MetroQuest Online Engagement Tips Webinar on 10/17

In two weeks, NCDD member org MetroQuest will be hosting the webinar, 10 Tips for Successful Online Engagement Every Time; which was co-sponsored by NCDD and the American Planning Association (APA). This free webinar on Wednesday, October 17th will offer best practices for online engagement and share stories from successful engagement efforts. You can read the announcement below or find the original on MetroQuest’s site here.


10 Tips for Successful Online Engagement Every Time

Find out how ENR’s #1 transportation planning agency, an MPO, and County consistently engage 1000’s online!

Wednesday, October 17th
11 am Pacific | 12 pm Mountain | 1 pm Central | 2 pm Eastern (1 hour)
Educational Credit Available (APA AICP CM)
Complimentary (FREE)

REGISTER HERE

Navigating public involvement for your transportation plan doesn’t have to feel like a bad commute. In this webinar, ENR’s #1 transportation design firm, an innovative MPO, and creative County will help you find the shortest route to successful participation every time.

Join Jim Meyer, Senior Planner at AECOM, as he shares proven tips for effective online public involvement by exploring how he engaged 12,000+ citizens on three successful transportation projects. He’ll be joined by public outreach experts Amy Elmore from Pasco County and Johnny Wong from Hillsborough MPO to share their real-world journey to success.

Attend this complimentary 1-hour webinar for 10 proven tips! You’ll learn how to:

  • Engage 1,000s online for all planning projects, large and small
  • Integrate online engagement effectively in your process
  • Promote like a pro using innovative multi-media tactics
  • Collect public input that’s both quantifiable and actionable
  • Reach Environmental Justice communities

The session will culminate with answers to your questions in a live Q&A session with Jim, Amy, Johnny, and Dave Biggs, Chief Engagement Officer at MetroQuest.

Speakers
Jim Meyer, AICP – Senior Transportation Planner, AECOM
For over 22 years, Jim has provided mobility solutions for state DOTs, MPOs, counties, and communities across the Country. Jim specializes in long range, multimodal transportation plans, having prepared over 30 long range transportation plans. Jim is actively involved in stakeholder and public outreach activities to ensure the plan recommendations reflect the desired community vision.

Amy Elmore, M.S. – Branch Communications Coordinator, Pasco County
Amy specializes in developing communication strategies and overseeing a variety of proactive marketing, communications, and production activities with the goal of promoting Pasco County, Florida. She has over 10 years of experience in social media marketing for small business and government organizations. Amy used her expertise to aid in county-wide social media efforts throughout Hurricane Irma.

Johnny Wong, PhD – Senior Planner, Hillsborough MPO
Johnny manages the performance measurement program and serves as liaison to the Intelligent Transportation Services committee. He served as project manager for the outreach portion of the 2045 Long Range Transportation Plan update. It was the first time the LRTP produced a tri-county initiative, requiring extensive coordination with the neighboring counties of Pasco and Pinellas.

You can find the original version of this announcement on MetroQuest’s site at http://go.metroquest.com/10-Tips-for-Successful-Online-Engagement-EveryTime.html.

Submit Application for NCL’s 2019 All-American City Awards

It’s that time again! Applications are now being accepted for the 2019 All-American City Awards until March 5th, 2019. Hosted by the National Civic League, an NCDD partner and conference sponsor, the award will be given to the communities working towards improving health equity through inclusive civic engagement. We encourage you to watch the video from the 2018 awardees with tips on applying and how the award has benefitted their communities. You can read the announcement below and find the original version on NCL’s site here.


Creating Healthy Communities Through Inclusive Civic Engagement

The National Civic League invites you to apply for the All-America City Award – the nation’s most prestigious community award, now in its 70th year.

The AAC Award offers the opportunity for both recognition and reflection. Applications require communities to come together to assess their strengths and challenges. The 2019 All-America City Award is focused on celebrating examples of civic engagement practices that advance health equity in local communities. We are looking for communities that demonstrate inclusive decision-making processes to create better health for all, and particularly for populations currently experiencing poorer health outcomes.

Download the application now and mobilize local groups to work together and display on a national stage the people and projects that make your community a great place to live, work and play.

Details and Dates
Applications on behalf of cities, counties, towns, or tribes are due March 5, 2019. Leaders from local government, schools, nonprofits, community foundations, libraries, chambers of commerce and youth have all led their communities to win the All-America City Award. APPLY NOW!

  • July 2018 – June 2019
    All-America City Promising Practices Webinar Series
  • Nov. 14, 2018
    Letter of Intent due (not required to apply)
  • March 5, 2019
    Application Due
  • April 2019
    Finalists Announced
  • June 21 – 23, 2019
    Awards Competition and Conference

Want to submit a competitive application? Watch the webinar recording below to hear 2018 All-America City winners, Kershaw County, SC and Las Vegas, NV, present on their All-America City journey with tips for applying, the types of projects they submitted and an update on the benefits they have seen from winning the award.

You can find the original version of this announcement on the National Civic League’s site at www.nationalcivicleague.org/creating-healthy-communities-through-inclusive-civic-engagement/.

News Flash! NCDD2018 Official Workshop Schedule is Live!

HERE THEY ARE! The final round of workshops are below and the official workshop schedule is now up! We also announced the presenters who will be at the D&D Showcase on Friday night – check it out here! Friendly reminder the discounted hotel room rate at the Sheraton Denver Downtown is ending next Wednesday, October 10th at 5pm MST, so make sure you book your rooms as they are filling up quickly. If you are looking to split a room with someone, coordinate for a roommate here on the blog. Finally, if you are looking for a way to support this field, consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Scholarship Fund Drive! These contributions will help support a fellow NCDDer to attend the conference who would otherwise be unable to do so.


