An initiative of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation

The Competition Series Event: Civic Engagement In Business

In this episode of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Competition SeriesMaryland Chamber Foundation Executive Director Whitney Harmel joined to discuss civic engagement. Maryland is one of six communities that are partnering with The Civic Trust® to launch our National Civics Bee® this spring.

Here’s a snapshot of the questions and answers from Harmel during this virtual event:

Q: What Are You Seeing At The State Level, And How Do You Compare And Contrast That At The National Level?

A: “We are three weeks into our 90-day session here in Maryland, and we’re engaging our members consistently on issues that are important to business owners and ultimately employees of their organizations… The way that I look at engaging with our members and our businesses in terms of civics, it’s really in two different ways.

How does the business owner play a role in the political process, but also how does that business owner engage with their employees in the political process?

I think often employees want to engage. They don’t know how to. That’s a big part of what we do here in Maryland at our Chamber, is try to also engage with employees.”

Q: I’d Love To Hear A Little Bit About What The Maryland Chamber Is Doing, How You’re Partnering With The U.S. Chamber Of Commerce Foundation, And What You Think It’s Going To Look Like In Annapolis And Throughout Maryland.

A: “We are so excited to be a part of the Civics Bee, to be a part of this amazing pilot program. We feel very fortunate to have been asked. I think it’s going to be incredible for our middle school students to have an opportunity to participate in something like this.

When you look at 11 to 14-year-olds those are really formative years. The idea that students are starting to gain their own perspectives based upon experiences, we think we have an opportunity here to talk to them about what civics means to them, about community engagement.

It was a resounding yes, it fits right in with our pillar of education for the Foundation. We typically engage with our teachers, but we will be engaging with the students this year.”

Watch the full episode here:

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