The University of Michigan delivers a world-class education to students, preparing them with critical knowledge, skills, and opportunities to be leaders in an increasingly complex world. Catalyzing and supporting students as they build the knowledge, skills, and agency for full participation in civic life must be a fundamental part of that education.
A democracy thrives when its citizens exercise their right to engage in every level of government. Democratic engagement - including non-partisan voter engagement, civics and media literacy, and dialogue across difference - are crucial components within the full scope of the University’s civic engagement work.
There are many events happening this fall that are related to the election and to the issues that voters care about. Check out Happening @ Michigan, and search for key words related to issues important to you, for example: election, democracy, climate change, etc., or use the tag: speakactvoteUM. Another good source of upcoming opportunities to learn can be found on the Democracy & Debate Theme Semester Events page.
Below is a curated list of learning resources that will help learners understand the complexities of democratic systems, and critically examine important social issues. This list relies heavily on Research Guides prepared by U-M Libraries, as well as resources prepared by other University and external sources, to help you learn more about our democracy and the issues you care about.
Finding trusted information sources
- “Fake News” and misinformation (UM Library Research Guide)
- "Fake News," Lies and Propaganda: How to Sort Fact from Fiction (UM Library Research Guide)
- Disinformation, Misinformation, and Fake News Teach-Out
- News sources available free through the University Library
- UM Faculty
- allsides.com - Facts and Fact Checking
Research social issues and inform your vote
Democracy & Debate Theme Semester Resources:
- Democracy & Debate Theme Semester Events
- Democracy Cafe series
- Democracy & Debate Collection (Michigan Online Teach Outs) Online learning opportunities feature topics such as Disinformation, Misinformation and Fake News; Exploring Basic Income in a Changing Economy; Police Brutality in America; Sustainable Food; Finding Common Ground; and a host of others.
U-M Libraries Research Guides:
- Human and Civil Rights
- Environment and Sustainability
- US Domestic Policy
Explore on Instagram: There are elected positions on your ballot that can play a pivotal role in issues you care about.
- The response to COVID-19
- Criminal justice system
- Climate change
- Housing Policy
- Supreme court (CEEP website)
Questions to consider as you inform your vote
- What values are most important to you as you approach voting this year?
- How are your values informing your voting choices?
- Have you explored the rest of your ballot beyond the presidential election?
- How much time have you spent researching candidates throughout your ballot?
- If there's something on your ballot you don't know enough about to make a decision, how will you find out more?