The Eugene J. McCarthy Center for Public Policy & Civic Engagement

Our Mission

To cultivate the habit of promoting the common good through an integrative environment for learning.

To promote the value of politics; our shared identity as citizens; our engagement in public work.

McCarthy Center Logo

The Eugene J. McCarthy Center for Public Policy and Civic Engagement was founded in 2006 as a learning community and resource hub for students, faculty, staff, and alums interested in engaging issues and practices of public policy. The McCarthy Center facilitates opportunities for collaborative scholarship, creative and integrated learning through programming and activities on and off-campus and in collaboration with various other departments and organizations. The McCarthy Center also offers resources for internships, networking, and career mentoring experiences in the areas of public policy and public affairs. The staff and student participants of the McCarthy Center work to create venues for constructive, responsible, and interesting civic debate and engagement in community affairs.

14th Annual Eugene McCarthy Lecture on Friday, September 25 with Dr. Kathleen Hall Jamieson

Jamieson’s talk will be presented via the McCarthy Center’s YouTube and Facebook pages.

We  invite you to participate in the 14th annual Eugene McCarthy Lecture on Friday, September 25 with Dr. Kathleen Hall Jamieson, distinguished award-winning communications professor from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Jamieson’s trail-blazing scholarship and public leadership demonstrate a deep commitment to democratic justice, particularly fair elections and fact-based information. On the first CSB/SJU Community Engagement Day—September 25-- we invite you to watch her talk online and get a free copy of her new book from either the CSB or SJU bookstore, available now.

Jamieson is the Elizabeth Ware Packard Professor at the Annenberg School for Communication of the University of Pennsylvania and director of the university’s Annenberg Public Policy Center. She will speak on “Russian hackers, trolls and #DemocracyRIP.” Her lecture at 2pm on September 25 will synthesize what is known about the impact of the Russian interventions in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, outline the contours of the #DemocracyRIP, Russian plans to undercut the presidency of Hillary Clinton if she had been elected and ask what’s next and what can we do about it.

Jamieson’s lecture follows up on her book, Cyberwar: How Russian Hackers and Trolls Helped Elect a President, which won the Association of American Publishers’ 2019 R.R. Hawkins Award and was published in a revised paperback edition by Oxford University Press in June 2020. Complimentary books are currently available for everyone via the CSB and SJU Bookstores and can be mailed to faculty and students working remotely off-campus.

In April, Jamieson received the Public Welfare Medal, the top award from the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). NAS President Marcia McNutt said Jamieson’s “approach to science communication and her political analysis have proven to be invaluable national resources … The integrity of science relies on a respect for facts. The integrity of facts [relies] in no small measure, on Kathleen Hall Jamieson.”

Jamieson is a 1964 graduate of St. Benedict's High School in St. Joseph, Minnesota and received a bachelor's degree from Marquette University and a master's degree and doctorate from the University of Wisconsin.

Past lecturers have include civil rights icon Julian Bond (2008); Sens. Amy Klobuchar (2010), Dave Durenberger ’55 (2014) Chuck Hagel (2009) and Christopher Dodd (2015); White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough ’92 (2018); best-selling author and former president of Spelman College Beverly Daniel Tatum (2016); former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (2017); and journalists E.J. Dionne (2007), Cokie Roberts (2013), Tom Brokaw (2012) and Mark Shields (2011). In early 2020, Juan Manuel Santos, former president of Colombia from 2010-18 and winner of the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize, delivered the 13th annual McCarthy Lecture.

Special thanks to the SJU Chair in Critical Thinking for co-sponsorship.   Don’t forget to get your free copy of Cyberwar: How Russian Hackers and Trolls Helped Elect a President via the CSB/SJU Bookstore. Thanks to Anna Jonas at bookstore for facilitating the book distribution.

Juneteenth and Justice

A Message from the Eugene J. McCarthy Center to the CSB/SJU Community

These are truly unusual, difficult, historic and important times. On this Juneteenth, 2020, Freedom Day, we commemorate the end of slavery in the United States and stand with the African American community who have celebrated this date for 155 years!

