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True to mission, IU is creating a more educated and engaged citizenry


Today we are pleased to announce that the Indiana University Center on Representative Government has received a $5.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense to transform civics education and expand young people's interest in public service careers. 

Founded in 1999 by Indiana's longtime former congressman and IU professor Lee Hamilton, the Center on Representative Government will develop a new app, "Democracy Quest," that will take high schoolers on an immersive virtual-reality journey through the inner workings of representative government and help them build real-life skills of advocacy, compromise and consensus building.  

Across our nation, we continue to see low voter turnout compared with other democracies and declining levels of volunteerismGeneral knowledge of government is also dropping, with less than half of adults able to name the three branches of the U.S. government. 

In response, IU is stepping up its commitment to educate and empower a more engaged citizenry through community-oriented, hands-on educational programs that encourage citizens of all ages to develop expertise in leadership, civil communications and public decision-making.  

These programs include the new iEngage, a weeklong summer civics camp for fifth- to eight-graders presented by the Center on Representative Government at IU Columbus. They also span PACE, the Political and Civic Engagement program at IU Bloomington, which inspires IU students to participate in political and civic activities; and the Indiana Civic Health Index, where faculty and staff across multiple IU campuses are defining action steps to help our state become a national leader in civic engagement.

Congressman Hamilton has said, "For our democracy to succeed, we need to teach each new generation how to become informed and engaged citizens."  

This important work ties directly to IU 2030. We will improve Hoosiers’ lives by ensuring they are more knowledgeable, more active and engaged, and more empowered to make a positive impact in the communities they call home. 


Pamela Whitten

Indiana University

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