CIVIC Read 2014

CIVIC Read 2014

CIVICread: A Pan University Civic Renewal Seminar Series

In April 2014, UVA School of Architecture’s CDRC hosted its first CIVICread® event.  This inaugural series featured Peter Levine’s We are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For, published by Oxford University Press in 2013. In partnership with the Office of Student Affairs, School of Architecture, and student groups, seminars were held around Grounds on themes presented in the book. 

During April’s CIVICread, students in the graduate level course, Leadership for Community Change, moderated a lively discussion on the students’ role in civic renewal in America following Dr. Levine’s lecture in the Rotunda. 

CIVICread was created in 2012 in honor of Thomas Jefferson’s commitment to innovation, democracy, and public education, three ideas that sparked his desire to build one of the first secular, public universities in the United States.  Given this legacy, the University of Virginia realizes the significant responsibility of a public university to mold curious, creative and engaged citizens that can utilize their education for the greater, civic good. 

Each year, the Community Design Research Center will choose one book related to the role of design and planning in the shaping of healthy, engaged, and socially just communities.  The seminar series will be held as part of the celebration of Thomas Jefferson’s birthday in early April.

2014’s book, We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For, bridges the gap between theory and practice, academia and community, by combining significant ideas and theories with real-world examples and empirical data. It offers a sober, yet optimistic philosophy of the critical importance of civic engagement in contemporary communities to catalyze socio-political and economic transformation. In doing so, it challenges both academics and citizens, students and community leaders, to act for positive, democratic change and offers strategies for success in their efforts. 


2014’s CIVIC read speaker, Dr. Peter Levine, is the Lincoln Filene Professor of Citizenship & Public Affairs in Tufts University’s Jonathan Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service and Director of CIRCLE, The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement.  In addition to We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For: The Promise of Civic Renewal in America, Levine has published five other scholarly books on philosophy and politics, and a novel. He has served on the boards or steering committees of AmericaSpeaks, Street Law Inc., the Newspaper Association of America Foundation, the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools, Discovering Justice, the Kettering Foundation, the American Bar Association Committee’s for Public Education, the Paul J. Aicher Foundation, and the Deliberative Democracy Consortium.

For 2015’s CIVICread, Jane Jacobs’s seminal work, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, has been chosen.