WIPPS enhances the civic life of communities in Wisconsin by developing future leaders, educating and engaging citizens and addressing community needs. WIPPS works with citizens and communities to address local, state and national public policy issues that matter. We do this by organizing and facilitating conferences and workshops, panels and lectures, candidate forums, public dialogue and deliberation events, original research projects, and student internship and service opportunities.
Central Wisconsin High School Leadership
The mission of the Central Wisconsin High School Leadership Program is to collaborate with Central Wisconsin high schools, businesses, industry, and civic organizations to create future leaders. The vision of the Central Wisconsin High School Leadership Program is to develop and inspire high school students to be contributing leaders in central Wisconsin.
Veninga Lecture on Religion & Society
Veninga’s vision was to bring nationally acclaimed experts in the field to address topics that often are emotionally charged. Although he died in January 2014, his vision lives on through all of WIPPS programs, but most especially through his namesake religion and society lecture series. His hope was that people “learn from some great scholars who have thought deeply and written widely about the connections between religion and society, at home and abroad.
The Washington Seminar, a 3-week summer course led and taught by UW System faculty, provides an up-close and personal view of the workings of government, with access to congressional and executive leaders, lobbyists and other policy-influencers such as The Obey Center.
The David R. Obey Civic Resource Center
Dave Obey served the residents of Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District for 42 years. The power of his tenure is reflected in his strong commitment to education, civic leadership and the value of citizen engagement. Now, through Dave’s insights into the legislative process, along with the foresight of many organizations and educational institutions, the David R. Obey Civic Resource Center is open to all.
Toward One Wisconsin
Toward One Wisconsin, a conference on overcoming barriers to inclusivity, is an annual conference tackling issues of equity and inclusivity in Wisconsin. The conference brings together individuals and organizations from multiple sectors across Wisconsin to address the most persistent barriers to inclusion, what is working, and what is promising on the horizon.
Student Journalism Program
The Student Journalism Program gives students the opportunity to gain experience working with local media organizations to cover stories that matter to them. Students from all backgrounds gain marketable experience and get their stories heard by real audiences.
Public Issues Series
WIPPS brings together people with diverse perspectives to discuss issues that matter to the community. Through our Public Issues Series, we openly address hot-button issues on a variety of topics – from the school voucher program, health care reform and income gap disparities to the impact of big money in elections. Even with the unpopularity of recent Congresses, we’ve looked at “Great Congresses” of the past and if it can be repeated.
Bill Kraus Award
In 2018, in celebration of its tenth Anniversary, WIPPS established a lifetime achievement award to acknowledge and honor the accomplishments of an individual whose life and work demonstrate the highest qualities of civic leadership.
Young Adult Civic Engagement Award
WIPPS brings together people with diverse perspectives to discuss issues that matter to the community. Through our Public Issues Series, we openly address hot-button issues on a variety of topics – from the school voucher program, health care reform and income gap disparities to the impact of big money in elections.
LENA Start Marathon County
Interactive talk is one of the most important factors in children’s early brain development. The amount of conversation that children experience has been linked to the structure and function of their brain, as well as their IQ, vocabulary, and language skills in adolescence. WIPPS is part of a public-private partnership to help caregivers learn how to increase interactive talk with children.
WIPPS partners with Kids Voting USA-Wisconsin to help young people learn about the importance of civic participation. WIPPS supported KVUSA’s biennial mock convention and election, which simulated Wisconsin’s 2014 gubernatorial contest. More than 200 high school students from nearly 30 area high schools participated in the convention that simulates the actual state party conventions.
Toward One Wausau
Toward One Wausau brings together community members from all walks of life to talk openly, listen earnestly and act in unity to make the greater Wausau area a safe, welcoming and attractive place for a diverse people.
People of Rural Wisconsin
Older farmers are retiring. Younger farmers are leaving the family farm. To preserve the authentic voices and stories of Wisconsin farm life, the People of Rural Wisconsin Project was launched. We capture and preserve these personal histories. Their voices are unique and the experiences compelling.
High Five 4 College
Now in its sixth year, High Five 4 College has given hundreds of middle and junior high school students in the Wausau area a chance to explore new horizons while developing their skills and challenging them to become better leaders. This after-school mentoring program holds meetings at John Muir, Horace Mann and D.C. Everest schools in the Wausau area throughout the school year, as well as taking field trips, business tours and engaging in a variety of community service projects.
Obey-Petri Civic Participation Lecture Series
Here’s the story: Two long-time, retired U.S. Congressmen, from opposite sides of the political aisle, decide to go on the road.
Marshfield Civility Project
A desire to end the ongoing bickering and partisanship so prevalent in today’s political discourse led to a series of bipartisan voter education forums that focused on civility.
Substance Abuse: It's Everybody's Business
On May 16, 2017, the Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service (WIPPS) hosted a regional conference to raise awareness throughout communities that addiction is a chronic disease, recovery is possible and that community-wide recovery eco-systems are necessary. The purpose of the conference is to bring people together from different backgrounds and professions to better understand substance abuse and to consider evidence-based strategies and best practices to address the addiction crisis.