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An Agenda for Associational Life

Tuesday December 2020


Mike Lee U.S Senator (R-UT)
Andy Smarick Senior Fellow @smarick
Kay S. Hymowitz William E. Simon Fellow | Contributing Editor, City Journal @KayHymowitz
Scott Winship Resident Scholar and Director of Poverty Studies, American Enterprise Institute
Bob Woodson Founder and President, Woodson Center

In recent years, our national political conversation has become increasingly polarized and uncivil, leaving Americans feeling alienated and isolated. At least part of the explanation is that power has gravitated to faraway institutions while the mediating bodies of social life have been weakened. The gradual loss of community and deterioration of civil society have been discussed for decades, but the consequences are now more pronounced than ever. America needs an agenda for reviving our social bonds and our close-to-home organizations.

The Social Capital Project—an innovative initiative spearheaded by Senator Mike Lee and Congress's Joint Economic Committee—has produced some of the most important work for understanding today's challenges and opportunities. Since 2017, the project has studied and reported on various aspects of American "associational life," the web of social relationships that contribute to individual and community well-being.

Join us on Tuesday, December 8th at 12:00 PM for a discussion of how policy, philanthropy, and personal strategies can help address the state of our life together as Americans.

The event will begin with senior fellow Andy Smarick’s conversation with Sen. Lee about the project's accomplishments to date and its future aspirations. Then Michael Hendrix will moderate a panel discussion with AEI scholar and former SCP executive director Scott Winship, Manhattan Institute fellow Kay Hymowitz, and Woodson Center founder and president Robert Woodson. We will explore the actions policymakers, donors, community activists, and other can take to strengthen civil society and social capital.


12:00 PM -12:30 PM
On Strengthening Social Capital: An Interview with Senator Mike Lee

  • U.S Senator Mike Lee (R-UT)
  • Interviewed by: Andy Smarick, Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute

12:30 PM -1:30 PM
Panel: An Agenda for Associational Life

  • Kay S. Hymowitz, William E. Simon Fellow; Contributing Editor, City Journal
  • Scott Winship, Resident Scholar and Director of Poverty Studies, American Enterprise Institute
  • Bob Woodson, Founder and President, Woodson Center
  • Moderator: Michael Hendrix, Director of State and Local Policy, Manhattan Institute