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


Alleged ISIL Recruits Argue for ‘Combatant Immunity’

Five young men from the Twin Cities were charged last year with conspiring to leave the United States to fight with the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). In October, the government added charges of conspiracy to commit murder….

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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.

In this Aug. 28, 1963 photo, The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, gestures during his "I Have a Dream" speech as he addresses thousands of civil rights supporters gathered in Washington, D.C. onths before the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech to hundreds of thousands of people gathered in Washington in 1963, he fine-tuned his civil rights message before a much smaller audience in North Carolina. Reporters had covered King’s 55-minute speech at a high school gymnasium in Rocky Mount on Nov. 27, 1962, but a recording wasn’t known to exist until English professor Jason Miller found an aging reel-to-reel tape in the town’s public library. (AP Photo)

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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