Local and National Initiatives

CCE and the Bard Network partner with local, regional, and national organizations to address shared concerns, provide opportunities for student engagement, encourage dialogue about critical issues, and participate in transformative action in the community and across the nation.

Community Partnerships

CCE facilitates deep and sustainable relationships with the communities in which Bard has a presence. We support and encourage students and faculty in their work with partners to address real issues facing our communities, promote dialogue and debate, and effect change. Partnerships can take many forms, including internships, volunteer and community-based learning opportunities, joint projects, conferences, and research, as well as innovative cross-cultural and artistic initiatives.

Our partnerships are guided by a desire to address community-defined needs in full collaboration with local leaders and citizens. These opportunities prepare Bard students to make a difference in the world and to work and live in local communities, all while elevating community knowledge of and engagement with Bard.

To learn more about partnering with CCE, contact civic@bard.edu.

Local Initiatives

The Center for Civic Engagement’s extensive work with local partners benefits our community and our students. CCE coordinates and supports several local initiatives aimed at improving educational equity, enhancing access to enrichment opportunities, and creating a shared vision for our host communities. Brothers at Bard is an academic enrichment and mentoring program for young men of color in nearby Kingston, N.Y. The STEAM Explorers program and Bard Math Circle offer enrichment activities for children in the local communities of Germantown, Kingston, Pine Plains, Red Hook, Rhinebeck, and Tivoli. Red Hook Together and the Red Hook Community Center bring together stakeholders who share a vision to enhance the lives of those who live, work, and study in the Town of Red Hook. The West-Point Bard Exchange allows students and faculty from Bard and the United States Military Academy at West Point to exchange ideas in and out of the classroom through shared courses, informal gatherings, conferences, and cosponsored public events.

Bard Debate Union

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Aristotle

The Bard Debate Union is committed to promoting the values of civic discourse, dialogue, and debate on Bard’s campus, in the local community, and across the Bard Network.

Debate teaches students how to articulate and defend their positions and how to listen to the positions of others. Moving beyond opinion and ideology, debate addresses one of the critical questions of our time:

How can citizens more effectively understand both sides of an issue and speak responsibly about difficult topics?

Bard Debate Union members:

  • Travel to and compete in intercollegiate debate tournaments
  • Host public debates on campus
  • Participate in Bard international network debates
  • Serve as Bard Prison Initiative Debate Fellows
  • Conduct outreach in local middle and high schools

Whether you like to speak your mind or to argue just for the sake of arguing, the Bard Debate Union will have you thinking outside the box.

Visit the Bard Debate Union website

The Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities

The Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities (HAC) is a student and community space for bold and risky humanities thinking about ethical challenges and our political world inspired by the spirit of Hannah Arendt, the leading thinker of politics and active citizenship in the modern era. The Arendt Center promotes thinking that challenges common sense assumptions, gives depth to public understandings, and provides an intellectual space for thinking that can reframe the questions that form the center of our democracy.

Visit the HAC site

La Voz is an award-winning free Spanish language magazine serving approximately 140,000 Latinos living in the Hudson Valley. Founded in 2004 as a Bard student TLS project, La Voz is the voice of Hispanic culture and news in the Hudson Valley. La Voz engages deeply with local communities by publishing high quality journalism on local politics, the arts, news, and resources affecting Latino residents.

Visit the La Voz website