The Peter Bowe and Barbara Stewart Foundation announced one of the largest gifts in the foundation's history to fund a multi-year initiative to diversify and expand the reach of The Policy Circle's Civic Leadership Engagement Roadmap program.


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Health Care

From ancient times it has been understood that “Good health and good sense are two of life's greatest blessings.”
(Publilius Syrus)

Good health is a building block of a good life and the American Dream. Advanced medicine is modern-day blessings courtesy of economic development and American medicine is by some measures the best in the world, but costs have been rising for decades, creating problems of access and affordability, and suppressing wage growth. Reforms meant to address these concerns have had unsatisfactory results. Is there a better way?

Part of the Conversation Series: Personal Finance Series The 2022 Series

Health Disparities & Determinants of Health

Disparities in health and health care across the United States reveal weaknesses in the country's health systems. Understanding what these disparities are, how they originate, and their effects on health outcomes and the health care system can help determine strategies and policies that benefit the health of individuals, their communities, and the United States as a whole.

Part of the Conversation Series: The 2022 Series

Higher Education Reform

Education is the pathway to a productive life. Higher education has opened opportunities for millions of people, and in doing so has bettered our economy and society. But the existing system is not working well for many, and costs have been rising rapidly. Can it be made to work better?

Part of the Conversation Series: The 2022 Series


From the Great Depression to the housing market crash of 2008, or the plight of homelessness to the shortage of affordable housing, housing has been a pressing policy issue in the United States, and new trends are emerging in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Is owning a home still a crucial part of the American dream? What about housing for those for whom it has been a constant struggle? What roles do society and government play to meet the universal need for a safe place to call home?

Part of the Conversation Series: Personal Finance Series The Community Series

How We Build a Brief

The Policy Circle Briefs are at the heart of Policy Circle discussions. Focusing the conversation around a brief curated with subject matter expertise helps to ground the discussion in facts. Read on for an in-depth look at how we create The Policy Circle Briefs.

Human Trafficking

It’s difficult to believe that any form of human trafficking could happen in our own backyards, but it does. Every year, millions of men, women, and children are victims of human trafficking around the world, and tens of thousands are victims right here in the United States. Furthermore, because trafficking is frequently underreported, these estimates most likely represent only a small fraction of the actual cases. This brief presents an overview of human trafficking and what is being done around the world and here in the United States to combat this global challenge.

Part of the Conversation Series: The World View Series


“We are a nation of immigrants.” No doubt you have heard that well-known saying describing the rich tradition of people arriving from all over the world onto our shores to find opportunity and forge a new life of prosperity.

Immigration has also become a highly charged topic with wide-ranging viewpoints on who should be allowed entry and what the right levels of immigration are for our country.

In this brief we provide an overview of this issue, define some key terminology, look at a brief history of immigration policy, understand the numbers over the years, outline varying viewpoints, explore areas of future reform, and identify resources where you can learn more.

Part of the Conversation Series: The 2022 Series The World View Series

Impact Investing

Capital enables companies to expand, innovate, and take risks, which gives them the unique ability to address some of the world’s most pressing challenges. Investors looking to generate a financial profit while also contributing to socially-conscious companies and entrepreneurs have turned in recent years to impact investing. How exactly does impact investing work? What challenges exist in this sector? How do these investments perform, both in terms of social impact and financial returns?

Part of the Conversation Series: Personal Finance Series

Introduction to The Policy Circle

The Policy Circle brings together women in the same community to learn from fact-based research and strengthen their voices in public policy dialogue. By coming together and deepening our understanding of the issues we face in our communities, our states, and our nation, we feel heard, validated, and energized, and can come up with ways to influence policy.

Part of the Conversation Series: The Foundational Series

Judicial Selection

Article III of the Constitution establishes the judicial branch and designates U.S. Congress shall have the power to establish district courts and courts of appeal. Once these courts are established, they require judges to conduct courtroom proceedings. Judges adjudicate legal cases, but how are judges selected and appointed?

Part of the Conversation Series: The 2022 Series The Active Citizenship Series

Local Boards & Commissions

National and state offices draw a lot of attention, but we cannot overlook the importance of positions at the local level and the direct influence they have on communities. The purpose of The Policy Circle Engagement Guides is to provide context and resources related to local level engagement opportunities, so you can have a say in what’s happening in your community, be an informed community member, and build your network and social fabric. This guide focuses on local boards, commissions, and committees, their role in the community and government, and what to consider if you are interested in being involved.

Mental Health

Mental health is an issue that affects every facet of our lives. To be a thriving society, individuals need to feel in balance with their emotional, psychological, and social wellbeing, and have the ability to cope with challenges they face so they can reach their full potential. The goal of this brief is to define mental health, examine the current landscape of the impact of and challenges presented by mental health problems, and highlight solutions that may inspire you to act on this issue.

Part of the Conversation Series: The 2022 Series