Emerging Technologies in Governance Program Starts 10/27

The Professional Certificate Leading Smart Communities will be hosted online this fall by our friends at NCDD member org, the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civil Leadership! The intersection of government and technology has drastically changed in the past few years, and these changes are even more drastic with the health precautions needed due to COVID-19. Learn essential skills from leaders in government technology on how to better utilize #govtech, and impact of technology in the future. Don’t miss out on this training series – program starts in less than three weeks on Tuesday, October 27th! For more details on this virtual certificate program read below and find the original announcement here.

Creating a Better Future through Emerging Technologies

Due to the current situation surrounding COVID-19, we have adapted our traditional program to offer our first ever virtual Professional Certificate in Leading Smart Communities this Fall 2020 held via Zoom. This virtual offering will consist of a series of five, two-hour modules held over the course of five Tuesday afternoons from 3-5 pm (PST).

From online public participation platforms to blockchain, technology is fundamentally changing the government-resident relationship. The impact of technology is felt across all departments in municipal governments-from public safety to planning. Given the pace of change, it’s time for public policy schools to incorporate graduate-level education in the essential area of government technology (govtech).

In this fast-paced, first-of-its-kind Professional Certificate seminar, you will learn from leaders in government technology how to better use the new technology platforms of today, and gain a valuable understanding of the govtech “game changers” of the future.

  • Demonstrate your leadership through digital knowledge, skills, and expertise.
  • Differentiate yourself and showcase your advanced skills to your organization; be a champion for digital change!
  • Understand how technologies like blockchain, IoT, and AI will be impacting governments in the future.

Outcomes and Program Highlights

  • How did we get here? Understanding the past several years of dramatic changes in govtech. Social Media Strategy: How can we use online tools and social media to better engage our residents?
  • Understanding Gamechangers: Blockchain, IoT, AI, and more!
  • Running Data Analytics for Government: Getting control of “too much information”
  • Cyber Security for Government: Protecting your data from attack
  • Technethics: Learn how to think about new technologies through the lens of potential questions of ethics.

Session Dates

  • Tuesday, October 27, 2020
  • Tuesday, November 3, 2020
  • Tuesday, November 10, 2020
  • Tuesday, November 17, 2020
  • Tuesday, November 24, 2020


Kamran Bakhtiari

You can find the original version on this on the Davenport Institute site at www.publicpolicy.pepperdine.edu/davenport-institute/training/professional-certificate-in-leading-smart-communities.htm.

Join Today’s Discussion with Authors of Beyond Civility: The Competing Obligations of Citizenship

ICYMI –  The McCourtney Institute for Democracy  an NCDD member org, is hosting their next virtual book club event TODAY, featuring the book, Beyond Civility: The Competing Obligations of Citizenship. Come share a discussion with the authors, William Keith and Robert Danisch, on civility in democracy and public discourse. You can purchase the book through Penn State University Press, and receive a 30% discount when you use the promo code “NR20”! The event is via zoom at 4pm Eastern, 1pm Pacific; reading of the book is not required to join. Learn more about this virtual event below and register ASAP on the McCourtney Institute site here.

Virtual Book Club

Beyond Civility: The Competing Obligations of Citizenship

By William Keith and Robert Danisch

Discussion with the authors
Monday, October 5, 4:00 p.m. ET

Purchase the book through the Penn State University Press.
Use discount code NR20 to receive 30% off

From the pundits to the polls, nearly everyone seems to agree that US politics have rarely been more fractious, and calls for a return to “civil discourse” abound. Yet it is also true that the requirements of polite discourse effectively silence those who are not in power, gaming the system against the disenfranchised. What, then, should a democracy do?

In this book, William Keith and Robert Danisch make a case for understanding civility in a different light. Distinguishing it from politeness, they claim that civil argument must be redirected from the goal of political comity to that of building and maintaining relationships of minimal respect in the public sphere.

This virtual book club event will be hosted in partnership with the Penn State University Libraries and the Penn State University Press. The first half will be a Q&A session with the authors, followed by smaller group discussions in Zoom breakout rooms. Reading the book is not required to attend — we welcome anyone who wants to explore the topic of civility in democracy and public discourse.


Please complete this form to RSVP. Registrants will receive a Zoom link prior to the event.

