Who We Are

Heartland Democracy is a civic engagement, educational, and research group operating in the public interest. We work with people of all ages, and focus our work on boosting informed participation in democracy.

Empowering U

Empowering U helps young people better understand and articulate their values and who they are. We learn how the world works and our connections to it. We have real conversations about the importance of lifelong community engagement.


Heartland Democracy is a public education non-profit working to make our democracy more effective and inclusive. We are a non-partisan charity under the IRS’s 501c3 classification.


Support Heartland Through Amazon Smile

Did you know? If you shop using Amazon Smile, Amazon will donate a portion of your purchase directly to the charity of your choice. May we recommend Heartland Democracy? Click the image below to get started. Or use this link: smile.amazon.com/ch/26-0899440

Coverage in the Star-Tribune

A story ran in the January 9 Star-Tribune that profiled Heartland’s work with Abdullahi Yusuf. For a link to the article, and a list of other media coverage of Heartland, please visit our Heartland In the Press page.

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From Board Chair Sara Evans

2015 was a breakthrough year for Heartland Democracy and our work creating new models for civic engagement that can begin to address some of the most pressing issues of our time. As the year is coming to a close, I…

Letter from Executive Director Mary McKinley

Heartland Democracy applied for a federal grant in 2016 to continue and expand our work on education, civic engagement, and community resilience, and we are dedicated to serve the students, parents, immigrants, and refugees who participate in our programs. Our…

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Teaching the True Story of MLK

Melinda Anderson, writing for The Atlantic, offers an excellent perspective on the teaching social justice. She states, As the country observes the federal holiday named in King’s honor, it seems that schools are increasingly coming under sharp criticism from educators…

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