Key Lessons on Community-Police Relations from APV2017

Last week, NCDD member orgs the Kettering Foundation and the National Issues Forums Institute hosted the 2017 “A Public Voice” forum that convened D&D practitioners with congressionl staff to talk about how to improve community-police relations. For those of you who couldn’t tune in to the livestream of the event, we wanted to share this insightful write up of the event’s highlights from our friends at Everyday Democracy below. We encourage you to read their piece below or find the original here. And if you’d like to watch the whole 90-minute recording of APV 2017, you can find links to it here.


A Public Voice 2017: Safety & Justice

EvDem LogoHighly-publicized police shootings, especially of unarmed black boys and men, have highlighted a national crisis of public safety and justice. These devastations lead us to ask how we can reduce crime as well as police violence, and how we can balance security and liberty. The National Issues Forums Institute (NIFI) recently published a Safety & Justice guide and is moderating forums throughout the country to help people grapple with these issues and work towards solutions.

“A Public Voice,” the Kettering Foundation and NIFI’s “annual exploration of public thinking on key issues,” held on May 9 in Washington, D.C., provided the opportunity for Kettering to share with policymakers their insights from the 150 Safety & Justice forums held so far. Senior Associate Leslie King represented Everyday Democracy.

In his opening address, David Mathews, President of the Kettering Foundation, declared “There is no one in this city, no matter how important they are, that can answer questions of judgement – we have to do that.” He characterized the event as part of the work to bridge divides between the people and the government of America.

At tabletop discussions, NIFI moderators, deliberative practitioners, Congressional staffers and federal officials discussed how people are thinking and talking about issues of safety and justice. Those watching the livestream of the event had the chance to listen in to one of those discussions. Read on for insights from the conversation.

A policing perspective

“We in policing have to demystify policing,” one participant remarked, and went on to describe a 70 year-old woman who only just learned about the concept of community policing after the 2014 shooting of Michael Brown. Part of demystifying the profession, according to him, requires acknowledging when someone has done wrong – otherwise, he said, the public assumes what police are thinking.

Talking about Safety & Justice leads to conversations about, and capacity to address, other issues

Leslie King pointed out that in dialogues about community-police relations, participants invariably end up talking about related issues such as employment, housing, and education. Having dialogues and organizing around community-police relations, she added, ends up building community capacity to deal with other issues. Community members realize they have agency and that government officials can’t simply dictate solutions.

People want to address root causes

In an online Safety & Justice forum, a representative from Kettering shared that the most-agreed-upon point was the need to invest more in education in communities with high rates of crime. He saw this as evidence of people’s desire to address root causes of violence and crime.

Gail Kitch, who serves on the NIFI’s board, reported on common themes from the initial Safety & Justice forums. These included:

  • People feel we urgently need to increase understanding and mutual respect between police and people of color. Popular suggestions for achieving this included police making connections with youth, and police going through cultural and racial bias trainings.
  • Participants took responsibility for the issue. Many identified community building and improving relationships within the community as tools to reduce crime.
  • Many expressed the belief that it is unsustainable for police to deal with mental illness and drug-related issues.
  • People expressed a desire to address root problems such as unemployment, poverty, and inequality.

In closing, Mathews described Kettering’s work as “awakening the capacities of people to deliberate with one another.” He left participants and viewers with a challenge he called daunting, but not hopeless: “to build on what grows” – a quote he credited to J. Herman Blake. Every person has the capacity for good judgement, he said — the job of people in the deliberative field, then, must be to nurture that ability.

You can find the original version of this Everyday Democracy blog post at www.everyday-democracy.org/news/public-voice-2017-safety-justice.

Learn from Iceland’s Deliberative Constitutional Change

We want to encourage our NCDD network, especially those in California, to consider registering to attend an intriguing event this June 3 at UC Berkeley called A Congress on Iceland’s Democracy. This international gathering aims to explore new approaches to democracy inspired by the deliberative process that Iceland used to create its new constitution through a mock legislative process, and we’re sure many NCDDers would take a great deal of inspiration from participating.
You can learn more about the gathering in the invitation letter below sent to the NCDD network from our friends at Wilma’s Wish Productions, whose Blueberry Soup documentary on Iceland’s constitutional transformation we previously posted about on the blog, or learn more at www.law.berkeley.edu/iceland.


