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Michigan State University’s Michigan Political Leadership Program is taking its message of leadership and empowerment – “Engage Grand Rapids” – to the city on the Grand River this September.

MPLP is hosting a unique series of challenging roundtables discussions and interactive sessions focused on children's healthcare and personal leadership skills.

The public is invited to the free program set for Friday, September 15, 2017 at the Courtyard Marriott, 11 Monroe Ave NW, in downtown Grand Rapids.

The program starts at 1 p.m. and concludes with refreshments at 5 p.m. The initiative is funded by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek, MI.

Registration is online at

 “This is a great educational opportunity for everyone in West Michigan,” said Matt Grossmann, director of MSU’s Institute for Public Policy and Social Research, where MPLP makes its campus home.

 “We’re inviting knowledgeable panelists to talk about family health care and other critical issues,” he said. “That will be followed by roundtable discussions exploring how to be in engaged in your community, in personal and elected leadership roles and in learning how to learn more about family healthcare needs.”

MPLP graduates and leaders will also be on hand to answer questions about applying for the 10-month leadership training program. Each year, 24 Fellows are selected to take part in the program that features hands-on exercises, lively discussions and tours of some of Michigan’s growing communities, neighborhoods and businesses.

Applications are available now. Completed applications are due to MPLP by Friday, Sept. 8, 2017. See more information about applying for MPLP at

MPLP applicants must be at least 18 years of age. Applicants are asked to demonstrate:

  • Dedication to sound public policy.

  • Desire to serve,

  • Interest in political process

  • Experience in local community activities and electoral politics

  • Willingness to learn and explore different points of view.

    For more information, please contact Engage Grand Rapids Program Administrator Katherine Cusick by email at or by phone at 517-353-1357.

Please note that the beautiful aerial photos of Grand Rapids were taken by Nolan Gapske and are courtesy of the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce. IPPSR is grateful to both of them.