal

AACR has identified two major global business related areas for its international collaboration with institutions. They are: (i) An awareness development process relating to the new United Nations Convention Against Corruption; and (ii) The necessity to educate and train American executives and employees abroad with respect to equal employment opportunity and non-discriminating treatment in business related matters. 
[The reason behind AACR’s selection of the two above-mentioned subject areas from dozens of other global civic issues for its global working program is the lack of attention given to them so far by US corporate leaders. Ignoring these two areas may cause extreme hardship for a corporation’s executives and employees living abroad and terrible financial burden for American business entities overseas.]

2.Implementation Approach

  • Initiate dialogue with officials at the US Departments of State, Treasury, Justice, Labor, and Commerce with respect to knowing what the US government agencies’ current policies and experiences are with respect to creating awareness among US private sector professionals abroad of global civic related issues. This self-educational experience will guide AACR in its proposed engagement with the private sector and international agencies.
  • Conduct a study/survey and make a report for circulation on the necessity of a global civic responsibility awareness and training program focusing on the above-mentioned two major international businesses.

[AACR believes that if the US private enterprises involved in global business matters behave admirably abroad, global goodwill will favor them and their country of origin, the United States. Such global goodwill will be helpful in strengthening economic relations between the United States and other countries in the coming years.]