Reflection Questions

Here are a few questions to guide your reading:

  • What obligations do we have to others in a democracy?
  • When might incivility be justified?
  • How and why might civility be able to generate social and political change?
  • Why be civil to racists or others that we might disagree with or who might hold beliefs that we find abhorrent or wrong?
  • Can civility improve democratic decision-making? If so, how? If not, why not?
  • What’s the difference, in terms of communication practices, between being polite and being civil?
  • How might civility impact the process of making meaning in diverse societies?

Beyond Civility Braver Angels discussion

The authors recently participated in a public forum on civility with Braver Angels, a group that unites Americans across the political spectrum with the goal of depolarizing America. Watch the video here:

You can find the original version on this on the McCourtney Institute for Democracy site at www.democracy.psu.edu/virtual-book-club.

Applications for Libby Kingseed Memorial Award Due 9/30

We want to take a moment to recognize exceptional individuals in our field by extending this invitation from NCDD member org, National Issues Forums Institute, to submit your applications for the Elizabeth “Libby” Kingseed Teaching with Deliberation Memorial Award Libby’s commitment to civic education and deliberation continue to be an inspiration; and it is in this spirit that NIFI has created this award to grant $500 to any K-12 teacher working to implement deliberation or deliberative pedagogy in the classroom.

Applications will be accepted until next Wednesday, September 30th; so make sure you apply ASAP! Learn more about Libby Kingseed and the award in the post below, and find the original post here.

Elizabeth “Libby” Kingseed Teaching with Deliberation Memorial Award

The National Issues Forums Institute (NIFI) is now accepting applications for the Elizabeth “Libby” Kingseed Teaching with Deliberation Memorial Award at this time. A fund established to commemorate and in memory of Libby Kingseed.

Application Process

  • September 30, 2020: Deadline for applications
  • November 2, 2020: Applicants will be notified of the selection committee’s decision
  • Grant Period: December 1, 2020 – November 30, 2021

This grant is not open to organizations. The $500 annual award will be granted to an individual.

Click here to complete the online application form. If you have questions, please contact Darla Minnich at dminnich[at]nifi[dot]org.

About the Grant

The Elizabeth “Libby” Kingseed Teaching with Deliberation Memorial Award recognizes the commitment that she had to civic education, especially her support of teacher networking, experimentation, and reflection on the use of deliberation in the classroom. We anticipate presenting up to three awards to eligible K-12 educators engaged in deliberative practices.

This $500 award is open to any K-12 teacher who is inspired to implement deliberation or deliberative pedagogy in the classroom and who is new to using the practices. The teacher should have a demonstrated commitment to fostering the civic development of students, though it is not necessary that they be a civics or social studies teacher. All K-12 teachers are encouraged to apply.

In addition to completing an application, candidates will be asked to provide:

  • A plan for how deliberation will be used to support student learning, including the resources that will be needed and a draft unit plan.
  • An identified mentor OR evidence of completion of a course or workshop focused on deliberation or deliberative pedagogy
  • Prior to the end of the grant period, awardees will be required to submit a two-page written reflection on what they did and what they learned.

Libby Kingseed was a program officer, and archivist at the Kettering Foundation. Libby was a passionate leader of the foundation’s K-12 civic education research. She worked closely with teachers using National Issues Forums in the classroom. Libby recognized the need for civic education to be included in the education of children in order to help them understand how to be active, engaged citizens in the future.

You can find the original version on this on the NIFI site at https://www.nifi.org/en/elizabeth-“libby”-kingseed-teaching-deliberation-memorial-award.

NCDD Proud Partner of Online Facilitation Unconference – #OFU2020!

NCDD is proud to be a partner of the Online Facilitation Unconference 2020 (#OFU2020), hosted by the Center for Applied Community Engagement LLC! Mark your calendars for October 19-25th, to join the 7th annual OFU event where attendees will have the opportunity to strengthen their virtual facilitation skills. FYI NCDD members can receive a 20% discount on tickets (see below for promo code)! We encourage you to read more about #OFU2020 in the post below and register here.

In addition, you can get a teaser of some helpful civic tech tools for virtual engagement work at NCDD’s Online Engagement Summit happening next week! This free event is co-hosted with the Center for Public Deliberation at Colorado State University, and will be this coming Tuesday, September 29th from 1-3pm Eastern, 10am -12pm Pacific – more info on the summit here.

Mark Your Calendars: OFU20, October 19–25

For the seventh time since 2013, the Online Facilitation Unconference (OFU) will take place this October 19-25, once again alongside and as part of IAF’s International Facilitation Week.