NCDD2018 Workshop Sessions

Check out the full workshop schedule on the conference page here!

Adding Youth Voices to Dialogue and Deliberation
Have you considered what youth perspectives can contribute to your dialogue and deliberative processes? This session will share some guiding principles for engaging youth and creating youth-led dialogue and deliberative processes. Two case studies will be explored that demonstrate the potential of youth stakeholder engagement when these principles are applied and the benefits of incorporating young people into all aspects of the process. Participants will have the ability to brainstorm strategies for including youth and developing more inclusive dialogue and deliberative processes.

Scott Castillo
Manager of Engaging Communities Initiatives, Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center

Lemuel Mariano
Program Coordinator, Youth Leadership Institute

Campus Approaches to Dialogue, Deliberation, and Civic Engagement
In this session, several professors from different universities, combine efforts to highlight various campus-based approaches to dialogue, deliberation, and civic engagement. This session introduces different approaches and examples that focus on how both dialogue and deliberation work to foster civic innovation on campuses. All share the belief that engaged students lead to engaged citizens. Participants will get to dive into both theory and practice of these approaches.

Allissa Aardema
Undergraduate Student, Moderator and Notetaker, Voices for Democracy and Civility, Indiana University

Maria Hamilton Abegunde
Director, Graduate Mentoring Center and Visiting Lecturer in African American and African Diaspora Studies, Indiana University

Lauren Swayne Barthold
Philosophy Professor, Endicott College and Research Fellow, Essential Partners

Jill DeTemple
Director of Undergraduate Studies and Associate Professor, Department of Religious Studies, Southern Methodist University

Harriett E. Hayes
Division Head of Humanities & Social Sciences and Associate Professor of Sociology, Bridgewater College

Lisa-Marie Napoli
Associate Director of the Political and Civic Engagement Program, Indiana University; Director, Voices for Democracy and Civility

John Sarrouf
Director of Program Development and Strategic Partnerships, Essential Partners; Peace and Conflict Resolution Professor, Gordon College

Deconstructing Empathy: Listening Beyond Differences to Catalyze Transformation
Those who facilitate group conversations know deep listening is essential to mutual growth and progress. We also are often the ones “keeping the peace” at any cost, even to ourselves. Join us in exploring and experiencing what it means to develop empathy, first for ourselves, then for others. Only when we can personally embrace the change we wish to foster in others, can we help groups find the common ground that we never imagined possible.

Megan Devenport
Executive Director, Building Bridges

Salomeh Diaz
Director, Sacred Minds Consulting

Lydia Hooper
Consultant, Fountain Visual Communications

Dialogue and Deliberation in Higher Education
Faculty and students from three universities share how they are building capacity for D&D in their classes. You’ll learn how students have been given power over aspects of course content and instructional strategies; how we can ‘stack’ pedagogical practices during dialogue in classes across disciplines; and how undergraduates can learn about global best practices by contributing to Participedia. We’ll also ask what you’re doing in your classes and seek ideas for other activities that can be used in all learning situations, no matter where it occurs or the age of the students.

Dr. Denny Frey
Associate Professor of History and Coordinator of the Core, Lasell College

Kiel Harrel
Assistant Professor of Education, University of Minnesota – Morris

Cassandra Hemphill
Adjunct Faculty, University of Montana, Missoula College

Sara G. Lam
Assistant Professor of Elementary Education, University of Minnesota – Morris

Sharyn Lowenstein
Director, Center for Community-Based Learning
Associate Professor, Lasell College

D&D for Everyone: How Do We Get Everyone to Participate?
Dialogue and deliberation are great for bringing people together across our differences. But, it can be a challenge to get everyone to the table when people just don’t think D&D is for them. Some view our work as inherently liberal. Others don’t see the point to more “talking” because these critical issues can’t wait to be addressed. How do we make D&D for everyone? Join us for this facilitated conversation about how we can better reach out, recruit and welcome those who are not inclined to participate in D&D processes. Topics will include how we frame our work to be even more inclusive and welcoming (to those who don’t feel that quite yet), the role of convening, and more. Come add your ideas – with plans to share whatever comes out of this “think tank” with other attendees and the NCDD network as a whole.

Cristin F. Brawner
Executive Director, David Mathews Center for Civic Life

Martín Carcasson
Director, CSU Center for Public Deliberation
Board Chair, National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation

Jacob Hess
Co-Founder & Co-Director, Village Square Utah
Board Member, National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation

Engaging & Healing Differences – Holding Tension in Life-Giving Ways!
Come enjoy a live encounter with one of the five habits, “An Ability to Hold Tensions in Life-Giving Ways.” A framework of Touchstones and Honest & Open Questions holds a brave & trustworthy space. Afterwards you will hear stories of using and adapting this material for different ages (middle school, college and adults) and conversational focus. Heart felt self-reflection and fresh, meaningful communal conversation is supported in this interactive civic dialogue curriculum (Parker Palmer’s Healing the Heart of Democracy 5 Habits of the Heart & Empathetic Presence. Come play with Tension!

