Bing tracking

Democracy Augsburg Teach-in: Lessons from the Civil Rights Movement


Join us Tuesday, September 25 at 4:00 p.m. in Hagfors 151 when Harry Boyte delivers the first Democracy Augsburg Teach-in of the year, Addressing the Crisis in Democracy- Lessons from the civil rights movement. 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.

Relational Skills for Bridging Divides

How to Talk Across the Political Divide, a Better Angels Skills WorkshopIn our current climate of political polarization, people with differing perspectives and opinions struggle to engage in productive conversation. We tend to be quick to defend or demonize, deepening the divide that exists in the American people. Even when we want to reach out to those with different perspectives, we often don’t know how.

In response to these issues, the Sabo Center with the Civic Studies Fellows is offering this day-long workshop will feature a morning Better Angels skill-building session in which participants will learn effective ways to communicate with others who differ from them politically or ideologically. Over lunch, Dr. William J. Doherty will deliver a keynote address. Bill Doherty is an educator, researcher, therapist, speaker, author, consultant, and community organizer who designed the Better Angels process.

In the afternoon participants will practice their communication skills in deliberative dialogues on topics including:

  • How to Prevent Mass Shootings in the United States
  • Land of Plenty: How to Ensure People Have the Food They Need
  • Shaping Our Future: The Purpose of Higher Education
  • Making Ends Meet: How Should We Spread Prosperity?
  • What Should We Do About the Opioid Epidemic?
Bill Doherty, Facilitator for Better Angels Workshops
Bill Doherty, Facilitator for Better Angels Workshops

Relational Skills for Bridging Divides

Saturday, November 3, 2018

9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Hagfors Center, Augsburg University


Thanks to support from Augsburg University and the Kettering Foundation, there is no cost to attend this event but registration is required.


In this climate of political polarization, people with differing perspectives and opinions struggle to engage in productive conversation. We tend to be quick to defend or demonize, deepening the divide that exists in the American people. Even when we want to reach out to those with different perspectives, we often don’t know how.

May 7, 2018, 1:30-3:30 p.m. | Marshall Room, Christensen Center

This workshop offers a sampling of two different strategies to engage more productively. The first hour will be devoted to learning some of the skills developed by Better Angels for listening and speaking in difficult conversations. In the second hour we’ll put those skills into practice with a deliberative dialogue on How to Prevent Mass Shootings in the United States.

This event is free and open to the public. Register here to participate.

As participants in this workshop you will be the first to be invited to a full-day seminar on these themes and practices will be offered on November 3, 2018.


The Sabo Center’s Public Mission series will feature presentations and conversations on our institutional public purpose and the ways in which we work toward it. At this first Public Mission event, Audrey Lensmire, Associate Professor of Education, presents key lessons from the East African Student to Teacher program and explores how these lessons might apply to other diversity and inclusion efforts at Augsburg University.

Wednesday, March 28th
Oren Gateway Center 100

Since 2013 the EAST Program has been awarding full tuition scholarships to people of East African descent who wish to become licensed K-12 teachers. Funded by the state of Minnesota, EAST is nationally recognized for its efforts to diversify the teacher workforce. EAST’s success can be attributed to the committed and collaborative efforts by diverse stakeholders across campus and the local community.

MARTIN OLAV SABO SYMPOSIUM: Are the “Nones” Done with Civic Engagement?

Organizing the religiously unaffiliated in today’s climate of polarization.

This symposium features an address by Phil Zuckerman, professor of sociology and secular studies at Pitzer College in Claremont, California, with responses by Jacqui Frost and Evan Stewart of the University of Minnesota.

A panel of community organizers and elected officials, moderated by Penny Edgell, will follow the address.

Wednesday, February 28th
Hagfors Center for Science, Business, and Religion

This event is free and open to the public.


Rep. Frank Hornstein on the Use of Holocaust and Nazi Comparisons in American Politics

November 29, 2:00-3:00 p.m. | Riverside Room, Christensen Center | Augsburg University

In the last several years we have seen an increase in the use of Holocaust and Nazi comparisons in American politics. Rep. Frank Hornstein (DFL, MN House District 61A) spent the last year examining the issue of Nazi and Holocaust analogies in American politics as a Sabo Fellow with the Sabo Center for Democracy & Citizenship. To explore this topic more, the Sabo Center for Democracy & Citizenship partnered with Rep. Hornstein to host a presentation and discussion entitled, “The Use of the Holocaust and Nazi Comparisons in Contemporary American Politics.” The event was moderated by Rep. Hornstein and featured a presentation and conversation with Dr. Gavriel Rosenfeld, Professor of History at Fairfield University. Watch the presentation on YouTube.

MARTIN OLAV SABO SYMPOSIUM: Election 2016: From Lines in the Sand to Governing Together?

Martin Sabo once said that the most important quality in an elected official isn’t how well they speak but how well they listen. At this symposium, panelists will consider how to come together to get this done in a climate of divisive politics.


Former United Senator, David Durenberger

Minnesota House District 65A Representative, Rena Moran

Minneapolis Ward 5 City Council Member, Blong Yang

Star Tribune editorial writer and columnist, Lori Sturdevant (moderator)

Tuesday, October 25th
Hoversten Chapel, Foss Center

This event is free and open to the public.


The Tom SenGupta Forum aims to create inclusive places with opportunities for learning and sharing of ideas which inspire ordinary citizens to reclaim our moral compass and reshape our world. This, our first public forum, is an opportunity to talk and learn about the legacy of slavery and its impact on society today. Please join us.

Thursday, February 25
Cedar Commons
2001 Riverside Avenue, Minneapolis

This event is free and open to the public


November 12, 2015, 7:00-8:30 p.m. | Magers & Quinn Booksellers, 3038 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis.

Image of book cover of Insurgent Democracy: The Nonpartisan League in North American Politics by Michael J. Lansing. Image of a farmer sowing seeds in a field with the word "democracy" spelled out in the seeds.

Insurgent Democracy offers a new look at the Nonpartisan League and a new way to understand its rise and fall in the United States and Canada. Lansing argues that, rather than a spasm of populist rage that inevitably burned itself out, the story of the League is in fact an instructive example of how popular movements can create lasting change. Depicting the League as a transnational response to economic inequity, Lansing not only resurrects its story of citizen activism, but also allows us to see its potential to inform contemporary movements.


A conversation about Pope Francis’s Encyclical

October 27, 2015, 7:00-8:30 p.m. | Hoversten Chapel, Foss Center

Rev. Mark Hanson, former Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Church of America, and Dr. Frances Homans, Professor of Applied Economics and Agricultural Education at the University of Minnesota will offer their reflections on Pope Francis’s encyclical, “Laudato Si, On Care for our Common Home”, then participate conversation moderated by Tom Berg.