OFU is an event for newbies and experts alike. Whether you are a seasoned facilitator pro or a beginner, whether you are already highly skilled using technology for this work or still trying to figure out the possibilities – OFU provides a venue where you can ask and answer questions, share and solicit advice, discuss your latest project, challenge or idea, explore new tools, discover new tricks, and find like-minded colleagues.

Register to join here! Folks in the NCDD network can use the discount code “OFU_NCDD_20” to receive 20% off your tickets.

The Program

At its core, OFU is an unconference, meaning the vast majority of the program will be created by the participants in real time based on everyone’s interests and needs. The unconference sessions will take place in the second half of the week (Thursday through Saturday, October 22–24).

To help everyone warm up a little, we will offer a handful of pre-scheduled “seed” sessions, which will take place earlier in the week (Monday through Wednesday, October 19–21).

New this year, we will offer a mix of sponsored sessions from our tech exhibitors. These may include demos, guided tours, cases studies, or conversations about where the industry is headed, though how a sponsor structures their session(s) in terms of duration and format is completely up to them. These sessions will also take place earlier in the week, and we encourage our participants to explore the tools further during the unconference and – where appropriate – possibly integrate them into their sessions.

With that in mind, here’s what’s on the agenda… [Click Here to learn more about the OFU agenda!]

We expect to see a lot of new faces this year, particularly those practitioners who until recently were still on the fence regarding delivering their skills and services in virtual environments but have since been forced to jump in with both feet due to the pandemic.

Can’t wait to see everyone. Hope you can join us!

You can find even more information on the OFU site at www.ofuexchange.net/.

Bridge Alliance Welcomes New Staff and Roles

Exciting news! Our friends and member organization, the Bridge Alliance and Bridge Alliance Education Fund are pleased to welcome the addition of Reverend F. Willis Johnson as Vice President, Maria Yuan CEO of IssueVoter and Manu Meel CEO of BridgeUSA, as crucial parts of their board. NCDD is looking forward to continuing to support all the important work Bridge Alliance accomplishes with the updates in staff and structure. This announcement was sent to the NCDD team via the BA Updates newsletter, which you can sign up for here. Read below for a detailed list of all latest changes.

Changes in Bridge Alliance Leadership and Staff Updates

The Bridge Alliance and Bridge Alliance Education Fund are excited to announce the addition of Reverend F. Willis Johnson to its leadership team as Vice President of Partnerships and Programming. He rose to national prominence for his role in healing the Ferguson, MO community after the death of Michael Brown.

We are also proud to announce the additions of Maria Yuan and Manu Meel to the Bridge Alliance Board of Directors. Maria and Manu are two of the most accomplished, young leaders in the healthy self-governance movement. Maria serves as the CEO of IssueVoter, which is a tool to help voters understand where their representatives stand on the issues that are most important to them. Manu is the CEO of BridgeUSA, which develops youth leadership and encourages productive, cross-partisan conversations on campuses across the country. We are excited to bring their voices and perspectives to the Board.

Finally, we would like to announce new leadership and staff titles. These new titles are meant to better reflect the roles and responsibilities of each staffer, rather than to indicate a change in operations.

Board Leadership

David Nevins – Chairman of the Board

Debilyn Molineaux – President

F. Willis Johnson – Vice President of Partnerships and Programming

Staff Leadership

Debilyn Molineaux – CEO

Jeremy Garson – Chief of Staff

Shakira Mills – Deputy Chief of Staff

Support Staff

Dakota Doney – Social Media Manager

Sara Miller – Communications Associate

Wesley Chen – Democracy Intern

Join in on the AllSides Connect “Hackathon” Starting Today!

All are invited to test drive the freshly renamed civil discourse digital platform, AllSides Connect, and give your feedback! For the next three days, August 18th, 19th, and 20th –  NCDDers AllSides and Living Room Conversations are hosting the AllSides Connect “Hackathon”, and we encourage you to check it out! Folks may remember the platform by its’ former name, “Mismatch”. This platform is an opportunity to build connections and share conversation, which many of us are greatly in need of during these times of increased physical distancing due to the coronavirus. Read more in the post below and sign up here! Thank you so much to Kristin Hansen, Director of AllSides Connect, for sharing this announcement with us!

AllSides Connect “Hackathon!”