Susan Kaplan, M.S.W., M.P.A., R.Y.T.
Facilitator and Trainer, Colorado Courage & Renewal Collaboration & Rocky Mountain Compassionate Communication Network

Sheila Davis, MD, MS
Healthcare Leadership Program, University College, University Of Denver

Sarah Leach
Urban Farmer, Celebration Gardens and Three Sisters

Engaged Journalism for Community Connection
Fake news. Decreasing trust. Declining audience. What’s a news organization to do? One antidote is “engaged journalism” – news organizations listening and connecting with their communities in new ways, leading to more nuanced stories, stronger relationships with audiences, and greater civic engagement. Newsrooms are collaborating with more D&D practitioners to bring the unique skills engagement into journalism. In this session, we’ll share stories of how news organizations are engaging with their communities, and we’ll host a conversation, guided by your questions, about what that could mean for D&D practitioners. Come explore what the D&D – journalism matchup could look like!

Peggy Holman
Co-Founder and Principal, Journalism That Matters

Fiona Morgan
Consultant, Branchhead Consulting

Andrew Rockway
Program Director, Jefferson Center

Eve Pearlman
Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Spaceship Media

Faith Groups as Civic Actors: Exploring Deliberative Work in Context of Faith
In this session, we will present several ongoing cases when faith-based groups have engaged in the work of dialogue and deliberation. We will discuss the direction of their experiments, particularly focusing on their use of issue framings and various formats of deliberation. We hope that these presentations will open up space for a discussion of how faith-based civic work is seen by people in faith-based organizations as well as by people whose work has been set up within the secular framework. What connections exist between these lines of deliberative efforts? How may such connections be potentially beneficial or desirable? How may we work to foster them?

Ekaterina Lukianova
Program Officer, Kettering Foundation

Erin Payseur Oeth
Associate Director of Civic Learning Initiatives, City of Boulder

Simone Talma-Flowers
Executive Director, Interfaith Action of Central Texas

Introducing K12 Students as to How to Think Critically About Dialogue and Deliberation
This workshop will detail how various individuals are working to empower students by bringing deliberative practices into secondary schools and higher education. Amy Nocton and Eleiza Braun will explain how they joined forces with the University of Connecticut to create the E.O. Smith Democratic Dialogue Project, which provides opportunities for student leadership and voice, develops student and teacher civic discourse skills, improves school climate and community, and models the use of dialogue and deliberation for addressing issues of critical concern to the broader community.. Logan Steppan and Kate Garcia from Creek Consulting will also present, showing how the private sector is working alongside students to promote deliberative civic engagement. By empowering students and enhancing their civic knowledge, we can see direct action and results. Learn how here.

Amy Louise Nocton
Spanish teacher, Edwin O. Smith High School, Initiative on Campus Dialogues Fellow (UCONN Humility and Conviction in Public Life)

Eleiza Braun
Community Organizer, Initiative on Campus Dialogues Fellow (UCONN Humility and Conviction in Public Life)

Logan Steppan
Founder, Creek Consulting LLC

Kate Garcia
Deliberative Facilitator, Creek Consulting LLC

Restorative Circle Practice for Transforming Conflict
This workshop will be an interactive introduction to the Restorative Circle model. Circles have been used to navigate and transform conflict across time, culture, and place. The RC model is highly responsive and adaptable to meet the unique needs of diverse communities and individuals. We will work from an anti-oppression framework to practice some of the core components of a circle process.

Ceema Samimi, MSSW, MPA
Ph.D. Candidate, University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work

Rachel K Sharp, MA
Director of Arts & Education, Creative Strategies for Change

Social Media and Online Dialogue and Deliberation: Experiences, Challenges, and Solutions
This workshop will start with a brief review of a few specific and recent instances of online discussion on social media gone bad. In smaller group discussions thereafter, participants will be encouraged to share, discuss and explore their ideas about more general online challenges, including, for example: challenges arising from the for-profit or commercial side of social media, the increasing polarization & decreasing participation online generally, and the often “drive-by” commentary fostered online and other incivilities that discourage deeper citizen engagement–among other online challenges. The workshop will culminate with a discussion focused on identifying and developing some ideas and strategies for addressing these challenges.

Todd Davies
Associate Director and Lecturer, Symbolic Systems Program at Stanford University

David Fridley
Founder & CEO, Synaccord, LLC

Natalie Hopkinson
Fellow, Interactivity Foundation

Sue Goodney Lea
Fellow, Interactivity Foundation

Guy D. Nave, Jr., Ph.D.
Founder, Clamoring For Change
Professor, Luther College

Peter Shively
Fellow, Interactivity Foundation

Talking Past Each Other from Different Ideologies – Analysis and Solutions
We don’t all communicate the same way. Language from critical race theory, anti-racist liberalism, religious tolerance, or traditional individualism can result in talking past each other until every word (even personal stories) feels antagonistic, especially if egos have been injured. Failure to bridge these assumptions about communication leads to extreme sadness, anger, and confusion. In this session, we apply an analysis tool we developed in research to conversations from real reconciliation dialogues in our work and then invite discussion about overcoming these difficulties in dialogues.

Madeline Maxwell
Professor of Communication Studies & Director of the UT Project on Conflict Resolution, The University of Texas at Austin

JhuCin (Rita) Jhang
Ph.D. Candidate, Assistant Director of UT Global Ethics & Conflict Resolution Summer Symposium, The University of Texas at Austin

The Art of Civic Engagement
What happens when we use artist’s creativity to design engaging civic processes? Join us in this session to learn about an innovative case study about the world’s first civic health club, Warm Cookies of the Revolution. Warm Cookies engages community members in crucial civic issues by creating innovative and fun arts and cultural programs. One such program is The Machine Has a Soul, a project focused in two Denver neighborhoods that combines participatory budgeting with artworks and performances inspired by Rube Goldberg machines. We will discuss how arts affect the quality of participation.

