Hamline News

Hamline University receives nearly $500,000 in grants for Community Assemblies Project


Hamline University is thrilled to announce it received grants from the Joyce Foundation and William and Flora Hewlett Foundation's Madison Initiative totaling nearly $500,000. The grants will help fund the Community Assemblies (CA) project. Created by Hamline Political Science Professor David Schultz, Community Assemblies will engage residents to develop a series of policy recommendations regarding electoral reform in their own communities. 

“While Minnesota has much to be proud of when it comes to politics and government, the state has failed to undertake any serious electoral reforms since the early to mid 1990s. This has created a critical need for innovation at the local level,” Professor David Schultz said. “Our Community Assemblies will educate and engage residents to construct concrete electoral and reform proposals. We hope this will strengthen local governance and representation, as well as potentially provide blueprints for reform in other communities or at the state level.” 

Given the changing demographics of Minnesota in terms of age, race, and ethnicity, this project will bring together demographically representative assemblies of Minnesota residents in two or three local governments. The primary objective is to ask what electoral and political reforms can be developed at the local level to improve elections in order to enhance governance, representation, accountability, and the capacity of public officials to respond to the changing needs and demographics of its residents. 

“This is a great opportunity to engage our citizens in finding solutions to real problems that affect the lives and futures of all residents in our state,” Professor Schultz said. “It is an honor for me and for Hamline to receive these prestigious grants. I thank both the Joyce and William and Flora Hewlett foundations for their great support of this project.” 

Hamline received a $250,000 grant from the Joyce Foundation and a $248,000 grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation for Community Assemblies. 

The Joyce Foundation is committed to improving education in Midwest cities, especially by eliminating the barriers that prevent low-income students and children of color from reaching their full educational potential. The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation’s programs have ambitious goals that include: Helping to reduce global poverty, limiting the risk of climate change, improving education for students, improving reproductive health and rights worldwide, supporting vibrant performing arts in communities, advancing the field of philanthropy, and supporting disadvantaged communities.