Engaged Democracy Initiative


Under the leadership of Politics Professor Emeritus Steve Woolpert, the Engaged Democracy Initiative seeks to be a leader in strengthening the foundational principles and competencies of American democracy.

To improve America’s civic life, the Engaged Democracy Initiative:

  • Fosters respectful, authentic dialog across partisan differences
  • Builds on Saint Mary’s College’s record of excellence in student voting
  • Develops nonpartisan civic learning opportunities and resources
  • Makes common cause with outside organizations that contribute to the health of America’s democratic republic

The Engaged Democracy Initiative and the Politics Department offer a Certificate in Practical Political Leadership. The Initiative also sponsors events that build skills in authentic dialogue and democratic competencies, including voting. 

In 2022, All In Campus Democracy Challenge recognized Saint Mary's as one of the most engaged campuses for college student voting. 

In fall 2023, the Engaged Democracy Initiative will collaborate with Tolerance Means Dialogues for an event exploring the question: What can we learn from existing civil rights movements?

Contact Steve Woolpert (woolpert@stmarys-ca.edu) to discuss the future of democracy, to collaborate on an event, and to get involved in the certificate.