Amanda Hudson
Ph.D. Candidate, Portland State University

Evan Weissman
Executive Director, Warm Cookies of the Revolution

The Community Collaboration Project: Igniting Positive Change at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science
Learn about how the Denver Museum of Nature & Science collaborated with community members to create a culturally-inclusive vision for the Museum’s future. Recognizing that communities of color are not always heard and their ways of knowing are not always taken into account in traditional museum planning and exhibitions, the Museum used an Appreciative Inquiry-based process to empower community members and Museum staff to re-imagine the museum together. In addition to creating a powerful future vision, the Community Collaboration Project built internal capacity for strength-based, inclusive planning that continues to transform the Museum in surprising and impactful ways.

Barbara Lewis
Co-Founder, Rocky Mountain Center for Positive Change
Principal, Catalyst Consulting

Carolyn Love, Ph.D.
Founder, Kebaya Coaching & Consulting

Andrea Girón Mathern
Director, Audience Research & Evaluation, Denver Museum of Nature & Science

Virtual Exchange: Using Technology to Bridge the Divide
By reaching new populations and larger numbers, virtual exchanges connect individuals across geographic, cultural and political divides. Explore the possibilities of using virtual exchange to prepare, deepen and extend the physical exchanges you work within. Practice working with online tools to promote constructive online engagement and communication. Discuss the key differences, opportunities, and skills fundamental to facilitating online dialogues.

Gina Amatangelo
Lecturer, University of Texas at San Antonio

Julie Hawke
Senior Facilitation Officer, Sharing Perspectives Foundation

John Gable
Founder & CEO, Allsides

We Are Human First: Creating Safe Spaces for Group Dialogue
Every person has a voice. Participants will learn how the use of visual art and music, mindfulness, psychodrama, and storytelling can stimulate authentic conversation along with more empathic understanding within diverse groups and communities. These interactional and experiential techniques have been tested and found to be a powerful way to open people up to explore who they are in non-defensive ways, regardless of prior group experiences. These techniques have not only been used with individuals, groups, couples and families in conflictual situations, but also with businesses, non-profits and faith-based organizations, and in secondary schools and university settings. Join our dialogue!

Dr. Paula Christian Kliger. PhD, ABPP
President, PsychAssets

Lori Blumenstein-Bott LMSW
VP, PsychAssets

Sara Kliger, MA, RDT, LCAT-P
Director of Experiential Services, PsychAssets

When the Conversation Gets Tough, Get Visual!
Visualizing ideas, feelings, and experiences can profoundly aid in the process of having tough conversations and making difficult group decisions. In this session, participants will learn about why visuals are so effective given what we know about the human brain. They will then get to practice using different visual tools and techniques to better design group processes and facilitate conversations that matter.

Cassandra O’Neill
CEO, Leadership Alchemy LLC

Lydia Hooper
Consultant, Fountain Visual Communications

Christine Chopyak
Partner and Visual Strategist, Arlosoul: Visualize Innovation

Count Me In! – Backyard Ballot Bash & Ballot Speed Dating

We always love hearing about cool, fun engagement efforts going on, which is why we’re excited to share with you an effort happening in Colorado called, Count Me In! It’s a collaborative civic engagement effort that educates voters on what’s on their ballot in a transpartisan way, bringing in all sides of the initiatives. CMI seeks to empower voters to know what they are voting on and vote on the whole ballot, with fun events like Ballot Speed Dating and Backyard Ballot Bashes. If you are in Colorado, check out the events that are lined up or contact CMI to plan your own! For those not in the state, we encourage you to check it out and see if you can bring something similar to your communities! You can learn more about CMI in the post below and on their site here.


Learn about what’s on your ballot with Count Me In!

There are going to be 13 initiatives for Coloradans to vote on this year, and that’s just the statewide ones. Even the most well-informed among us will need some help figuring out how they’re going to vote on all of these issues. That’s why Count Me In! is here. Once again, Count Me In! is partnering with community organizations around the state to make sure voters get all the information they need to make informed decisions about these critical policies affecting our state. Count Me In! is nonpartisan and provides information that is objective. There is still time to bring Count Me In! to your community, connect with us and we will plan an event that works for your community.

Check out where Count Me In! is headed with our list of events below. Join us for these events and share with your folks. We are getting new requests every day so check our website and Facebook page for the most up to date CMI! Events.

Save the Date(s) for Count Me In! Ballot Speed Dating

Count Me In! Colorado is hosting a few bigger ballot events we are calling Ballot Speed Dating. You’ll learn about each measure at these fun, informational ballot events. Count Me In! will be inviting all the statewide ballot campaigns to join us. You’ll get to ask your questions and learn more about each measure, like you would while speed dating. There will be appetizers, drinks, prizes, and engaging election information. Don’t miss this event!

  • Grand Junction Ballot Speed Dating: Thursday, September 27 from 5:30 –7:00 pm, SpringHills Suites, 236 Main Street, Grand Junction. Please share this event with folks in your network that would be interested!
  • Denver Ballot Speed Dating: Wednesday, October 17 from 5:30 – 7:30 pm, Great Divide Brewing, 1812 35th St, Denver, CO 80216. Be on the lookout for more info and promotional material for this event later this week.
  • Denver Ballot Bash: Saturday, October 20 – Denver Game Lounge – more info to come!

