22 million new voters by 2020

With The LAMP, a New York City nonprofit that works on media and digital literacy skills, my colleagues at CIRCLE are launching the 22×20 Campaign, which has the tagline “22 million new voters by the year 2020.”

For the night of the State of the Union, 22×20 helped organize Action Parties in “New York City, Washington D.C., Austin, Chicago, Boston and San Francisco with partners such as Austin Public Library, Mikva Challenge, DoSomething.org, KQED, OZY, Sony, and YVote.” Students were encouraged to discuss, analyze, and share their reactions. More information about how to organize such events is here.

The campaign also provides educational resources. For example, you can find lesson plans on media literacy and tutorials on how to create videos using news clips. I thought the guide entitled “Ten Easy Steps to Fact-Checking” was a perfect resource for viewers of the State of the Union.

More events are coming up. Follow the campaign on Twitter (@22millionVotes) or by using the hastag #22×20CIRCLE also has an explanatory blog post on “Teens and Elections” with valuable background data. 

Save the Date: NCDD 2018 is set for Nov 2-4 in Denver!

It’s time to mark your calendars for the highly anticipated 2018 National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation! We’re excited to announce that our next national conference will take place in downtown Denver this November 2-4.

Our conferences only come around every two years, and you won’t want to miss this one! NCDD conferences aren’t just about having fun and enjoying the company of our field’s movers and shakers. They’re about forming new partnerships, strategizing together about how we can tackle our field’s greatest challenges, showcasing some of the coolest arts, technologies, and methods for public engagement — and so much more.

If you haven’t attended an NCDD conference yet, watch our highlight video by Keith Harrington of Shoestring Videos to get a sense of the energy and content of the last national conference…

We can’t wait to see you this November!  We’ll be holding the conference at the Sheraton Denver Downtown.

Keep an eye out for registration, a call for volunteers for the planning team, and of course efforts to engage the broader NCDD community around conference content and theming. The call for workshop proposals will be distributed in a couple of months, but it’s never too soon to start thinking about what you’d like to present about and who you’d like to present with. Information will be posted soon at www.ncdd.org/events.  For now, be sure to hold these dates on your calendar.

To stay up-to-date on NCDD Denver news and opportunities, be sure to subscribe to our conference updates email list!

Please share this post widely in your networks! Building on a 16-year legacy of popular, well-loved events, NCDD 2018 will be our 8th National Conference and just the latest of many events, programs and gatherings that NCDD has hosted since we formed in 2002.


In home movies and fading Polaroids,
They look funny, their lapels wide and garish,
Their facial hair risible, movements jerky.
They look naive–fools, ignorant of what came next.
But I report: the grass felt just the same
When you raked your fingers though its crisp stems.
On a suddenly warm January day,
Wafting over sodden drifts, the air smelled
The same, and laughter sounded the same
Filtered through traffic thrum and cicadas.

[edited on Feb. 4, 2018]

Resources for Teaching the State of the Union

It is at this point in the year when the President of the United States provides Congress with a mandatory State of the Union report. While it is now delivered as a speech, it was not always the case. In the long tradition of the State of the Union, delivering it as a speech to Congress is a relatively new development. 

So how do you use the State of the Union in your classrooms? This post will share some useful resources for teaching about, discussing, following, or using the State of the Union address as a teaching and learning tool.

Surveying State of the Union Addresses


This approach comes to us from Brown University’s Choices Program. In it, students will

  • Understand the constitutional basis and history of the State of the Union Address
  • Explore significant moments in twentieth century State of the Union Addresses and identify important historic themes
  • Collaborate with classmates to identify likely topics for the State of the Union Address
  • Assess the president’s State of the Union Address

This is an extended and engaging lesson, popularly used by social studies teachers of multiple grade levels across the country, and easily adaptable for your classroom.

State of the Union Bingo


This lesson is an older one, but still good, from the National Constitutional Center. It looks at the language of the State of the Union, and considers it as a means of engagement with constitutional duties and the broader public. Students will

  • Understand the Constitutional requirement for the State of the Union address
  • Examine the choices the President makes in the State of the Union Speech
  • Describe the events and topics addressed in the State of the Union speech.
  • Analyze the President’s legislative plan for the upcoming year

Flocabulary State of the Union


This is not a particularly deep lesson, but it does engage students with analyzing the language and content of the State of the Union using word clouds. What terms, concepts, ideas, language appears the most in the address? What does that mean for the goals and purposes of the president and his or her constitutional duties?

C-Span’s State of the Union Lesson


This lesson, from the good folks at C-Span, has students identify the constitutional requirement for the State of the Union address, examine the issues presented in State of the Union speeches, and analyze President Trump’s proposals for each issue. It has them breaking down the address comparing it to prior presidential addresses and State of the Union speeches.

Online Engagement With the New York Times


The New York Times is hosting an online ‘pre-discussion’ of the SOTU address that allows students to share their opinions and predictions, and then a post-address discussion. While you may not want to have your students as part of the conversation, the guiding questions and approach taken here may be something you want to duplicate in your classroom.