A Congress on Iceland’s Democracy

We are writing to extend an invitation to an event we believe would interest you. On June 3rd, 2017, we are hosting a citizen’s gathering at the University of California, Berkeley.

This event will translate participatory discussion into concrete action proposals by organizing as a mock legislative body to develop, debate, and decide on proposals for moving forward with Iceland’s constitutional change process. The event’s structure takes inspiration from the 2010 Icelandic National Assembly and Robert’s Rules of Order.

This powerful summit will revolve around discussions on how to address the current political and social climate in the United States, using Iceland’s constitutional reform process as an example. Iceland’s new constitution was written in perhaps the most democratic way possible and we want to model this methodology and learn how it can be applied in communities across the United States and the world. Our goal is to create a non-partisan environment that will foster new approaches to democracy and a shared vocabulary.

Many prominent political figures from Iceland will be in attendance as well as many of the authors of the new constitution. Furthermore, academics, activists, startups, and journalists from all over the United States and Europe are also coming to participate in this “Icelandic National Assembly” style event.

This gathering of citizens has piqued the interest of people from all around the globe – a mass exodus of Icelanders and Europeans are flying in just to sit at these tables because they know real change is possible through dialogic methodologies. We hope this historic gathering will shape the way Americans think about democracy with a focus on the impact that dialogue can have on the democratic process on a local as well as global scale.

This conference aims to achieve exactly what many of you have dedicated your life to – reimagining democracy and the way we converse with one another about tough issues. Your passion for dialogue and democracy in addition to your excellent facilitation skills makes me believe you would be a valuable asset to this event and an excellent voice for others to engage with.

We want a broad range of perspectives present at this event, so we invite you to register to attend this citizens gathering and participate in history as it is being made.

You can learn more about the Congress on Iceland’s Democracy at www.law.berkeley.edu/iceland.

Lessons on Non-Hierarchical Decision Making from Our Confab with Loomio

On Thursday of last week, NCDD hosted another one of our Confab Call events with over 40 people from our network. The call featured Rich Bartlett and MJ Kaplan of the Loomio cooperative who talked about their experience with decision making in non-hierarchical organizations. If you missed this Confab Call, you missed a great event!

We had a lively conversation on how non-hierarchical organizations can be structured, how decisions are made (spoiler alert: deliberatively!), and how work flows can be managed in ways that don’t require anyone to be “the boss.” Rich and MJ also shared interesting reflections on what they’ve been learning on their US tour in meetings with all kinds of organizations – from government departments to non-profits to grassroots organizations – who are exploring “the democracy question” internally and in civic society.

If you couldn’t participate in the Confab, never fear – we recorded the whole presentation and conversation, and you can hear and see the whole thing again by clicking here. You can also find the slides from MJ and Rich’s presentation by clicking here, and the transcript of the discussion being had in the chat during the call can be found here.

Confab bubble imageWe want to thank Rich, MJ, and the whole Loomio team again for collaborating with us on making this timely conversation happen. We encourage our network to explore how the Loomio tool can help your or other “flat” organizations work together better at www.loomio.org.

To learn more about NCDD’s Confab Calls and hear recordings of others, visit www.ncdd.org/events/confabs.

Tune into “A Public Voice” Safety & Justice Event Tomorrow!

We want to remind the NCDD network – especially those of you focused on community-police dialogue – to tune in live to the 2017 “A Public Voice” event tomorrow, May 9th from 1:30 -3pm Eastern via Facebook Live.

APV2017 Facebook Event

“A Public Voice” is the annual event that the Kettering Foundation and National Issues Forums Institute – both NCDD member orgs – host every year to bring public input on policy straight to Washington DC. This year’s APV forum will be a working meeting with Congressional staff about the results of the numerous forums on safety and community-police relationships that NIFI, many NCDD members, and other D&D organizations hosted this year using NIFI’s Safety & Justice issue guide.

They will be streaming the live event tomorrow on Facebook Live, and we encourage our network to join the broadcast, not just to watch, but to send in your questions, comments, and other feedback that will be incorporated directly into the event!

Don’t miss this important discussion! You can sign up for a reminder and find the link to the live feed on May 9th in the APV 2017 Facebook event or learn more at www.apublicvoice.org.