AllSides and Living Room Conversations request your help! Please sign up for the AllSides Connect “Hackathon,” taking place this week – August 18th, 19th, and 20th.
What is AllSides Connect?
A realtime video platform that is purpose-built to foster civil discourse and dialogue across geographic distance and political, racial, faith-based, and other divides in America. AllSides Connect has been built collaboratively by Living Room ConversationsAllSides, and Bridge the Divide. AllSides Connect is intended to broadly serve and scale the bridging/dialogue/civil discourse field. (You might know the platform by its prior name, “Mismatch.”)

What’s the Hackathon, and how do I sign up?
Join the hackathon to experience online civil discourse, test drive the realtime video platform, and give the AllSides Connect team your feedback on the experience … all in 30 minutes or less!

Best of all, you don’t need to be a techie to “hack” AllSides Connect … non-techies needed!

All you need to do is sign up for one 30-minute slot on Tues Aug 18, Wed Aug 19, or Thurs Aug 20. Up to six people can sign up for each time slot.

Here’s the link to sign up: AllSides Connect Hackathon – Sign Up Form – Aug 18, 19, 20

What happens next?
Next, you’ll receive a calendar invite, a URL link, and some basic instructions about how to join your scheduled conversation. You’ll be joined with one or more other “hackers” to hold a short online conversation, with a built-in guide.

Thank you for helping these organizations to scale civil discourse, respectful dialogue, and empathetic listening across America!

The 2020 All-America City Award Event is Now Virtual!

Let the 2020 All-America City Award Competition begin! This beloved annual community event hosted by NCDD partner organization, the National Civic League, kicks off today and continues until the Weds. August 19th. This inspirational event recognizes communities that leverage civic engagement, collaboration, inclusiveness and innovation to successfully address local issues. This year has gone virtual but you can still join by heading on over to the NCL site linked here. If you are looking for a great boost of spirit, then we strongly encourage you to join the live stream via the AAC Facebook page and cheer on these #AAC2020 finalist communities! Learn more about the event below and on the NCL website here.

The 2020 All-America City Award Event Kicks Off!

This event recognizes communities that leverage civic engagement, collaboration, inclusiveness and innovation to successfully address local issues. The All-America City Award shines a spotlight on the incredible work taking place in communities across the country. By celebrating the best in local innovation, civic engagement and cross-sector collaboration, the All-America City Awards remind us of the potential within every community to tackle tough issues and create real change.

The 2020 All-America City theme is “Enhancing health and well-being through civic engagement.” The 2020 All-America City Award is focused on celebrating examples of civic engagement practices that advance health and well-being in local communities. We are looking for projects that demonstrate inclusive decision-making processes to enhance health and well-being for all, and particularly for populations currently experiencing poorer health outcomes.

Since 1949, the National Civic League has recognized and celebrated the best in American civic innovation with the prestigious All-America City Award. The Award, bestowed yearly on 10 communities (more than 500 in all) recognizes the work of communities in using inclusive civic engagement to address critical issues and create stronger connections among residents, businesses and nonprofit and government leaders.

You can learn more about the All-America City Award and this year’s happenings on the National Civic League site at: www.nationalcivicleague.org/america-city-award/.

Register for the Virtual Annual Civic Institute on August 21st

This announcement comes to us from our friends at the David Matthews Center for Civic Life. ICYMI on Friday, August 21st, the Matthews Center will be hosting their annual Civic Institute with this year’s theme, Common Bonds: Collective Purpose and Civic Resilience in Uncertain Times.  The event this year will be entirely online and open to folks outside the state, as well as free-of-charge! Make sure you see Dr. David Mathews, President and C.E.O. of the Kettering Foundation, give the keynote address sharing from his experiences at the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, during a past global epidemic. Read more in the article below and find the original posting here.

Common Bonds: Collective Purpose and Civic Resilience in Uncertain Times

The Mathews Center will host its annual Civic Institute on August 21st, 2020. The event will be held entirely online. The theme of this year’s event is Common Bonds: Collective Purpose and Civic Resilience in Uncertain Times.

Dr. David Mathews, President and C.E.O. of the Kettering Foundation, will deliver a (pre-recorded) keynote address drawing on his experiences at the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare—where he served as Secretary during the Swine Flu outbreak of 1976.

Our first digital-only Civic Institute will explore strategies deployed by individuals and communities as they respond and adapt to the challenges posed by a global epidemic. Community leaders across Alabama will showcase the innovative ways in which they have resisted social isolation by forging new connections with their fellow citizens and by exploring alternative perspectives uncovered through local historical research. This three-hour event (9:00am – 12:00pm CST) will be packed with the same quality thoughtful discussions and meaningful connections that you have come to expect from us each year.

