AllSides Updates: New Students Website & Is Civility Bogus?

In an era when the mainstream media is hyperpolarized, it is vital to our societal and democratic well-being to have access to news sources with more balanced viewpoints. AllSides provides news sources from across the center-left-right spectrum and works to improve civil discourse, and they just announced exciting news and posted a great article exploring civility!

The new website, AllSides for Schools, offers resources for students to improve their media literacy, build empathy, and have tools for engaging in civil discourse – read more about it in the post below! Listen to the archive of our TechTuesday here featuring AllSides’ student-focused programming, Mismatch. 

They also shared the article, Is Civility a Bogus Concept After All?, which explores the challenging arguments around civility on if it’s possible and how it can be best utilized. You can read the article below and find the original on AllSides site here.


Brand New AllSides for Schools Website!

America, we need to talk. Our democracy is increasingly media-driven and polarized. How can we prepare young people?

We’re so excited to announce the launch of our brand-new AllSides for Schools website, featuring updated tools and resources to help students gain the media literacy and critical thinking skills they need to improve our democracy long-term.

We worked hard to launch our new Schools site, and we can’t wait for you to see it.

Featuring a clean new design, AllSides for Schools features nearly a dozen resources to make media literacy fun and engaging. Students can take AllSides’ bias quiz to find out where they fall on the Left-Center-Right political spectrum, then browse our Balanced Dictionary to see how people across the political spectrum define, think and feel differently about the same term or issue.

Plus, our Mismatch program and Civil Conversation Guides ensure students get the guidance they need to build relationships with people who are different from them. And it works — a whopping 92% of students who tried our Mismatch program said they better understood another person or perspective after just one conversation.

Through a revealing look at today’s news media and memorable experiences of respectful dialogue, AllSides for Schools equips students to navigate the complexities of modern media, social networks (on and offline), and personal relationships.

Join the 12,000 teachers and students in 47 states who are already using our tools every week. We hope you’ll enjoy them as much as we enjoyed making them.

You can check out the new Allsides for Schools website at www.allsidesforschools.org

Is Civility a Bogus Concept After All?

By Julie Mastrine

We built AllSides in part because we believe in the power of civility and civil discourse. AllSides helps people build relationships with those who are different from them, which we believe will ultimately improve our democracy.

But, could we be wrong? What if civility is actually a sham?

A TED Talk by political theorist Teresa Bejan raises this very question. Bejan studied and wrote a book about civility — particularly, religious tolerance in early modern England and America — because at the time, she thought that civility was, as she puts it, “bullsh*t.”

Yet how wrong she was.

After concluding her studies, Bejan learned “the virtue that makes un-murderous coexistence possible [in society] is the virtue of civility,” as she states in her TED Talk. “Civility makes our disagreements tolerable so that we can share a life together, even if we don’t share a faith — religious, political or otherwise.”

Still, she says, when most people talk about civility today, they are talking about something different than this. While civility is the virtue that “makes it possible to tolerate disagreement,” she says, “talking about civility [today] seems to be a strategy of disengagement — its like threatening to take your ball and go home when the game isn’t going your way.”

Often, she says, today’s “civility talk” is used as a way to “silence, suppress and exclude” those people we disagree with. (It’s a concept AllSides refers to as “tyranny of civility.”)

“Civility talk” or “tyranny of civility” gives people the feeling of the moral high ground while also allowing them to paint those they disagree with as offensive, or uncivil.

“Some people use “civility” when they want to communicate that certain views or people are beyond the pale, but they want to save themselves the trouble of actually making an argument,” Bejan says.

This is why some people (like Bejan in the past) roll their eyes at the call for civility.

“It seems like “civility talk” saves us the trouble of actually speaking to each other, allows us to talk past each other, signal our superior virtue, and let the audience know which side we’re on,” she says. In this way, “civility talk” can actually deepen divisions.

Instead of civility talk, Bejan argues we need what she calls “mere civility.” This type of civility is not the same thing as being respectful, because “we need civility precisely when we’re dealing with people we find it the most impossible to respect.” And it’s not the same as being nice, either — “because being nice means not telling people what you really think about them or their views.”

Mere civility means “speaking your mind, but to your opponent’s’ face, not behind her back…Being merely civil means pulling out punches but not landing them all at once.”

The point of civility, she says, is to allow us to “have fundamental disagreements without denying or destroying the possibility of a common life tomorrow with the people we think are standing in our way today.”

In this way, civility is closely related to courage.

