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Helping Minnesotans make a difference

community members involved in leadership and civic engagement programs and activities

"One person can make a difference, and everyone should try."

—John F. Kennedy

Through education and consultation, Extension's leadership and civic engagement (LCE) team helps communities and community groups come together, solve problems, make decisions and strengthen local leadership.

How we help

Strengthening leadership

We offer programs and local training that help emerging, existing and elected leaders grow their skills, confidence and willingness to lead.

Explore community leadership programs

Engaging Minnesotans

Leaders make better decisions when they consult community members who inform and support those decisions. We help public leaders engage their communities in public decisions.

Engage your community

Building trust and networks

Social capital describes the bonds, bridges and links that exist among people in a community. We offer workshops and an assessment tool that helps communities understand the value of trust and developing strong community networks.

Assess your social capital

Connecting community members

Through bridging programs, we help people learn about their area, build leadership and civic engagement skills and generate social capital to address community issues.

Find programs that connect communities

Our approach

Our leadership and civic engagement programs deliver research-informed education to emerging and existing leaders that allow participants to learn, connect with others and practice skills.

Our programs are guided by these research-informed models.

Support for program alumni

"I will become more involved in my community. No more staying behind the scenes."
—Tina Swanson, Emerging Leadership Program, 2016

More than 2,000 people have participated in our leadership education programs. Extension is committed to the continued support of these program alumni and the difference leaders make in communities.

Learn about alumni programs

Learning opportunities

Events and webinars

2018 Community leadership series

April – October 2018

Expand your knowledge and skills of leadership and civic engagement topics while connecting with other community leaders. Register for one or more sessions. Session topics and registration information


Vital Connections on Air

Explore the trends and topics important to Minnesota communities in leaders in our free podcast series. Listen to podcast series


Two for You

Watch our two-minute series sharing positive psychology research to help you live and lead with intention. Get notified of new videos: subscribe on YouTube or sign-up for an email notice.

Contact an educator

Community Vitality's regional educators help emerging, existing and elected community leaders grow their skills, confidence and willingness to lead through long-term cohort groups and local training sessions.

Find an educator in your area

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