From Board Chair Sara Evans

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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 hope you will support Heartland Democracy with a year-end contribution today.

Heartland Democracy’s Empowering U program has proven to be an extremely effective tool for engaging people from marginalized communities around issues that affect their lives and the lives of those around them. In the past year, Empowering U has helped a diverse group of people from a variety of communities – marginalized teens, ex-offenders, people suffering from extreme poverty, and many others – connect with their communities and begin the work of building a common future. Our curriculum, team, and experience have been sought out for critical partnerships developing innovative models to help young people and families in crisis.

Early this year, we realized the potential for Empowering U and our broader civic engagement model to engage and begin to address issues facing one of the most disaffected communities in the Twin Cities: young people in the Somali community at risk of recruitment by extremist groups. Since then, we have been engaging deeply with the Somali-American community, government and civic leaders, educators and national and international experts to implement our civic engagement model in the Twin Cities in a way that will engage those at highest risk and connect them with the possibility of a positive future. The model we are developing has been recognized locally and nationally (including by Hillary Clinton in her recent national security speech in the Twin Cities), and we believe it holds great promise for addressing one of the most important issues affecting our community today.

You can read more about this work in some of the coverage we’ve received in major media outlets like the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, StarTribune, and others here.

While this past year has been a year of growth, learning, and amazing new partnerships, there is still so much to be done, and we need your help to fulfill the mission we have set for ourselves in the coming year.

In 2016, we will build on our successes and expand our work by:

  • Leading efforts to develop a real Minnesota Model for preventing extremist recruitment of our most disconnected young people. 
  • Expanding partnerships to bring the work of exciting groups like Affinis Labs andWomen Without Borders to Minnesota – to build on the strength and resilience of our diverse community.
  • Launching our programs of deep civic engagement in several area high schools, to connect our young people to a better education and to a brighter future.

This work has never been more important than it is right now, and we couldn’t do it without the support of you and the many others who are helping us engage our communities to build a better world. I hope you will support Heartland Democracy with a contribution today. 

Thank you, and very warm wishes to you and yours during this holiday season.

Best regards,

Sara Evans
Board Chair
Heartland Democracy

P.S. Be on the lookout for some exciting news we will be sharing after the New Year. Your support helps make it all possible. Please send your year-end contribution to Heartland Democracy today!

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