Everyday Americans driving politics and policy.

Many Americans are never given the chance to apply their unique knowledge and insight to the issues affecting their lives. At the Jefferson Center, we know the informed participation of America’s diverse citizenry is essential to reinvigorating our democracy. That’s why we’re creating unique opportunities for Americans to drive politics and solve shared challenges through education, group deliberation, and community action.

Find out how.


We engage Americans to study, deliberate, and act on the most pressing challenges facing our country. From healthcare and climate issues to broader reform of our democracy, we help Americans envision and create new ways to address our shared issues. Click a project below to learn more.

+ Rural Climate Dialogues

Rural Climate Dialogues

Our ongoing collaboration with the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy engages community members and community organizations to identify and implement solutions to climate change and extreme weather in towns across Minnesota.

+ Student Civic Leadership


We are working with MCTC students as they develop civic leadership skills through public deliberation and civic engagement.

+ Patient Participation in Reducing Diagnostic Error

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This joint effort with the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine will utilize patient participation to develop patient-focused strategies for reducing diagnostic error – one of the most challenging and costly patient safety issues in US healthcare today.

+ Exploring Engagement with Public Officials

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With our partners at the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation and the Kettering Foundation, we’re exploring how civic engagement and dialogue & deliberation practitioners connect with elected officials to expand the role of citizens in government.

+ Minnesota Historical Society - Inclusion & Community Engagement


We’re working alongside MNHS staff and the History Museum Diversity Fellows as they develop the nation’s first Department of Inclusion and Community Engagement.

Read about our other projects.


We believe that democratic participation requires citizens to be informed enough to participate meaningfully in shared conversation and deliberation with their peers. That’s why we convene Citizens Juries as the basis of our public engagement work. Citizens Juries create the setting for diverse groups to learn and discuss together before generating thoughtful input on collective challenges.

Learn more about our unique methods of engagement.


A democratic society requires more than infrequent voting. Our aim is to advance democratic participation in all areas of life. See how we can make a difference for you.

- Citizens
- Communities
- Politicians & Policymakers
- Public & Private Organizations

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Citizens Driving Democracy