While we celebrate a day centered around freedom and justice, we are reminded of protests and civic dialogue around the world that call attention not just to the ongoing history of police brutality and abuse, but also to the core issue of White supremacy. The brutal killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and Rayshard Brooks (and too many more) are blatant reminders of the painful injustices that continue to affect the Black community since origins of the country. The McCarthy Center is founded on the values of democratic engagement, equity, and justice. We take a firm stance against all forms of racism and bigotry. White supremacy and systemic racism must be challenged at CSB/SJU, at the St. Joe City Hall, and everywhere around the globe.

Black lives matter and young voices matter.  As my Political Science colleague, Dr. Pedro dos Santos, and I recently told the St. Cloud Times, having different voices and diverse representation in government and all organizations is both critical and long overdue.

Last October, the McCarthy Center partnered with the Black Students Association to draw attention to police brutality and community transformation following the police killing of Philando Castile, which occurred in Twin Cities. At this event, chaired by CSB student Tynesha Ashley, Black Lives Matter activist, John Thompson, challenged CSB/SJU audiences to be the change we want and be unapologetic about it. 

The voices and activism of young people are often marginalized, slow-walked, and dismissed. To enhance your voices, the McCarthy Center is pushing for greater student voter engagement for the upcoming November elections. Not only will national figures be elected but students will also vote for the mayor of St. Joe and several city council members as they will seek re-election. We encourage you to not only hold national figures accountable but also local ones. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. reminds us that “our lives end when we become silent about the issues that matter.” Keep these issues alive and let your concerns be heard at the polls in November. More info on voting here. 

Besides the embedded links above, the following are some resources that address issues of racial justice and equity.

  1. Listen to today’s episode of “I’m Glad You Asked: How Can  College Campus Combat Racism,” a McCarthy Center student-led podcast. In this episode, CSB/SJU students Reagan Dolezal and Elliot Edeburn talk with CSB Student Senate President Sadé Larson and SJU President Joseph Schwamm. They discuss problems and possibilities for students, faculty and the multiple administrations at CSB/SJU.                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  2. Dr. Wilson Edward Reed, author of The Politics of Community Policing and McCarthy Center Scholar in Residency, spoke about this Politics and a Pint. Dr. Reed grew up in segregated Mississippi and talks about his personal journey and life of academic research on policing.
  1. Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, an expert on the psychology of racism and author of the best-selling book, Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria, told a McCarthy Lecture campus audience that we need to examine the “What, So What, and Now What” of a race-conscious society. You can watch her riveting interview with President Dr. Mary Dana Hinton here.  
  1. Due to Covid-19, the McCarthy Center’s March campus event with Dr. Josie Johnson, a civil rights icon and hero is now rescheduled for the fall.  Dr. Josie Johnson, recently said on National Public Radio, “not only are we not going backwards — we must hold on to what we've learned and encourage, support, protect our children. We have got to help them make a difference so that the next generation…..are they going to grow up in an environment which they have to continue to struggle?”
  1. The McCarthy Center Joe Farry Professor of Political Science Dr. Christi Siver and several other authors have some timely and insightful articles about racial and gender equity and inclusion in the recent CSB Magazine.                                                                                     
  2. Lauren Simmons, the second African-American female trader at the New York Stock Exchange, recently spoke about “The Power of Being the OTHER in the Room” at the Mark Kennedy Frontiers in Freedom McCarthy Center Lecture on campus in November.
The upcoming academic school year brings tremendous uncertainty. In one form or another, the McCarthy Center will continue to provide resources and opportunities for students and the wider community to “think deeply, embrace difference, engage globally, serve graciously, and live courageously.” Your voice alone can change the world. We welcome your feedback and conversations about how the McCarthy Center can support learning, growth and engagement within CSB/SJU and the greater community. Thoughts can be submitted here. 



Matt Lindstrom and the McCarthy Center Team