Leadership and civic engagement
"One person can make a difference, and everyone should try."— John F. Kennedy
Extension is in the business of growing leaders and strengthening leadership. We believe that sound leadership will create a better future for Minnesota. See what we have to offer.
Ways Extension can help
Expanding community involvement
We help community leaders make better decisions and design more effective meetings. We teach leaders how to create stronger connections with community members.
Growing community leaders
Leadership education helps communities grow their local leadership capacity.
Our community approach and models
Our approach to leadership and civic engagement is grounded in research. But we always keep the real needs of communities in mind.
Strengthening tribal leadership
We work to engage with tribal leaders and strengthen tribal partnerships and communities in Minnesota.
For your community
Find educational resources below that include articles, podcasts and videos to help strengthen leadership skills and community engagement.
Assessing your leadership
Is your community willing to invest in its future? Take our assessment and discover your community's leadership strengths and priorities.
Building trust in communities
Social capital is the glue that holds communities together. Learn about building trust and basic ways to grow it every day.
Impact of charismatic leaders
How do charismatic leaders impact communities? Learn how the relationship between them and their followers offers key insights to experienced and future community leaders.
Public engagement strategies
How do you engage with the public? Find resources to help you increase public involvement, assist with meeting planning and facilitation, and make group decisions.
How are you managing conflict? Dive into our self-paced course to grow and re-energize your skills around conflict, rebuilding trust, and more.
News and insights
Explore our community news and insights page for current topics on leadership and civic engagement.
Things that made us think in 2022
(1/4/23) Check out our recommendations on a few books and podcasts that spurred conversations and curiosity for leadership and civic engagement.
Use allyship to support communities: Six ways to get started
(8/4/22) What does it mean to be an ally? Learn how you can support marginalized communities.
Check your well-being bandwidth using the PERMA model
(5/26/22) How are you doing — really? Your mental health and well-being are essentially your internal bandwidth. Learn how you can check that signal.
Eliminate boring committee reports
(1/31/22) Lengthy report discussions can leave little agenda time to move from old to new business. Learn strategies to help your meetings be more effective.
Listen to conversations on community-focused topics from Vital Connections On Air and Indigenized Connections On Air.
Wake up Minnesota with Dr. Gloria Gonzalez-Morales on oppressive civility
(2/22/23) Words have power. Listen as we explore topics such as oppressive civility, microaggression, advancing women and women of color into leadership positions, privilege, and more.
Advancing women’s leadership in rural Minnesota
(8/24/22) Even as more women step into leadership roles, much work remains to reach true gender equity. Listen as we talk with Teresa Kittridge about supporting rural women in leadership.
Boarding schools and American Indian education
(8/17/21) Hear our conversation with Brenda Child about the legacy of boarding schools and its impact on tribal land, American Indian education, and more.
MIIN (Midwest Indigenous Immersion Network)
(7/2/21) Listen as we talk to Dustin Burnette who shares his leadership journey and efforts to create an Indigenous immersion network.
Videos: Two for You
Two for You is a series of two-minute videos.You will learn about positive psychology research to help you live and lead with intention.
For program alumni
"I will become more involved in my community. No more staying behind the scenes."— Tina Swanson, Emerging Leadership Program, 2016
Extension strengthens the leadership and civic engagement skills of community members across Minnesota. Our educators have guided thousands of participants through their leadership journey.
Consult with us
Community economics • Leadership and civic engagement • Tourism
Extension educators work in communities with partners throughout Minnesota. Contact us for consultation, guidance and conversation about your community.