Democracy Education & Civic Engagement

Democracy Education & Civic Engagement at Henry Ford College (HFC) strives to provide all students with exposure to an education in democracy. Through curricular and co-curricular initiatives, Democracy Education & Civic Engagement aims to impact

  • Student learning that one carries through life;
  • Skill development that teaches how to build a stronger civil and more inclusive society;
  • Intrinsic analysis; and
  • Diversity tolerance and understanding. As a partner of the National Democracy Commitment (NDC), HFC works to actualize the NDC goal of preparing informed, engaged graduates to revitalize and strengthen our democracy.

Value Statement

A democratic education should involve learning that is meaningful, relevant, enjoyable, engaging and empowering. As an extension of HFC’s values and beliefs, Democracy Education & Civic Engagement stands in support of

  • Diversity in ideas and beliefs, culture, religion, race, and sexual orientation and gender identity;
  • An environment where its members are treated with dignity and respect;
  • Our role as a community resource and (that we) seek to address the diverse needs of the communities we serve;
  • Providing courses, programs, services and facilities for the social, cultural and personal development of individuals; and
  • Preparing students to be compassionate, ethical, and rational citizens in a multicultural, multiracial democracy (handbook rev.102802).

Learning Outcomes

The Democracy Education student

  • Develops skills of democratic participation;
  • Describes his or her own civic and cultural background, including its origins and development, assumptions and predispositions;
  • Describes diverse positions, historical and contemporary, on selected democratic values and practices, and presents his or her own position on a specific problem where one or more of these values or practices are involved--this learning is done in an environment of respect and tolerance; and
  • Takes an active role in a community context (work, service, co-curricular activities, etc.) and examines the civic issues encountered and the insights gained from the community experience.

Note: outcomes taken from 2012 Lumina Foundation Degree Qualifications Profile and the National Democratic Commitment outcomes of student learning.

College Programs, Activities, and Initiatives

Building Bridges Conference

Building Bridges is an initiative coordinated by the Department of Religious Studies, The Council of World Cultures and various community and student organizations. An annual lecture series is presented focusing on diversity, cultural, peace, justice, religious and environmental issues and conditions. A weekend conference is coordinated every several years and includes local, regional and national speakers. Students, faculty, staff and community members from HFC and Dearborn are invited, as well as those from surrounding communities, high schools, colleges and universities.

Civic Engagement Initiatives

Voter Registration: The Student Activities Office (SAO) provides on campus Voter’s Registration and conducts Voter’s Registration Drives prior to each election. Forms are available at the Office. SAO provides the service of mailing completed Voter’s Registration forms to respective city election clerks.

Annual Veterans Day Celebration, Nov. 11: The Student Veterans of America, HFC chapter, coordinates a campus wide celebration in honor of veterans and Veterans Day. The event includes a color guard presentation, speakers, and comments by the College President, local officials and members of the Board of Trustees. To participate or attend, contact the Student Activities Office.

The National Census: HFC serves as an official census site and education center to ensure members of the College and Dearborn communities are accurately counted.

Council of World Cultures

The Council of World Cultures shall seek to foster global awareness and understanding throughout the College and greater community through the study of world cultures and issues. The primary focus is to initiate, encourage and support activities, events and educational opportunities that promote a better understanding of cultural, political, economic, environmental, religious, and social issues on our campus, in our communities and around the world.

  • Cooperate with groups on campus or in the community to co-sponsor and promote campus events that foster the goals of the committee.
  • On-campus groups may include instructional divisions and programs, campus clubs, student government, study abroad programs, and other organizations. Community groups may include community service organizations (e.g., Rotary), museums, religious institutions, fine and performing arts groups, etc. Other organizations may include non-governmental organizations, volunteer associations, colleges, universities, and other educational institutions with programs addressing global studies, world languages and arts, peace and conflict studies, environmental studies, civic action and other related programs. Events may include guest speakers, films, live performances, gallery exhibitions, panels, forums, etc.
  • Prepare and request an appropriate annual budget to support its responsibilities.
  • Report to College Organization annually regarding activities.

Previous Events

Community Connections and Professional Memberships

Advisory Board

  • Cassandra Fluker, M.A., Student Activities Officer
  • Eric Rader, Ph.D., Faculty, Political Science
  • Anthony Perry, Ph.D., Faculty, Political Science


The Democracy Commitment