Ballot Bash in a Box

This year, in addition to great events at cool venues in every corner of the state, voters will be invited to host their own Backyard Ballot Bash (patent pending) using materials we’re calling Ballot Bash in a Box. If you’re dying to help your friends and neighbors get informed and want to make sure they vote their ballots from the bottom up, or you just need more information about Count Me In!, make sure you email Caitlin Schneider at schneider@coloradofiscal.org today.

Follow Count Me In on the social media, FacebookTwitterInstagram!

Check out the calendar of events planned so far!

Date/Time Event
9/13/18
10 am – 11:30 am
 Count Me In! at the Southwest Rural Philanthropy Days
9/20/18
7 pm – 8 pm
 CMI! joins DougCo Dems for “What’s on Your Ballot?”
 Highlands Ranch Library, Highlands Ranch CO
9/23/18
5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Tri-County Health Network hosts Count Me In! in Telluride
9/27/18
5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
 Grand Junction Ballot Speed Dating
 SpringsHill Suites by Marriot, Grand Junction CO
10/01/18
6 – 7 pm
What’s on your Ballot?
Aspen, CO
10/02/18
11:30 am – 1:30 pm
What’s on your Ballot?
Colorado Mountain College, Edwards Campus, Edwards CO
10/04/18
5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
 CMI Happy Hour with Common Cause
10/10/18
5:30 am – 7:00 am
 Count Me In! partners with Holy Trinity Lutheran Church
 Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Littleton Colorado
10/11/18
8 am – 10 am
 CMI! in Summit County “What’s on your Ballot”
10/11/18
12 pm – 2 pm
 CMI! in Grand County “What’s on your Ballot?”
10/14/18
9:30 am – 10:30 am
 Count Me In! and Holy Trinity Lutheran Church
 Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Littleton Colorado

You can read more information about Count Me In! at www.countmeincolorado.com/.

National Week of Conversation from October 5th – 13th

The next National Week of Conversation (NWOC) is October 5th – 13th! During NWOC, folks around the country will be joining conversations, in hopes to better address the intense divisions in our society through dialogue, deepening understanding, and building relationships. We encourage you to join a conversation already going on and/or start your own here! To help support these conversations, resources like conversations guides and helpful background information are provided on the National Conversation Project (NCP) site here, many from the NCDD coalition! And don’t forget to check out the 3k+ resources on the NCDD Resource Center too! You can read more in the post below and on the NCP site here.


National Week of Conversation: October 5-13

Americans of all stripes are stepping up to address the growing cultural crisis of hyper-polarization and animosity across divides. Together we can turn the tide of rising rancor and deepening division with widespread conversations in which we #ListenFirst to understand. Supported by 100+ organizations, National Conversation Project promotes monthly conversation opportunities as well as National Weeks of Conversation.

In April of this year, thousands of Americans took part in the first National Week of Conversation (NWOC). More than 130 schools, libraries, faith communities, activist groups and nonprofits hosted conversations coast to coast in 32 states. These conversations were grounded in a pledge to listen first and seek understanding. The official #ListenFirst hashtag reached millions during NWOC and continues to be promoted by celebrities and journalists to millions more. NWOC events gained media attention across the nation including in the New York Times.

Majorities of NWOC participants walked away feeling more tolerant, understanding, appreciative and curious toward people with different perspectives. Two-thirds rated the value of their conversation as a 9 or 10 out of 10. More than three-quarters now feel better equipped and more likely to listen first to understand, as well as more likely to participate in conversations across divides. A survey of all Americans found 75% willing to set a good example by practicing conversations across divides, and 36%—amounting to more than 100 million people—want to see a national campaign promoting such conversations.

The next National Week of Conversation is October 5th – 13th! Join a conversation already going on or start your own here: www.nationalconversationproject.org/how_to_get_involved

TOPIC OF THE MONTH: Bridging Divides

The United States is facing a cultural crisis. Increasingly in America today, we don’t just disagree; we distrust, dislike, even despise those who see the world differently. Animosity for positions is becoming contempt for the people who hold them. Difference and disagreement are deeply personal as we rage against and recoil from those we see as enemies across widening divides—political, racial, religious, economic and more. Most of us see fewer things that bind Americans together today and have few or no friends from the other side. The rate of loneliness has more than doubled to nearly 50%, creating a public health epidemic. We’re withdrawing from conversations—thereby eroding relationships and understanding—which threatens the foundational fabric of America. 75% of Americans say this problem has reached a crisis level, and 56% believe it will only get worse. Our condition is rapidly deteriorating into what’s now being described as a soft civil war.

There’s nothing wrong with passionate beliefs, disagreement, and protest, but it feels like something more dangerous is taking hold. Do you see it? Personally feel it? What’s changed? What can we do about it together? How we can bridge the divides that threaten our future?

Conversation Guides on Bridging Divides

Background Information to support these conversations:

National Conversation Project Calendar – click here

National Week of Conversation – Fall ‘18: October 5-13, 2018
Listen First Friday – Nov: November 2, 2018
Listen First Friday – Dec: December 7, 2018
Listen First Friday – Jan: January 4, 2019
Listen First Friday – Feb: February 1, 2019
Listen First Friday – Mar: March 1, 2019
National Week of Conversation – Spring ‘19: April 5-13, 2019
Listen First Friday – May: May 3, 2019
Listen First Friday – Jun: June 7, 2019
Listen First Friday – Jul: July 5, 2019
Listen First Friday – Aug: August 2, 2019
Listen First Friday – Sep: September 6, 2019
National Week of Conversation – Fall ‘19: October 4-12, 2019
Listen First Friday – Nov: November 1, 2019
Listen First Friday – Dec: December 6, 2019

You can learn more about the National Week of Conversation at www.nationalconversationproject.org/.