Share Power through Public Participation… Or Else

As NCDD reflects on D&D in “flat” organizations during today’s Confab Call, we found a special appreciation for this insightful blog piece from NCDD member org The Participation Company. In it, TPC leader Debra Duerr writes on how conventional public participation still assumes a top-down model where the regular people address public officials who are really listening. She reflects on how the assumptions of that model are no longer working as power is ever-more concentrated out of the reach of everyday citizens and what might happen if we can’t facilitate, or even force, power sharing through real participation. We encourage you to read her provocative piece below or find the original here.


Revolutionary Conflict Resolution Styles

These are challenging times for us public participation practitioners. Our life’s work is conflict management and dispute resolution, plus adjusting to the various conflict resolution styles. To support this, we’ve built some nice, neat boxes that contain tools for working with people in most of the ‘real world’ situations encountered over the last 40 years. But, boy, the real world has changed. It seems there are no more boxes and no more rules.

The framework developed by the International Association for Public Participation to encompass the range of ways people can impact decisions is our ‘Spectrum’ (IAP2 Public Participation Spectrum). Says the organization, “IAP2’s Spectrum of Public Participation was designed to assist with the selection of the level of participation that defines the public’s role in any public participation process. The Spectrum shows that differing levels of participation are legitimate and depend on the goals, time frames, resources, and levels of concern in the decision to be made.”

Here’s the big But: This whole paradigm, including the ‘empower’ construct, implies that there’s an identifiable decision maker listening to what the public has to say. It’s an entirely top-down model. There are reasons why the top-down approach has worked for a long time, given the way worldwide democracy has developed over the past several decades. And there are reasons why it isn’t working anymore; the challenge is trying to figure out what those reasons are, and how to address them.

Everyone has conflicts that are eventually resolved through a variety of conflict resolution styles. A little history is helping me think about this. The bookends, for me, are the events and political climate of the early 1970s (when public involvement did not exist as a discipline) and the events and political climate of January 2017. So many parallels…

At the beginning of this phase, I wrote my thesis on Structural Constraints on Citizen Participation in Planning. It all had to do with Power: who has it, who doesn’t, how can power-sharing be forced, and what’s the role of professional facilitators in this process. In the intervening years, public participation in government (and even private industry) planning and decision processes has been recognized as not only legitimate, but crucial to implementing anything. To accommodate this, we’ve built structures in which citizens expect to have a voice, know how to make that voice heard, and expect that somebody’s listening – this is the ‘promise to the public’ that IAP2 honors. It’s been a long, slow process of building trust.

Breaking down that trust hasn’t taken nearly as long. It feels like it’s happened overnight – Occupy Wall Street, Arab Spring, Brexit, a mind-blowing presidential election, backlash demonstrations in the streets. It’s clear that social movements have a life of their own, and they are certainly not initiated or approved by decision makers.

I believe the common theme, then as now, is still Power. The more power is concentrated within the walls of the citadel, the more citizens will be pounding on the gates. Listen to us! Let us in! We want a piece of this! Off with their heads!

So, what happens when large segments of the population feel that nobody’s listening? When conflict resolution styles and processes are not being followed or addressed? Revolution. I suggest that we put this thought on the table for dialogue and deliberation (as we P2 people are fond of promoting). If we can help create a way to channel the astounding energy and commitment of grassroots movements into the halls of power in a mutually constructive way, we’ll be heroes. We did it once; I think we can do it again … but it’s like eating an elephant.

Here’s some inspiration:

  • from St. Francis of Assisi – “Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”
  • from the seminal anthropologist of the 20th Century, Margaret Mead – “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

You can find the original version of this blog post from The Participation Company at www.theparticipationcompany.com/2017/03/revolutionary-conflict-resolution-styles.

Don’t Miss Thurs. Confab Call Exploring D&D in “Flat” Organizations

In case you missed our original announcement, we want to remind everyone that we are hosting our next Confab Call event this Thursday, May 4th from 3-4pm Eastern/12-1pm Pacific. You won’t want to miss it, so be sure to register today!

Confab bubble imageThe Confab will feature the insights Rich Bartlett and MJ Kaplan, two of the co-founders of a non-heirarchical, cooperative organization called Loomio that has helped develop online tools to help groups across the globe make consensus-style decisions. But instead of focusing on the tech side of Loomio, we’ll take a dive into their cooperative’s internal dynamics. We’ll look at Loomio’s unique decision-making processes, talk about the ins and outs of “flat” organizations, and think about what the D&D field and non-hierarchical cooperatives like theirs can learn from each other.

We’re sure to have a rich, lively discussion on the call, and you can sign up to be part of it today!