Bonus Opportunity: The 22×20 Campaign


The 22×20 Campaign (so named because there will be 22 million new voters by 2020) is hosting an online ‘viewing party’ and will have an active presence on social media. Students can take part in the conversation by using #22×20 online. This is a great opportunity to engage with other students all across the political spectrum during the address, and can be a fruitful source of ongoing discussion in your classrooms.

Exploring Restorative Justice in Law Enforcement

In case you missed it, we wanted to lift up this exciting online course from the Zehr Institute for Restorative Justice, a program of NCDD member org, the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University. The four-session course will provide an introduction to restorative justice with an emphasis on its application in law enforcement and other community partnerships. It will be a great opportunity for those working in or with law enforcement agencies, though make sure you sign up ASAP as the course is limited to 25 participants. You can read the announcement below or find the original on the Zehr Institute’s site here.

Law Enforcement Through Restorative Justice: Peacebuilding in the Community

This four-part online course is an introduction to restorative justice with an emphasis on its applications in law enforcement and community-engaged program partnerships. Participants will explore innovative ways to incorporate restorative justice within an agency, and to collaborate with community organizations on such initiatives. Through presentations and interactive discussions, examples of implementation in police agencies throughout the United States will be showcased. Some of these will include:

  • An alternative to, or within, the criminal justice system
  • Citizen complaints
  • Internal conflict and
  • Community engagement.

Restorative justice is often referred to as “the missing piece in law enforcement”. You will learn why police chiefs around the country have been utilizing or are incorporating restorative justice as an option within their organization. From victim advocacy, to offender accountability, restorative justice provides many benefits to an entire community. For example, police departments experience a high rate of victim satisfaction, community participation, and reduction in offender recidivism which ultimately results in accomplishing procedural justice and police legitimacy.

Course dates:

  • March 13, 2018 3 – 4:30 pm Eastern
  • March 20, 2018 3 – 4:30 pm Eastern
  • March 27, 2018 3 – 4:30 pm Eastern
  • April 3, 2018 3 – 4:30 pm Eastern

Course Fee: $200 for the full 4-week course.
Complete payment & registration by clicking here.

Course Objectives

  • Explore why and how law enforcement is implementing restorative justice programs across this country
  • Engage select guest speakers on the greatest successes and challenges they have faced in applying restorative justice to law enforcement.
  • Learn about innovative restorative justice practices that have enhanced law enforcement and community engagement, partnerships, and collaboration
  • Grapple with how to make law enforcement more restorative – changing structures, policies and procedures

Course Instructor(s): Dr. Carl Stauffer and Officer Vanessa Westley
Course Syllabus: Download Syllabus

Target Audience
The course is intended for people working in or associated with law enforcement agencies. Criminal justice practitioners, law enforcement agency directors, command level officers and those working in the field will benefit from this series.

Course Structure & Cost
The course will be held four consecutive weeks for 90 minutes per session – Tuesdays, March 13 – April 3, 2018 from 3-4:30 pm (EST), and will be synchronous, (i.e. live) through the Zoom platform. Unlike a webinar, all participants will be able to see, hear and speak to the others. Participants will need access to an internet-connected computer with webcam and microphone, head phones, a quiet spot and good lighting.

Enrollment is limited to 25. This is a non-credit course however, a certificate of participation will be provided upon request.

Instructor Bios
Officer Vanessa Westley is a twenty-five year veteran of the Chicago Police Department.  She has served in various positions within the Department’s Patrol Division and other units.  She began her service in Community Policing in 2004 under now-retired First Deputy Dana V. Starks, as project manager in the Department’s CAPS Project Office.  She later served as project manager for the Mayor’s Office of Faith Based and Community Partnerships.  Currently she is the program manager for the Chicago Police Department’s and the Metro YMCA’s “Bridging the Divide” program.  She is the special projects coordinator for the CAPS Revitalization effort launched in 2013.  She leads the community engagement training program for the Department through DePaul University’s Center for Urban Education.  Vanessa is a Restorative Justice and Art of Hosting practitioner and trainer.

Dr. Carl Stauffer teaches Restorative and Transitional Justice at the Graduate Center for Justice and Peacebuilding, Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, Virginia. Stauffer also serves as Co-Director of the Zehr Institute of Restorative Justice and the Academic Director of the Caux Scholars Program in Switzerland. Stauffer entered the Restorative Justice field as the first Executive Director of the Capital Area Victim-Offender Reconciliation Program in Richmond, Virginia in 1991. In 1994, Stauffer and his family moved to South Africa where he worked with various transitional justice processes such as the Peace Accords, Community-Police Forums, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Local Community Development structures. From 2000 to 2009, Stauffer was appointed as the Mennonite Central Committee Regional Peace Adviser for the Southern Africa region. His work has taken him to 20 African countries and 15 other countries in the Caribbean, Middle East, Europe, Asia and the Balkans.

