Civic Agency Workshops

This curated series of experiential workshops supports development of civic agency through strategies and skills related to “self,” “us,” and “now,” all available for free download. Our staff is also happy to come to your campus and facilitate these experiences with your students or colleagues. If you  have questions, additional topics and content to share, or would like us to come to campus, please contact snichols {at} compact(.)org.


For years, MNCC has used “civic leadership” to describe one of our student development goals. Yet the term leadership may be a barrier for people who understand it as positional, individualistic, exclusive, even oppressive. “Civic agency” offers a framework that emphasizes all people’s capacity to be effective problem solvers and have agency/power to address the issues they care about. (See “Augsburg Indicators of Civic Agency” working document.)

Our network values the full participation of all people in our democracy and communities. The experiential workshops in the curriculum below are designed to help participants develop their civic agency – whether those participants are college/university students, staff, faculty, or administrators, other adults, or adolescents. We encourage you to use them in classes, clubs, organizations or informal groups, singly or multiple workshops together, whatever makes sense in your context. We hope you will engage not only those who already see themselves as leaders, but also the people whose vision and talents are too often unrecognized or undervalued.

The workshops are organized into the three themes—Self, Us, and Now—following Marshall Ganz’s public narrative framework (see Figure 18.5). Our work with the Cultural Agility Collaboration also demonstrated the power of attending to the center of Building the Field of Community Engagement’s model, which includes identity, culture/spirituality, relationships, power, and healing. Especially in a state with stark racial disparities and increasing diversity in religion, national origins, language, and more, building understanding and collaboration across differences is essential.

Development of these resources is made possible in part through support from the C. Charles Jackson Foundation