  • 9:00 am – Opening Remarks by Cristin Brawner
  • 9:05 am – Pre-Recorded Keynote by Dr. David Mathews
  • 10:00 am – Short Talks with Panelists
    • Terrance Smith, Director of the Mayor’s Innovation Team in Mobile will discuss how his city is adapting to the challenges posed by the pandemic.
    • Margaret Morton of SAFE Sylacauga will discuss a new community resilience initiative with Laura Strickland (Director of the Sylacauga Chamber of Commerce) and Brigadier General Robert Holmes (retired).
    • Dr. John Giggie of the University of Alabama’s Summersell Center and students from Tuscaloosa’s Central High School will discuss The History of Us, a year-long course created to help students explore the African American history of their own community. Dr. Giggie co-taught the course with his graduate teaching assistant, Ms. Margaret Lawson, who will join the panel alongside students from the course.
  • 11:15 am – Breakout Discussions: Rebuilding, Recovering, and Reimagining Our Future
  • 11:50 am – Closing Remarks

Because the event will be offered entirely online this year, registration will be free of charge! If you are able, we ask that you consider making a donation to the Jean O’Connor-Snyder Fund here. One-hundred percent of your donation goes directly to support the JOIP internship program, which provides immersive civic learning opportunities for college students to research deliberative practices and asset-based approaches for working with Alabamians in community-based projects. Those who donate $25 or more will receive a DMC care package full of our latest resources and a special gift!

Register Now

You can find the original version of this event on the David Matthews Center for Civic Life site at  www.mathewscenter.org/common-bonds/.

Read New 2020 Summer Edition of National Civic Review

If you are looking to get some more civic reading under your belt, NCDD member org, The National Civic League, announced the release of the 2020 Summer Edition of the National Civic Review. This esteemed quarterly journal offers insights and examples of civic engagement and deliberative governance from around the country. Friendly reminder that NCDD members receive the digital copy of the National Civic Review for free! (Find the access code below.) We strongly encourage our members to check out this great resource and there is an open invite for NCDD members to contribute to the NCR. You can read about NCR in the post below and find it on NCL’s site here.

National Civic Review Summer Edition 2020 – Access Code: NCDD20

2020 is turning out to be a year of sudden, unexpected crises and angry civil unrest. The need for people to distance themselves from one another has led to feelings of anxiety, loss and social isolation. Anger over police brutality and racial inequity is making this a time of tough conversations but also increased civic activism. In this issue of the National Civic Review we learn about efforts to engage the public in collaborative efforts to make our communities more sustainable, resilient, age-friendly, democratic and healthy. We also take a look at some examples in history where civic leaders and members of the public have faced tough challenges and risen to the occasion by experimenting with new ideas and practices.

To access this edition, go to the table of contents where you will be prompted to enter your unique access code: NCDD20.

One of the Nation’s Oldest and Most Respected Journals of Civic Affairs
Its cases studies, reports, interviews and essays help communities learn about the latest developments in collaborative problem-solving, civic engagement, local government innovation and democratic governance. Some of the country’s leading doers and thinkers have contributed articles to this invaluable resource for elected officials, public managers, nonprofit leaders, grassroots activists, and public administration scholars seeking to make America’s communities more inclusive, participatory, innovative and successful.

EvDem Joins Virtual Conference on Jail Reform and Equity

This story is shared by Everyday Democracy an NCDD member organization, who participated in a nationwide virtual conference on the criminal justice system. The conference was hosted by The Safety and Justice Challenge and gave way for in-depth exploration at educational, networking, and dialogic solutions to the criminal system, and specifically jail reform. EvDem has been providing community engagement technical assistance to the Safety and Justice Challenge since 2018 and was honored to moderate an exchange session at the virtual convening.  In the session, EvDem shared the progress achieved in two jurisdictions where their dialogue to change approach is being implemented.

Read more about the overview of the convening and watch EvDem’s session in our post below, you can also find the original posting on the EvDem site here.

Equity in Criminal Justice and Strengthening Community Trust Through Dialogue to Action

The Safety and Justice Challenge supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has been working with leaders across the country to tackle one of the greatest drivers of over-incarceration in America – the misuse and overuse of jails.  Since January 2018, Everyday Democracy has been providing community engagement technical assistance to the Safety and Justice Challenge network and has helped specific jurisdictions adopt and implement racial equity-driven community engagement practices.

