The James Madison Center for Civic Engagement believes that ensuring all persons contribute knowledge, skills, experience and expertise in a mutually-beneficial collaboration is a crucial component of any university model for civic learning and democratic engagement. The James Madison Center collaborates with faculty, staff, students and a range of organizations, including the campus partners listed on this page.

Debate.pngDebate Across the Curriculum is an initiative at JMU to assist faculty and staff in incorporating debate pedagogy and techniques into the classroom and other on-campus activities. Faculty and staff across colleges and disciplines have found debate a rewarding pedagogy for challenging students to improve advocacy skills, critical thinking, public speaking, group collaboration, confidence and more.


DEEP-Logo.pngD.E.E.P. (Diversity Education Empowerment Program) Impact is designed to influence meaningful change throughout the James Madison University campus community through the development of programs and services that heighten awareness, increase knowledge, and celebrate the value of diversity in all forms.


Democracy-in-Peril.pngA forum for presentations and open discussions about current politics.


gandhilogo_reg.jpgThe Gandhi Center is a nonviolence-oriented organization classified under the Justice Studies Department at James Madison University. Embodying the highest values of inquiry, learning and creativity, the Gandhi Center functions as a global hub to advance the understanding of, appreciation for and practice of nonviolence; a library and reading room for individual research, collaborative endeavors both internal and external, and public participation in service both on an off campus. The Center seeks to pursue justice and service through nonviolent means and ends.

GenEd.pngCourses in Cluster Four require students to think critically about their own society and its relationship to the larger global community. These courses develop responsible and enlightened global citizenship by examining a wide variety of the processes that shape the human experience.


HPC.pngFaculty from the School of Nursing, in collaboration with the Department of Health SciencesSocial WorkCommunication Sciences & Disorders, and the College of Business, has developed the HPC to be a conduit for educating students, faculty and the community about health policy. The HPC will act as an infrastructure for research for practical policy solutions and provide a platform for students to engage in health policy both inside and outside of the classroom.


Honors-College.jpgPreparing students to become active citizens in a representative democracy by fostering civic knowledge and skills, self-awareness, a global mindset, efficacy in working for the common good, an ability to meaningfully engage with the community, and critical reflection.

JMU-Institute-for-Constructive-Advocacy-and-Dialogue-vert-purple.jpgICAD seeks to create a world that engages in dialogue and deliberation across differences as a cultural norm and as an effective tool for addressing the challenges and opportunities of civic life. To achieve this vision, ICAD:

  • Creates spaces where exploring values and tensions can transform communities for collaborative public problem solving.
  • Trains students, campus, and community members to build capacity for productive talk.
  • Grounds this work in and seeks to add to theory and best practices.

JMU-Libraries.jpg The libraries at JMU support and promote civic engagement through outreach to the campus and community. Civic engagement programs include:

  • Constitutional Jeopardy game in library lobbies
  • Panel discussions on the media & civic engagement
  • Exhibits and Book displays featuring works on topics related to public issues, civic engagement and activism.
  • “What is Civic Engagement?” white board
  • Table for students to send a valentine to their elected representatives

MDebate.png The James Madison Center sponsors the Madison Cup in the spirit of James Madison's idea that a republican democracy is healthy only when informed and civil debate thrives.

MVS.pngMadison Vision Series is a lecture series honoring James Madison's conviction that cultivating an informed and educated citizenry is essential to the health of our republican democracy. The series brings scholars, thinkers and leaders of all kinds to campus for lively explorations of issues facing our society.

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