This Confab Call is a “virtual stop” on a US tour that Loomio staff have embarked upon to host discussions with groups who want to share and reflect on “the challenges and delights of non-hierarchical, inclusive, intersectional, collaborative, horizontal organising.” There are many ways that what we do in the D&D field applies to, intersects with, and diverges from the kinds of shared work and collaborative workplaces Loomio embodies and supports, and we hope this conversation can serve as a jump off point for a deeper exploration of those commonalities and differences.

Don’t miss the chance to be part of this provocative conversastion – register today to join us! For more background on Loomio or on Rich and MJ, check out our original announcement at ncdd.org/23494.

Phoenix Students Spend $26K in District-Wide PB Process

We are proud to share that the Participatory Budgeting Project – an NCDD member org – recently completed the first-ever school district-wide participatory budgeting in Phoenix, AZ, and it was a huge success. The process empowered over 3,500 students to deliberate and vote on how to spend $26,000 of district money, and the project’s success is already being looked to as a model for more school PB processes in the future. It’s a great win for teaching D&D practices to more young people! We encourage you to read more about how it went in the PBP blog update below or find the original here.


What Happens When Students Lead PB?

“Let’s rock and roll!” shouted Christopher Oglesby, Assistant Principal at Carl Hayden Community High School, to a team huddle of 30 spirited students. The group dispersed in all directions and prepared to welcome over 1,500 student voters to the gym.

This team of student leaders – along with school district staff, nonprofit partners, and volunteers – met just before the Phoenix sunrise to set up thousands of ballots and stickers, 40 voting booths, dozens of blue and gold posters, eight voter check-in stations, three display boards, and two official Maricopa County vote machines.

During this workshop, students, teachers, and staff from five public high schools in the Phoenix Union High School District (PUHSD) learned about PB, and began planning how students in each school would directly decide on how to spend part of the school district’s budget. Six months ago, in September of 2016, we kicked off  the school year in Phoenix with an introductory workshop on participatory budgeting (PB) – a democratic process in which local people directly decide how to spend part of a public budget.

PUHSD was the first school district in the U.S. to do school PB with district-wide funds. Since their introduction to PB in September, five schools have worked through six months of trainings, outreach efforts, idea collection events, and meetings with district staff to transform ideas about ways to improve their schools into project proposals. These student-led efforts culminated with an entire week of voting – five voting days that each began before the sun came up.

Making history in Phoenix made for deep learning about school PB

As the school district begins implementing winning projects at each school, we’re reflecting on the outcomes we’ve already seen beyond projects themselves. During Vote Week Dr. Chad Gestson, PUHSD Superintendent, said,

“If there are any schools or districts across the country that are thinking about doing school PB, in our opinion it’s a no-brainer.”

Impacts from this district-wide initiative underscore Dr. Gestson’s point, and highlight the potential for PB to create similar outcomes for students, teachers, school district staff, and beyond. When schools or school districts use PB to empower their students to decide how to spend the dollars that impact their daily lives, everyone wins.

Students

PB helped students build friendships across grade levels. Many students talked about the ways being involved in PB increased their own self-confidence and ability to talk with fellow students about how to improve their school.

Teachers

Teachers who stepped up to advise PB at each school developed stronger relationships with students outside their regular classes, and enjoyed seeing students learn and lead with great creativity and compassion throughout the PB process.

School District Staff

The PUHSD Executive Director of Logistics was so excited to see so much student interest in school maintenance and facilities that he’s planning to incorporate student input and participation into school improvement initiatives beyond the winning PB projects – including repainting some of the schools and renovating cafeterias.

Beyond PUHSD

City staff and community organizers from the City of Phoenix and the City of Tempe, and from as far away as Fresno, CA, and Toronto, Ontario attended a vote walkthrough and panel discussion with students, teachers, and staff involved in PB. These staff members and community organizers were excited by the work happening in the school district, and several are already planning for ways to bring PB to their communities!

And the winning projects are…

Drumroll, please!

During Vote Week, 3,854 students in five public high schools – an average of over 80% turnout rate – directly decided how to spend $26,000 in school district funds. Students voted to fund music programs, filtered water stations, shade structures, and a study lounge.


Teamwork made this dream work

In any community, a successful PB process is built on strong collaboration.

PUHSD PB took teamwork to the next level, and established partnerships across Phoenix that have already inspired other school districts and cities to reimagine ways to work together.