Everyday Democracy has focused its efforts in five geographical areas: Cook County, IL; Charleston, SC; Palm Beach County FL; Pima County AZ; and Spokane WA.

A Nationwide “VIRTUAL” Networking Conference Brings Social Justice Advocates Together for Next Steps in Meaningful and Sustainable Change in Justice System Inequities.  From May 19 – May 21, social justice advocates from coast to coast gathered “virtually” for a three-day deep dive education and networking convening designed to bring people together to share challenges, talk about the roles in the system in the COVID-19 environment, build collective capacity and inspire and motivate those who are tirelessly doing what is needed for equitable changes in jail reform and the criminal justice system.

The days were filled with a wide range of plenary sessions, workshops, networking opportunities and the collection of a plethora of resources that can be accessed on an ongoing basis.  Everyday Democracy moderated an exchange session that provided an overview of the progress made in two communities, Cook County, IL and Charleston, SC using its dialogue to change approach and the resulting action forums that are driving change in those jurisdictions. Everyday Democracy Co-moderators Carolyne Abdullah, Senior Director, and Gwendolyn Whiting, Director of Training and Leadership Development facilitated the exchange where each site could share their dialogue to change and community engagement experiences and outcomes.

From the greater Chicago community in Cook County, community engagement coordinator, Kim Davis-Ambrose spoke of their challenges and successes. She explained how the dialogues allowed those voices of the community who have not been heard on this critical issue to be heard in an “up close and personal” way and how issues of trust between the community and system actors improved over the course of the 5-week dialogue project.  She shared that the dialogues were not a fix, but the transparency they offered resulted in authentic partnerships between those in government, the community and with system-impacted individuals with lived experience. Going forward, those who participated in the dialogues aim to continue to work on issues of systemic racism, white privilege and unjust bias, and they will work toward creating more opportunities for the community to stay involved and to address the mental health issues, concerns and challenges faced by those most impacted.

Kristy Pierce Danford who led the efforts in Charleston County, SC stressed the importance that their objective was to go beyond speaking engagements and that the Dialogue to Change process allowed for that.  They aimed to raise awareness of the inequities in their criminal justice systems by using a step-by-step implementation approach.  They held big events which led into facilitator training and roundtable dialogues – then community surveys to community actions forums.  The continuum of activities and feedback received from representatives throughout their community informed their 3-year strategic plan.

Many of the other sessions at the virtual networking conference were eye opening and informative.  Some of the many topics included: The Role of People with Lived Experience in Efforts to Reduce Jail Populations; System Responses to COVID-19; Addressing Racial and Ethnic Disparities; A Toolkit on the Use of Person First Language When Discussing Directly Impacted People; Access to Counsel at First Appearance; Reducing Court Continuances and Performance Data.

As the Convening sessions were nearing completion, Gwendolyn Whiting noted that inequities, particularly for black and brown people was the thread throughout.   Racial equity is at the core of the reform needed, and she challenges everyone to work toward eliminating the structural racism that stands in the way of a truly equitable and fair system for all, and especially those who are most impacted.

Keith Smalls participated in the Everyday Democracy workshop and is participating in the Charleston Dialogue to Change efforts.  Keith said that is all about building community trust.  After having served 19 years in the Dept. of Corrections, he stated that the punishment outweighed the rehabilitation.  But he is grateful for the opportunity to mend broken fences in this dialogue process. “Being part of the conversation, enabled me to apologize to the community and build a bridge back.  It also created the opportunity for me to come back as a concerned citizen.”

It is rewarding for all when there are opportunities for people, institutions, and government to work together for the common good.  Outcomes in both Cook County and Charleston, as well as in other jurisdictions active in the Safety & Justice Challenge are showing that when we authentically engage with each other through productive dialogues and work together, we can see changes in policy and system reforms are starting to make a difference.  The technical support for these jurisdictions were by Gwen Wright in Cook County and Gwen along with Alex Cartagena in Charleston, both who are network consultants for Everyday Democracy.

While there is much more to do, the needle is moving in the right direction. In the closing plenary session of this nationwide Convening, participants were encouraged to remember the words of Martin Luther King, Jr.: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”  All are encouraged to reimagine, reconstruct, recalibrate, and re-envision a criminal justice system the whole community can benefit from.

You can find the original version of this announcement on the Everyday Democracy site at www.everyday-democracy.org/news/equity-criminal-justice-and-strengthening-community-trust-through-dialogue-action.