Join National Conversation on Civility Live Stream Tonight

In case you missed it, you are invited to join the livestream for a National Conversation on Civility tonight from 7-9 pm Eastern, hosted by NCDD member org National Institute for Civil Discourse and the American Psychological Association. The conversation moderated by Scott Simon of NPR, will feature a panel with Dr. Johnathan Haidt, Sally Kohn, Dr. Arthur Evans, and Dr. Carolyn Lukensmeyer, as they explore the importance of civility in our society and how to repair it moving forward. They will be answering questions via the live stream and for folks in the DC area you can attend the event in person, see the details below.


Revive Civility: Our Democracy Depends on It

From the Brett M. Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination hearing to people burning their Nike products, as the country approaches the 2018 midterm elections, our national rhetoric is more polarized than ever. Rudeness, name-calling, bullying and insults have become so commonplace that many Americans have tuned out. Can these behaviors be curbed, and can we learn to disagree civilly? To address these and other questions, the American Psychological Association and the National Institute for Civil Discourse have partnered to present “A National Conversation on Civility.”

Please join us for a National Conversation on Civility via live stream on September 26th from 7-9 PM (Eastern) on Civility and our Democracy in the run up to the 2018 elections with Scott Simon, (NPR) moderating a panel that includes authors Jonathan Haidt and Sally Kohn Dr. Arthur C. Evans and Dr. Carolyn Lukensmeyer .  We’ll be exploring the importance of civility, why it has broken down — and why it’s necessary for solving the major challenges confronting our nation.

You can participate in this event via live stream from your home, coffee house, place of worship, library or community center.  Gather with family, friends, members of your community organization to watch together.  There will be opportunities for you to share questions for the panel via YouTube and to engage with those gathered around you.

REGISTER HERE

For those in the DC area who can join in person:
Jack Morton Auditorium George Washington University 805 21st St., N.W. Washington, DC 20052

Doors open at 6:30. Panel discussion with audience participation from 7-9 p.m., followed by a reception from 9-10 p.m. Haidt and Kohn will be signing copies of their books. Tickets are available for purchase at www.gwutickets.com $18 for the panel discussion only, $28 for the discussion and reception

Together let’s continue to explore how we can build civility and respect into our lives and public discourse.

This information was drawn from Cheryl Graeve, National Community Organizer with the National Institute for Civil Discourse and from a blog post on NICD’s site from the American Psychological Association at www.nicd.arizona.edu/news/cant-we-all-just-get-along-national-conversation-civility-features-psychologists-media.

Participatory Budgeting Joins NCDD2018 Pre-conf Line-up!

We have an exciting addition to the pre-conference sessions happening on Thursday, November 1st, the day before the 2018 National Conference for Dialogue & Deliberation officially begins. Get an early start on the NCDD2018 fun with this new session, What is Participatory Budgeting and How Can it Work for Me?, happening from 12 – 4 pm at the Sheraton Denver Downtown.

Interested to learn more about participatory budgeting and this exciting democratic process sweeping the world?  Join this interactive and engaging training with The Participatory Budgeting Project (PBP) and explore the possibilities of PB in Denver and beyond. Shari Davis, Co-Executive Director of PBP, will be joined by several local leaders of the Denver area PB processes, including Roshan Bliss, previous NCDD staffer and now Student Organizer for Project VOYCE/Auraria PB, Candi CdeBaca, Executive Director of Project VOYCE, Candace Johnson, Community Partner for The Colorado Trust and Project Belay Team Member, and Evan Weismann, Executive Director for Warm Cookies of the Revolution.

Registration for general admission is $45, with sliding scale available for youth ($5) and local participants ($20) – contact courtney@ncdd.org for sliding scale tickets. Register for this workshop and/or check out the other five pre-conference sessions at ncdd2018-precon.eventbrite.com!

It’s almost five weeks until NCDD2018 kicks off! Click here to check out the conference schedule, over 60 sessions announced, how to use the discounted room block (that’s available until 5pm MST, Weds., October 10th), where to find a roomie, and more!

What is Participatory Budgeting and how can it work for me?

Join community members, organizers, agency staff and government staff for an interactive training to explore and plan out the possibilities of participatory budgeting (PB) in Denver and beyond. This session will review a model that promotes authentic democracy while centering equity and redistributing power to community members to make effective spending decisions with public funds. The Participatory Budgeting Project will lead a training that will simulate a PB experience, while PB pioneers from Colorado and members of Denver’s THIS MACHINE HAS A SOUL project will reflect on their local experience with PB.

Hours: 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Registration: sliding scale available (youth $5, local $20, general admission $45)

Shari Davis, Co-Executive Director – Participatory Budgeting Project

Roshan Bliss, Student Organizer – Project VOYCE / Auraria PB

Candi CdeBaca, Executive Director – Project VOYCE

Candace Johnson, Community Partner – The Colorado TrustProject Belay Team member

Evan Weissman, Executive Director – Warm Cookies of the Revolution

Watch the highlights video below for THIS MACHINE HAS A SOUL and learn more at www.thismachinehasasoul.com.