During Vote Week, the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office generously partnered with PUHSD; they provided voting booths, official vote machines and ballots, and staff support for each voting day. In doing so, County Recorder Adrian Fontes and his office created a voting experience that embodied real democracy just as an election does – and in some ways did so even better.

Recorder Fontes has confidence that “there are other elected officials around the country just like [him] who would be more than happy to come on out and help support these sorts of elections with staff and equipment.”

“[PB] is part of education that’s not testable” he said, “isn’t this one of the most important aspects of our American democracy?”

Beyond support from an elected official, local partners from across Phoenix came together with commitment and creativity to support this student-driven initiative. This successful Vote Week was due in great part to the time, talent, and remarkable volunteers from the Center for the Future of Arizona, One Arizona, Mi Familia Vota, and Arizona State University.

Telemundo, NPR’s KJZZ, and Arizona PBS each covered Vote Week, and produced compelling news reports linked below:

Cronkite News AZ PBS’s coverage of Phoenix Union High School District PB process goes from 16:00 – 17:45 in this video.
More coverage of the first PB process with school district funds from 91.5 KJZZ.

What’s next for Phoenix?

We’ll wrap up this pilot year in PUHSD with a PB Celebration and Participatory Evaluation Workshop in May – where students, teachers, and staff from all five schools will come together to celebrate their work, reflect on what was challenging and what can be improved, and share ideas and plans for next year.

What’s next for you?

At PBP, we’re excited to see the movement for PB in schools continue to spread across Phoenix, and beyond! Our guide to PB in schools is supporting the growth of PB in schools around the world – download it here to take action.

How can we work together to bring PB to your community?

If you’re interested in more in-depth support from PBP to launch PB in your school, contact Ashley Brennan at ashley@participatorybudgeting.org.

You can find the original version of this Participatory Budgeting Project piece at www.participatorybudgeting.org/what-happens-when-students-lead-pb.

NCDD Member Discount on the Int’l Assoc. of Facilitators’ Regional Conference in FL

If you hadn’t already heard, the International Association of Facilitators – one of our NCDD member organizations – is hosting its 2017 conference for the N. American and Caribbean region this May 8-11, and we encourage our members to consider attending. Even if you’re not an IAF member, dues-paying NCDD members are eligible for a $50 registration discount. NCDD supports the conference’s goal of growing the relevance of facilitation, and it will be a great way to make international connections with other D&D practitioners. You can learn more about this great opportunity in the IAF’s invitation below or learn more at the conference site here.


IAF 2017 N. American & Caribbean Conference: The Relevance of Facilitation

Where will you be May 8 to 11, 2017?

Hopefully at the 2017 International Association of Facilitators North America & Caribbean Conference (IAFNAC) – The Relevance of Facilitation – in West Palm Beach, Florida which takes place this May 8 through 11. As a facilitation practitioner in the IAF’s network, you can register for a $50 discount off of the conference workshops being offered on May 10 & 11.

Here is an opportunity to experience leading facilitators from the U.S., Canada, Caribbean, Sweden, France, Russia, and Australia, sharing their best practices across a wide spectrum of hard and soft skills and topics. These sessions are designed to give you proven strategies that you can use right away.

Session topics cover not only facilitator tools and techniques, but also the business of facilitation and ways for non-facilitators to use facilitation skills. It is ideal for anyone who works as a leader, coach, member, or professional advisor to teams and communities wanting to deliver change.

The Relevance of Facilitation offers 12 pre-conference training workshops and 25 conference breakout sessions. Review theConference Programme and register now by clicking here. Use the promotional code “[iafnt]” (lower case) to receive the $50 discount.

In between the power-packed sessions are plenty of times for networking and holding one-on-one conversations with other facilitators with interests similar to yours.

We are looking forward to a great conference, and hope to see you in West Palm Beach!

You can learn much more about the conference agenda, sessions, and registration details at the IAF conference website at www.cvent.com/events/iaf-north-america-caribbean-conference/event-summary-ace9b9b8604b490aa5894d43413abef2.aspx.

Join NCDD Confab on Non-Hierarchical Orgs with Loomio, May 4th

We are excited to invite the NCDD network to register to join us for our next Confab Call on Thursday, May 4th from 3-4pm Eastern/12-1pm Pacific. This one-hour webinar event will feature a conversation with staff of Loomio, a collaborative online decision making tool and a worker-owned cooperative based in New Zealand.

