The society is obliged to take part in public affairs, this is to perform functions that are micro in nature, and which are difficult for the central government to realize (Kimberley 7). In addition, different societies have different social, economic, and political needs. Public participation in social matters can be traced back to the old ages. About 519 BC in the Roman Empire, citizens actively participated in public affairs (Self 3). The main purpose of public participation in social matters is to improve citizens’ life and to advocate social justice. Moreover, it is the mandate of civil groups to check on public governance.
Civil responsibilities existed in the society for many centuries and were officially included in the constitution in 1787 allowing public participation in governance. It gained popularity through years, which culminated in 1960s. The United States of America created awareness about nuclear arsenals and the Cold War (Self 4). There was a connection among the citizens to give each other information and correct social injustices to attain nation’s highest potential. However, in the following years the popularity of public participation has declined. There occurred a counter attack by the equal rights amendment initiative, and many organizations lost their membership thus ceased to exist. Since then there has been unpredicted positive and negative growth periods up to date (Stedman & La Vaughn 2).
In the contemporary world, civil groups play different roles, which include service delivery, menace assistance, and public education. This is because of the complexity of human nature and differences in society's needs and values that cannot be taken care by governments. Civil groups come on board on either philanthropic grounds or as directed by law (Kimberley 27). It either can be dependent on nature (conditioned to certain personalities) or nurtured through learning. Learning is a permanent change of behavior, which occurs through interaction with the immediate environment. Service learning integration in the curriculum offers learners with a rich background a chance to understand the society. Service learning offers opportunities to students to foster their civic responsibilities because they directly interact with the communities serving their needs (Karla and Gail 5). John Dewey is a main proponent of service learning and community development. He argued that citizens should not only be elite but also participate in community's development.
If societies transfer their certain duties to governments, governments may fail to deliver. For instance, moral growth of children or monitoring the aged in a society may be a difficult task for governments to perform (Kimberley 8). However, the public and other civil groups can monitor such aspect affecting the societies. Corporate institutions and civil groups establish programs to cater for these social aspects. University students through service learning assist communities to grow morally and take care of the aged in the society. Institutions that are socially responsible receive their funds from corporate and internal funding e.g. from fees and other philanthropic individuals that may come on board to support the program.
In addition, companies become socially responsible due to an objective to blindfold the government to reduce taxes imposed on them. Some of the activities that companies participate in are aimed at preserving the environment. It is majorly associated with energy and industrial plants that pollute the environment. Some civic responsibilities that people take on in the United State of America are to preserve and conserve cities' image, advocate for the rights of the less fortunate and minorities in the society, especially those who require special attention, and monitor both states' and federal government. According to James Kimberley (2001), civil groups are watchdogs to the national government and other public corporations.
Mandates of civic responsibilities are not only limited to certain geographical areas. Some of the grounds are worldwide and extend their service globally. For instance, the Red Cross, which battles with a problem of humanitarian crisis in major countries of the world. Red Cross is an example of a philanthropic organization that does not expect pay back for its services and assistance. Other civil groups in the United States of America include American Civil Rights Institute founded by Ward Connerly, the aim of which is to educate citizens on gender and racial disparity. American Equal Rights Association (AERA) is another organization that advocates for equal rights of all citizens despite their race (Self 3).
Campus Pride is a nonprofit organization mainly comprised of student leadership of various collages. Its main function is to protect the rights of gay, bisexual, and transgender students and create a favorable environment for such students. The organization is an internal organization in local campuses with its headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina. The United Way is aimed to mobilize resources to influence a number of American communities. It brings communities together, raises funds, engages volunteers, and looks for assistance for nonprofit agencies that support quality education, families in their retirement age, and agencies that facilitate good health (Self 4).
The Points of Light Foundation & Volunteer Center National Network is a philanthropic association that brings together millions of individuals, who volunteer to solve critical problems affecting various communities. Its programs are not specified, and it engages all people from all walks of life including nonprofit organizations, businesses epistemic class, faith based organizations, low income communities, youths, adults, and aged persons. The Center for Civic Education founded in 1964 and based in Los Angeles is aimed at producing academic material for different programs at different academic levels that focus on civic responsibilities (Self 5). AmeriCorps is another civil organization featured to national service programs that enable a number of Americans to meet their basic needs for education, health, public safety, and environment. Their objectives coincide with the American Way's objectives. The organization does not limit its interaction to specific individuals, but works with individuals from different backgrounds.
Civic responsibilities channeled to the basic structures of society help the society solve some of the critical issues. In families, the most basic structure of the society facilitates community service through supporting and assisting the less fortunate in the society (Kimberley 13). It is all about charitable hearts of certain individuals, who serve their communities not necessarily for money. Other people engage in serving communities at various levels through mentorship and learning because it is part of their course work at school. Moreover, governments cannot meet all needs of a given society thus it is vital that existence of civil groups is supported.