About the presenters
Shari oversees PBP’s advocacy work, technical assistance, and operations. She joined PBP staff after nearly 15 years of service and leadership in local government. As Director of Youth Engagement and Employment for the City of Boston she launched Youth Lead the Change, the first youth participatory budgeting process in the US, which won the US Conference of Mayors’ City Livability Award. Shari first got involved in city government in high school, serving as the Citywide Neighborhood Safety Coordinator on the Boston Mayor’s Youth Council and working at the Mayor’s Youthline. Shari is a graduate of Boston University’s Sargent College for Health and Rehabilitation Sciences and holds a master’s degree in anatomy and physiology.

Roshan is a student organizer with Project VOYCE and a graduate student at UCD, pursuing his masters in political science with a focus on community organizing. Roshan has been involved in local social justice work for most of the last decade in Denver, focusing on youth empowerment, democratizing education, and transforming law enforcement. He is excited to be helping bring participatory budgeting to Denver and the Auraria campus.

Candi began her life as the eldest of three in a single-mother household in the inner city of Denver. From a very early age, Candi took on a leadership role by caring for her siblings and other family members. She found refuge in school, and saw education as an opportunity to change her circumstances. She was the first in her family to graduate from high school, and went on to complete two degrees in five years. While in college, she co-founded the organization she now leads, Project VOYCE (Voices of Youth Changing Education). While in college, Candi also expanded a one-year support program for students of color at the University of Denver to a four-year program. She was one of the first youths to be appointed to the Denver Mayor’s Commission on Youth and to the Denver Mayor’s Latino Advisory Council. She recently completed a fellowship as part of the inaugural cohort of the Latino Leadership Institute. Candi is a fierce advocate for educational equity, and is deeply committed to creating spaces for the historically underrepresented to be key decision makers. She has an entrepreneurial spirit, and seeks to design creative, inclusive, collaborative solutions to our great social challenges.

Candace is a Denver based community organizer and facilitator. She currently works at The Colorado Trust supporting communities in the Denver Metro Area in achieving their health equity goals by addressing the Social Determinants of Health. Candace is also the Board Chair for Woodbine Ecology Center and a Principal member of Project Belay. She lives with her loving partner and two dogs

Evan is the founding executive director of Warm Cookies of the Revolution. He spent 12 years as company member of Buntport Theater Company winning over 100 awards (including the 2010 Mayor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts) as playwright, director, designer, and actor, from media outlets such as The Denver Post, Westword, The Rocky Mountain News, and American Theatre Wing. Formerly a Kellogg Foundation Leadership for Community Change Fellow with Mi Casa Resource Center for Women and a Jane Addams-Andrew Carnegie Graduate Fellow for Leadership and Philanthropic Studies at Indiana University.

Apply by October 15th to Host Nevins Fellow (for free!)

NCDD Member Organization the McCourtney Institute for Democracy is again offering the incredible opportunity for D&D organizations to take advantage of their Nevins Democracy Leaders Program. The 2018-19 application is open now through Monday, October 15th, for organizations who want to host a bright, motivated, D&D-trained student at no-cost!

The Nevins Democracy Leaders Program was founded in 2014 after a gift from David Nevins, President and Co-Director of the Bridge Alliance, an NCDD Member Org. The program provides Penn State students with education and ­training in transpartisan leadership skills by exposing them to a variety of viewpoints and philosophies, as well as teaching critical thinking along with the tools of dialogue and deliberation.

But the flagship work of fostering the next generation of democracy leaders centers on the yearly initiative to place Nevins Program students in unique fellowship position with organizations focused on D&D, transpartisan dialogue, and civic renewal – that means organizations like yours! Stipends and living expenses are provided to the students through the program so that organizations can bring these bright, motivated students into their work for a summer at no cost. The McCourtney Institute provides $5,000 toward the cost of hosting a Nevins Fellow for a summer internship. Students come to their internship sites well prepared and ready to get to work.

Fellows have interned at the following organizations, just to name a few:

  • Everyday Democracy
  • Participatory Budgeting
  • National Institute for Civil Discourse

Much like students apply for the fellowship, organizations apply to host a fellow. Nonprofits, government organizations, or other groups committed to building and sustaining democracy that would like to host a fellow can apply here!

NCDD hosted a Confab Call last September with Chris Beem from the McCourtney Institute, who covered lots of the important details about the program. You can listen to the recording of that call by clicking here. You can also check out this blog post from a 2017 Nevins Fellow about their summer fellowship with the Jefferson Center, to get a better sense of the student’s experience.

It’s an amazing opportunity for everyone involved!

We can’t speak highly enough about the Nevins program’s students or about the value of this program’s contributions to the D&D field. We know that these young people will be great additions to organizations in our field.  We encourage you to apply today!

Public Square Academy Seeking Program Collaborators

The Public Square Academy (PSA) is looking to develop educational and civic online programs. NCDD member Michael Freedman shared the announcement that they are looking for those with civic and educational expertise to develop programs across broad topics areas of education, community engagement, government, and more. There is an opportunity for free 4-weeks training while developing the program, which you can learn more about in the post below and find the original on PSA’s site here.


The Public Square Academy Program Designers

The Public Square Academy (PSA) is building a catalog of civic and consumer education programs. These programs differ from typical online programs in that they will emphasize student interaction, cohesive group learning, and active mentoring. This model results in deeper learning and a more rewarding experience for the participants.