Some of you may remember that NCDD hosted a Tech Tuesday webinar on Loomio a couple years ago where we showcased the features of Loomio’s decision making tool. But during this Confab, the discussion will focus on Loomio’s organizational dynamics, philosophy, and what lessons the dialogue and deliberation field can learn from – and offer to – non-hierarchical cooperatives like theirs.

Loomio is part of Enspiral – a global network that is also a lab for new ways distributed innovators can collaborate. Their team recognizes that there’s a need and opportunity for new ways of working for diverse groups to become more nimble, creative and productive. Loomio recently made an open source handbook that teaches others to use their cooperative work processes, and a few of their staff have been on a US tour this month to host discussions with different organizations who want to share and reflect on “the challenges and delights of non-hierarchical, inclusive, intersectional, collaborative, horizontal organising.” We are inviting Loomio to share and reflect with the NCDD network as a “virtual stop” on their tour, and we hope you will join us!

We will be joined on the Confab by Rich Bartlett, one of the co-founders of both Loomio and Enspiral, and NCDD member MJ Kaplan, also a Loomio co-founder and social innovator in her own right. Rich and MJ will help us learn more about the unconventional, non-hierarchical approaches that their networks apply to shared work and collaborative workplaces, and engage in dialogue with participants about how these approaches apply to, intersect with, and diverge from the work of the D&D field.

You won’t want to miss this great discussion, so to register today to be part of it!

About NCDD’s Confab Calls

Confab bubble imageNCDD’s Confab Calls are opportunities for members (and potential members) of NCDD to talk withand hear from innovators in our field about the work they’re doing and to connect with fellow members around shared interests. Membership in NCDD is encouraged but not required for participation. Confabs are free and open to all. Register today if you’d like to join us!

About Our Guests

Rich Bartlett is co-founder and Director of Autonomy at Loomio, as well asa software developer, activist, and open source hardware hacker. He is also a co-founder of the Enspiral Network, a “DIY” social enterprise support network of companies and professionals brought together by a set of shared values and a passion for positive social impact. Rich believes in the boundless potential of small self-organising groups to reshape society in a way that works for the planet.

MJ Kaplan is a social entrepreneur and consultant who weaves across sectors and industries to enable groups to align purpose and operationalize innovative collaborative practices. She splits her time working with Loomio, Kaplan Consulting, teaching/coaching at Brown University and serving on Social Enterprise Greenhouse and Commerce RI boards. She founded Kaplan Consulting in 2000, a networked consulting group that works globally with groups to gain clarity about shared purpose and to design innovative approaches to work that are deeply human-centered, agile and adaptive. In 2013, MJ was Ian Axford Fulbright Fellow in New Zealand. MJ was awarded the Cordes Innovation Fellowship by Ashoka U and honored as The Outstanding Mentor for RI Business Women Awards. MJ earned her M.Ed. from Harvard University and B.A. Brown University.

Join Kettering’s “A Public Voice” Event on Safety & Justice

In case you haven’t heard about it already, we want to encourage all of you in the NCDD network to mark your calendars for A Public Voice 2017 (APV) on Tuesday, May 9th from 1:30-3pm Eastern.

APV 2017 is the annual event hosted by NCDD member organizations the Kettering Foundation and the National Issues Forums Institute that brings together Congressional and agency staffers in Washington DC for a working meeting on the results of the deliberative forums that KF and NIFI have hosted across the nation on pressing public policy issues.

This year’s APV forum will focus on what was learned about the public’s feelings on community-police relations during the Safety & Justice forums held this year in communities across the country. And KF and NIFI will be livestreaming the Washington event via Facebook Live, so you are invited to particiapte by sending your comments on social media directly into the program.

Here’s how they describe the event:

At this year’s A Public Voice event in Washington, we’re trying something new. We will introduce congressional staffers to NIF forum convenors from their districts, and those convenors will explain the most unique and transformational moments from the deliberative forums in their communities. Our aim is to illustrate the unique value of these forums and the breadth of the network.

Which means, WE NEED YOU. Put May 9 from 1:30 to 3:00 pm on your calendar, because we’ll be livestreaming the Washington event via Facebook Live.

We encourage our network to join the APV event on Facebook to get updates as the event nears and share about it with your networks. You can learn more about A Public Voice 2017 by visiting www.apublicvoice.org and checking out NIFI’s Safety & Justice deliberative forum discussion guide here.