Civic Engagement


Whereas KLC leadership development programs equip Kansans with skills to make progress on their challenges, our civic engagement efforts help them apply those skills in the wider arena of civic life. KLC civic engagement initiatives include building a healthy 21st century public square through The Journal magazine, mass action campaigns to generate local solutions to daunting challenges and custom projects to create healthier governance and community discourse.

Explore key learnings from our Kansas Beats the Virus mass action campaign through an evaluation report produced by Third Floor Research, an applied research center operated in partnership with Kansas State University’s Staley School of Leadership Studies.

The Journal

The Journal, found online at, is the nationally recognized magazine published by the Kansas Leadership Center in Wichita. The publication focuses on highlighting important civic leadership issues in Kansas and beyond through in-depth reporting, investigative journalism and innovative writing, graphic design, photography, multimedia and public discussions. The Journal is nonpartisan. It seeks to educate and inform readers about issues from multiple perspectives and it does not engage in advocacy.

Journal Events

Dive deeper into stories from The Journal during regular Journal livestream events. Managing editor of The Journal, Chris Green, invites panels of experts to conversation on what leadership is necessary to make progress on their civic challenge. Check out a playlist of past conversations on the KLC YouTube channel.

Custom Civic Engagement

Recent representative projects include mobilizing communities to take local action to help end the pandemic through Kansas Beats the Virus, building awareness of the vaccine in communities disproportionally impacted by the virus through Voices on Vaccination as well as facilitating community discussion and discernment on governance issues such as the City of Wichita’s nondiscrimination ordinance and the Topeka USD 345 namesake question.

Have questions or want information on contracting with KLC on a daunting community challenge?
Contact Dennis Clary, Director of Custom Civic Engagement at [email protected].

KLC coached the superintendent of schools on a process for selecting and orienting an advisory group as well as facilitated workshops with the advisory group to produce a comprehensive and objective narrative that fairly aided community engagement on the namesake question.

KLC facilitated a public meeting with advocacy stakeholders and the Diversity, Inclusion and Civil Rights Advisory Board on the proposed ordinance and generated a comprehensive report that fairly codified values and perspectives of the factions involved.

Relationships, trust and incentives engage Latinx community

Relationships with trusted groups, incentives helped reach the Latinx community To help reach the state’s largest group of non-White residents in the KBTV initiative, some project leaders used incentives, innovative ideas and established relationships with the Latinx...

Safe Shopping is Common Ground in Crawford County

Finding common ground in rural Kansas results in successful project By finding common ground, a health and wellness coalition and its volunteers in a rural southeastern county created a Kansas Beats the Virus (KBTV) initiative that helped change residents’ behaviors...

Connections and engagement empower civic-minded residents

 “Look, regardless of whether you believe in the virus or not, it's creating effects on your organization. What are those effects and how can we go about mitigating them?” --Phil Black, Salina musician and concerned community member When an email announcing the Kansas...

Groups addressing disparities found valuable resource through virus initiative

Groups addressing disparities found valuable resource through virus initiative With disproportionately high COVID-19 infection and death rates among non-White populations the pandemic put a spotlight on racial disparities in health care. In Wyandotte County, community...

Voices on Vaccinations

“Voices on Vaccinations” Campaign Elevates the Conversation on COVID-19 Vaccination with Diverse Kansas Communities   In an effort to build awareness of and interest in the COVID-19 vaccine for four Kansas communities – Black, Latino, Native American, and Kansans...

Pandemic produces ray of hope for Kansas communities

Silver linings have been hard to come by during COVID-19, but strengthened civic ties may very well be a bright spot that endures in Kansas communities long after the pandemic recedes. Faced with fighting a common enemy, citizens from all walks of life rallied around...

Subsidized therapy addresses mental impact of COVID

The Journey church in Wichita has a small congregation that includes a surprising number of mental health professionals, so perhaps it was preordained that the church would respond to the mental health crisis brought on by COVID. The church is asking therapists to...

Tripods, weights among tools to keep seniors engaged

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, BreAnna Monk worried about all the members who had quit coming to the Derby Senior Center for exercise, games and socializing as this highly vulnerable population hunkered down. “The beauty of the center has been to keep these seniors...

Communities discover winning formula with contests

Who would’ve guessed that giving away money would be difficult during the pandemic? Certainly not Julie Turnipseed, but that was exactly the quandary she faced when her Garnett-based agency wanted to help residents battle COVID-19. She is executive director of the...

Winter weather no hindrance to outdoor solutions

As the cold descends upon Kansas, and as COVID-19 keeps its icy grip on the nation, leaders around the state are finding ways to offer respite from the winter doldrums by creating outdoor spaces to safely study, socialize and replenish the souls of those aching for...

Curious about the impact of our custom civic engagement efforts? Read stories from the Kansas Beats the Virus mass action initiative.

Leadership in Public Service

Equipping public officials to lead in the public arena

While anyone can lead at any time, individuals serving in state or county government, city councils, education boards and other community advisory boards have a special opportunity to mobilize others and make a greater impact for the greater good of the communities we share. KLC has committed to supporting public servants in exercising leadership for the common good. Mark your calendar for a virtual gathering for elected and appointed officials on Thursday, February 10 from 12-1 PM.

Community Leadership Programs

The Kansas Leadership Center has been supporting and partnering with Kansas community leadership programs since the day KLC opened its doors in January 2007. In fact, the existence of first-class CLPs in Kansas was part of what led to the creation of KLC. Today, the Kansas CLP Network and KLC are colleagues in this massive statewide effort to change the culture of leadership.