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Indiana University South Bend joins American Democracy Project in celebrating 20 years of advancing democratic principles

Community Engagement News Release Feb 22, 2024

The American Democracy Project at IU South Bend poses for a group photo outside in front of the Indiana University South Bend sign Indiana University South Bend is proud to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities’ (AASCU) non-partisan American Democracy Project© by recommitting to the initiative’s guiding principles of civic and democratic engagement.

IU South Bend is one of more than 250 campuses nationwide participating in this national initiative, which has equipped college students and the public with the knowledge and skills necessary to be informed and engaged citizens and to participate actively in representative democracy.

ADP works to:

  • Make civic learning and democratic engagement an expectation for every student.
  • Integrate civic inquiry across the curriculum.
  • Model open, democratic engagement from multiple perspectives.
  • Foster an ethos of civic mindedness.
  • Advance civic action through democratic processes and practices.

“We continue to lead by example and advocate for the kind of electoral engagement and civic mindedness the program embodies,” said Elizabeth Bennion, IU South Bend’s ADP Director. “From encouraging voting and promoting community dialogues to developing the civic skills that stimulate critical thinking and action, IU South Bend is committed to preparing our students to lead for future generations.”

Relying on the work of student Democracy Fellows from diverse partisan and ideological backgrounds, the IU South Bend American Democracy Project partners with other campus and community organizations to promote civic and political engagement initiatives. The group welcomes involvement and ideas from community leaders, local political officials, and non-partisan civic organizations.

“College and university leaders are committed to advancing thoughtful and constructive dialogue rather than polarized debate,” said Cathy Copeland, American Democracy Project director.

ADP at IU South Bend hosts a wide range of voter education events including candidate debates and forums for local, state, and national offices. Candidates are also encouraged to participate in the ONLINE VOTER GUIDE (vote411.org) co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters of the South Bend Area.

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