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Democracy Augsburg

Democracy Augsburg is a series of Teach-ins, Workshops, and Events that focuses on the mid-term elections in 2018 and other ways we can engage civically and influence our democracy.

All of these and other events are listed on the Sabo Center Events Calendar.

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Auggies Vote!

Learn about registering to vote, where to vote, and who’s on the ballot.  Augsburg is participating in the Minnesota Secretary of State “Ballot Bowl,” a friendly competition to encourage college and university students to vote by registering or pledging to vote.  Augsburg was 4th among the private colleges during the last election.
Watch for other events to register and/or pledge to vote.



Addressing the Crisis in Democracy- Lessons from the civil rights movement

September 25, 2018, 4:00-5:00 p.m., Hagfors 151

Harry Boyte, Senior Scholar in Public Work Philosophy at the Sabo Center, served as a field secretary for Rev. Martin Luther King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference in the southern freedom movement. He will lift up lessons from the movement, including the key role young people played, and relate them to our current crisis in democracy.

A Personal Look into the Opioid Epidemic: Loss, Empathy, and a Call to be Better

Bridget Duffy Undergraduate Student University of Minnesota, Neuroscience

October 2, 2018, 6:00-7:00 p.m., Hagfors Center 150A

October 23, 2018, 6:00-7:00 p.m., Augsburg Room, Christensen Center

Bridget grew up watching her older brother’s addiction progress from his age of 15 until his sudden death last year at age 30. This is an intimate view into the life of a Minnesota resident and one of the 72,000 overdose deaths of 2017. She will speak of how addiction impacts the person suffering as well as those that love them, and tie this into her passion for healthcare and incarceration in hopes to educate, create more empathy, and de-stigmatize addiction.

South Africa’s First Democratic Election: Recollections from the Field

Marie-Louise Strom, Co-Director Public Work Academy and former Education Director of the Institute for a Democratic Alternative in South Africa
October 8, 2018, 4:30-5:30 p.m., OGC 114
This first-hand account of the preparations leading up to the first democratic election in South Africa in 1994 provides a reminder that the right to vote cannot be taken for granted.


Health Inequity: Looking at Symptoms and Root Causes

Katie Clark and Kaija Freborg, Nursing


This session will explore how the current role of the “helper” and “expert driven” community engagements can further divide communities and led to worsening health inequities as well as promote a culture of extremes as it constrains individual and collective agency.

Democracy Augsburg Teach-in: Public Achievement in Japan

Harry Boyte and Marie Ström


Speakers will talk about lessons from Japan, where they recently traveled to deliver workshops on public work and learned about the practices used by large numbers of students at Tokai University doing Public Achievement style education. The Japanese educators and students have developed a way of using community mapping to become civic innovators.

A Personal Look at Our Criminal Justice System

October 15, 2018, 5:00-6:00 p.m., Oren Gateway Center Room 201

Elizer Darris and Anika Bowie, both Organizers with the American Civil Liberties Union, will discuss their experiences with the Minnesota criminal justice system and their organizing work through the Smart Justice Campaign.

What’s at Stake on the Sixth: The November 6th Midterm Elections

Andy Aoki, Political Science

October 19, 2018, 4:30-5:30 p.m., Oren Gateway Center, Room 100

A discussion of the potential consequences of the midterm elections, including redistricting and its implications for control of Congress and the presidency; presidential-congressional relations; the Supreme Court, and some public polices.


For a full list of Sabo Center workshops see our Events Calendar.

One-to-one Relational Meetings 

September 19, 3:10-5:10 p.m., OGC 100

September 25, 3:40-5:40 p.m., Augsburg Room

October 24, 3:10-5:10 p.m., OGC 100

October 25, 3:40-5:40 p.m., Marshall Room

Basics of Organizing: Public vs. Private, Power, Self Interest

October 10, 3:10-5:10 p.m.

October 11, 3:40-5:40 p.m.

Better Angels Red/Blue Workshop

October 17, 3:30-5:30 p.m., Old Main Room 105

Relational Skills for Bridging Divides

November 3, 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Hagfors Center

Register here to reserve your spot.

Power Mapping

November 14, 4:30-5:40 p.m., OGC 200

November 15, 3:40-4:50 p.m., Marshall Room, Christensen Center



October 4, 2018, 4:00-6:00 p.m., Hagfors 150
Join the Sabo Center and a panel of distinguished guests in exploring the questions: What role do citizens play in our democracy? What role do elected officials play? In a thriving democracy, how do (or should) the two interact?
Harry Boyte, Senior Scholar in Public Work Philosophy
Councilmember Jeremiah Ellison, Minneapolis Ward 5
Irene Fernando, Candidate for Hennepin County Commissioner – District 2
Catalina Morales, Lead Organizer with ISAIAH MN and Faith in MN
Tom SenGupta Forum: The Moral Imperative of Public Education
October 9, 2018, 3:00-4:30 p.m. Cedar Commons, 2001 Riverside Avenue
Tom SenGupta Forums focus on bringing forth new understanding of topics that are essential to positive growth of society. We encourage egalitarian participation and learning among inter-generational groups with diverse experiences, talents, and ways of understanding the world.
November 12, 2018, 6:00-8:00 p.m., Hagfors 150

This event will feature a diversity of voices and an opportunity to purchase a copy of Awakening Democracy Through Public Work: Pedagogies of Empowerment, a new book written by Harry C. Boyte which tells many stories of Public Achievement and public work in the United States and around the world.