We are looking for designers, teachers, subject matter experts (SMEs), authors, and influencers who have civic or consumer education expertise and passion, to develop programs for the Academy. These will be narrow topics in a broad area of programs: from policy and advocacy to government structure and operations, personal and community development, school and workplace engagement, consumer training in financial literacy, healthcare, and consumer rights.  Come on. Rise up!

Programs are remote, based on an LMS, and use video conferencing. We offer the following program models:

Classes – Led by teachers

  • Synchronous Class – These are group-based courses for complex learning with a focus on interactivity: discussions, case studies, and projects. This is our primary course model and provides the best learning experience by using active mentoring, dynamic groups, and interactive learning experiences. Synchronous courses have scheduled group meetings using video conference or in person.
  • Asynchronous Class. Short DIY courses for foundational knowledge. These are equivalent to typical online programs. These programs are good as short courses for a basic introduction to a content area but do not provide deep learning. These programs are not group-based but will include active mentoring.

Workshops – Supported by Guides / SMEs

  • Workshops are supported, content-rich skill or capacity-building programs where individuals or groups work on guided, but self-directed projects to learn and develop specific skills to develop actionable results. Workshops are a good follow up to a course where new skills can be put right into practice.

Forums – Guided by Moderators

  • Topic-focused program with rich background material and guidance focused on generating solutions to problems. These may be continuous learning communities or time / event-bounded.

Candidates will receive 4-weeks training in program design at no charge while they refine their program proposal.

Compensation will be royalties based on revenue earned when a mentor uses your program (you will retain the I.P. rights to the programs you build). If you mentor your program directly, then you earn a greater share of the revenue. So, if you have a great program and/or are an exceptional teacher, you will be able to earn a respectable income. To be clear, income is based on student revenue, so won’t be earned until the programs are up and running. Here are some program ideas we think are worthwhile.

For starters, please send a short – one-page proposal for a program(s) you want to build/offer along with a resume. Include a brief outline/description, identify the target audience/participants and the program’s learning goals.

Here are design guidelines to work with:

  • Select one or more program models from the above list, define your audience (be as defined and narrow as you can be) and learning objectives.
  • Our programs are for adult learners (individuals, groups, or within schools or organizations)
  • Incorporate highly interactive elements: discussions, projects, collaborations, scripted role plays, simulations, and games/competitions.
  • Optionally, develop a turnkey curriculum for students and mentors, make it customizable and localizable. This option enables program owners to scale their programs and income.
  • Commercially viable: people will want to participate because it’s meaningful and enjoyable. It will provide participants with a transformative experience.
  • Proposed programs must be in alignment with the Academy’s mission.

Please feel free to ask questions or ask for a phone call or video chat. This program emphasizes relationships, so why not start with a conversation.

For more information, contact Michael Freedman at: Michael (at) ThePublicSquare (dot) Academy

You can find the original version of this announcement on PSA’s at www.thepublicsquare.academy/program-designers/.

Senator Ihara Announces Launch of Civic Square Initiative

National Issues Forums Institute, an NCDD member org and sponsor of NCDD2018, recently share this piece from Senator Les Ihara, a regular attendee of NCDD conferences, who just launched Civic Square (aka The Whole): A Sacred Civic Space to Live Aloha. Civic Square, is an initiative which seeks to provide a safe space for people to convene and collaborate civically to further citizen-centered democracy. You can read about Civic Square in the post below and find more information on NIFI’s site here.


From State Senator Les Ihara, Jr. in Hawaii – Announcing the Civic Square Initiative

On August 9, 2018, Hawaii state senator, Les Ihara, Jr., has announced the launch of the Civic Square (aka The Whole): A Sacred Civic Space to Live Aloha.

You can read more about the Civic Square in Civic Square Manifesto.

The following are excerpts from the three-page Civic Square Manifesto:

Civic Square is a sacred civic space in the public square. Civic Square is a safe space for people to share their civic aspirations, values, and practices with each other. Civic Square is a network of civic-minded people who practice a community ethic of living Aloha, as defined in Hawai’i law, §HRS 5-7.5. We are a learning community interested in civic acts of courage, community, collaboration, and networked markets…

Civic Square is a non-partisan, private nonprofit organization. Its mission is to create and share global narratives in the community and on CivicSquare808 social media platforms. Civic Square will share its narrative and platform at meet-ups and events initiated by participants, including at group meetings and school classes. Civic Square supports the aspiration of a citizen-centered democracy, and proposes the civic leader as an archetype for humanity…

Civic Square seeks to establish online networking as a regular and normal practice among people who collaborate for civic purposes. Civic values live in relationship, so people in CivicSquare808 are encouraged to participate in pairs or groups. Joint civic efforts express values that appear on Civic Square’s radar as the civic acts of those relationships. Our self-organizing principles mean that participants collaborate to decide the interests and projects they want to pursue…

Civic Square is a sacred civic space in the public square. We invite people to honor civic values in their life, and share stories of living Aloha. Learn more about us and how to participate at www.facebook.com/civicsquare808 and on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Vimeo. We can also be contacted by email at civicsquare808@gmail.com.

Civic Square was created in May 2018 by Les Ihara, Jr., in partnership with Russell Ruderman. Civic Square’s nonprofit corporation is registered with the Hawaii State Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.

You can read the original version of this article on NIFI’s blog at www.nifi.org/en/state-senator-les-ihara-jr-hawaii-announcing-civic-square-initiative.