The Edward Ginsberg Center for Community Service and Learning

University of Michigan Democracy and Debate 2020: Speak, Act, Vote with white stars on a blue block, and two red stripes.

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

Democracy, government, and the election

Research social issues and inform your vote

Democracy & Debate Theme Semester Resources:

 

U-M Libraries Research Guides:

 

Explore on Instagram: There are elected positions on your ballot that can play a pivotal role in issues you care about.

 

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?