You can find the original version of this announcement on the Zehr Institute’s site at www.zehr-institute.org/courses/law-enforcement-through-restorative-justice-peacebuilding-in-the-community/.

differences in voting by major

My colleague Inger Bergom has a piece in The Conversation with  entitled “Why don’t STEM majors vote as much as others?” They are analyzing data from the two million college students who are included in our National Study of Learning, Voting and Engagement at Tisch College.

The raw correlations between college majors and voting rates are pretty substantial. In 2016, more than half of all education majors voted (53.5%), which was more than 7 points ahead of the rate for business students.

But majors attract different demographic groups. For example, women vote at somewhat higher rates than men. If more education majors were men, the turnout rates in education programs would fall. By the same token, STEM turnout would rise if STEM majors recruited more women. However, education majors would still be ahead.

Once you zero in on major, race and gender together, you see some interesting patterns. African American women who major in education voted at a 58% rate in 2016, well over double the rate of Asian-American men who majored in business.

Self-selection must be part of the story: people who are more interested in the kinds of issues that arise in politics may also enroll in majors like education. Still, there is room to improve the civic education that STEM and business majors experience.

Two Women & a Republic Blog Officially Launches

We are excited to share that NCDD board member, Wendy Willis, recently launched a blog in collaboration with Paula Ellis called, Two Women & a Republic: Letters to Democracy between friends. The site is a correspondence between the two women, focused on exploring the heart of democracy and the ways in which we can bring about a more humane democratic experience. We encourage you to check out their weekly musings which you can find on their beautiful new website here, created by NCDD co-founder Andy Fluke. You can read the inaugural blog post below or find the original on the Two Women & a Republic site here.

In Search of a Benevolent Form or Snipping and Shaping for Democracy

From Wendy Willis…

Well, here we are! After months of planning and talking and dreaming, we have finally arrived at launch day for our new labor of love, Two Women and a Republic.

In fact, now that I look at the calendar, I realize that this is a project 53 weeks in the making. Paula and I met last January—January 18, if I am not mistaken—at the Kettering Foundation Annual Retreat. There was a huge room of some of the nations’s smartest smarties offering thoughts and provocations about the state of citizen-centered democracy. After a back and forth about what could and should be done at a really critical moment for the country (and the world), Paula raised her hand and suggested (both brilliantly and understatedly): “What if we created a Brainpickings for democracy?” Well, that was an idea I had never heard before, so at the next break, I hot-footed it right over there and said: “Let’s do it.” We’ve been writing and talking and Skyping ever since. And once in a great while, we even get to see each other in person!

One of the things we realized in these months of conversation is that there are many opportunities to talk about the mechanics of democracy—the institutions, the legal bases, the processes. And believe me, both Paula and I talk about all those things, with each other and with others. But we also share a desire to talk with somebody about the culture of democracy or about what we might dare to call the heart of democracy. We’re interested in the habits and quirks and daily practices that might lead us to a more humane and democratic society. Or at least to a more humane and democratic hour.

There is also something attractive to us about the letter form, arcane as it might be. At the moment, I am binge-reading the novelist and critic, Elizabeth Hardwick, and this is what she had to say about letter-writing:

Letters are above all useful as a means of expressing the ideal self; and no other method of communication is quite so good for this purpose. . . .In letters we can reform without practice, beg without humiliation, snip and shape embarrassing experiences to the measure of our own desires — this is a benevolent form.

So even if we don’t begin each post with a “dear” and end it with a “very truly yours,” we think of these offerings as letters—letters to each other, letters to democracy, letters to those of you who might find your way here.

Though we are reluctant to make promises, we hope to post something new here each week, even if it’s just a quote or a provocation. Sometimes, we’ll write something longer. But we want to hear from you, too. We want to know what you’re thinking about and worrying over and dreaming into being. Comment here, post on our Facebook page, write us emails. Follow us on Instagram. It’s all a work in progress, but more than anything, we want to nurture a little community here amongst the letters.

Even as we’re just getting started, we have some people to thank. First, big thanks to Andy Fluke for his patience with us as he built our beautiful website. And to the good folks at Kettering who put us in the same place at the same time. And to our friends and family who listened to us fuss over what this project could be. And thanks to you for showing up here–right at the beginning–trusting that when women get together, something’s bound to happen.

You can read the original version of this post on the Two Women & a Republic site at www.twowomenandarepublic.com/2018/01/24/weve-moved-to-a-new-office/.

Paula Ellis also wrote a piece, “Our Eclectic Stew of Ideas” which you can read on the Two Women & a Republic site by clicking here.

Piano di tutela delle acque Valle d’Aosta [Regional Waters Protection Plan of Aosta Valley]

Il Piano di tutela delle acque (PTA) trova il suo riferimento normativo nella Direttiva Quadro sulle Acque (Dir. 2000/60/CE), recepita dal D. lgs. 152/2006. E’ uno strumento di scala intermedia, regionale, ed è sottoposto al Piano di gestione di distretto idrografico che in questo caso, per la Valle d’Aosta, è...