“Mere civility is having the courage to make yourself disagreeable and to stay that way, but to do that while staying in the room and present to your opponents,” Bejan says. “If you’re talking about civility as a way to avoid an argument, as a way to isolate yourself in the more agreeable company of the like-minded who already agree with you, if you find yourself never actually speaking to anyone who fundamentally disagrees with you, you’re doing civility wrong.”

You can listen to Bejan’s TED Talk in full below.

You can read the original version of article on the Allsides Perspectives blog at www.allsides.com/blog/civility-bogus-concept-after-all.

SFU Extends Nominations Deadline for Int’l Blaney Award

Our friends at SFU Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue – also an NCDD member organization, informed us they have extended the nominations deadline for the 2019/20 Jack P. Blaney Award for Dialogue! We encourage folks to nominate individuals, from anywhere around the globe, who have demonstrated excellence in utilizing dialogue to advance complex social issues and increase mutual understanding. Awardees are given a programming residency at SFU to continue their work, a CAD10,000 cash award, and more. Make sure to submit by the new deadline, January 14, 2019! You can read about the award in the post below and find the original on the here.


SFU’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue is now accepting nominations for the 2019/20 Jack P. Blaney Award for Dialogue

Know someone who demonstrates excellence in their use of dialogue? Nominate them ahead of January 14, 2019 (Deadline extended!) for the next Jack P. Blaney Award for Dialogue.

The Jack P. Blaney Award for Dialogue is presented every second year to an individual who has demonstrated international excellence in the use of dialogue to increase mutual understanding and advance complex public issues. Nominations are encouraged from around the world in the fields of international diplomacy & conflict resolution, climate solutions, diversity and inclusion, democracy and civic engagement, and urban sustainability.

CRITERIA USED TO SELECT THE RECIPIENT INCLUDE:

  • The candidate’s demonstrated international excellence in the use of dialogue to increase mutual understanding;
  • The global significance of the work in addressing complex and profound public issues; and
  • Related programming opportunities.

ABOUT THE AWARD:

Far more than a simple ceremony, the Blaney Award includes a short programming residency in Canada that builds upon the recipient’s work to achieve tangible outcomes, reflecting the mandate of Simon Fraser University to be Canada’s most community-engaged research university. The award endowment includes funds to cover recipient transportation and associated programming costs, as well as a CAD10,000 cash award.

Recent Blaney Award programs have engaged thousands of participants through the hosting of international announcements, book launches, capacity building workshops, and participatory research.

NOMINATION SUBMISSION GUIDELINES:

*Nomination deadline extended*: January 14, 2019 at 17:00 (Pacific Standard Time)

Inquiries: Grace Lee, Program Lead for Signature Events and Endowment, eunhyel@sfu.ca , +01 778-782-4893

VIEW PAST AWARD RECIPIENTS

You can find the original version of this SFU announcement at www.sfu.ca/dialogue/awards/jack-p-blaney/call-for-nominations.html.

Webinar Roundup Featuring Cities of Service and more!

Another roundup of webinars coming your way! We are thrilled to share the following list of webinars happening this week from the NCDD network, including NCDD members National Civic League and Living Room Conversations, and Cities of Service. We know there is a lot of great work going on in the field, and like we mentioned last week, we will be doing more roundup-style posts of webinars going on in order to keep up with all the great D&D happenings.

NCDD works to strengthen our network by being a resource center and hub for those passionate and working under the wide umbrella of dialogue, deliberation, and engagement work. We strive to support our coalition with posts such as this that elevate our members work and help to keep folks in our field informed on what’s going on.

We have a lot of vision for how NCDD can be of better service for our members, the D&D field, and our society. If you appreciate the work NCDD does and would like to support us (and invest in this vital field!), then please make a tax-deductible donation to NCDD today during our End-of-the-Year Fundraiser!

Do you have a webinar coming up that you’d like to share with the NCDD network? Please let us know by emailing me at keiva[at]ncdd[dot]org, because we’d love to add it to the list!


Webinar Roundup: Cities of Service, Living Room Conversations, and National Civic League

Cities of Service webinar – “How Tulsa’s Residents Increased the City’s Capacity to Address Public Problems”

Wednesday, December 12th
11am-12pm Pacific, 2-3pm Eastern

This spring, Cities of Service named the City of Tulsa, Oklahoma one of three winners of our Engaged Cities Award. Among several successful strategies to engage citizens, the city established the Urban Data Pioneers program made up of citizens committed to helping solve public problems by analyzing specific data.

This webinar will focus on a new city program called Civic Innovation Fellowship. This program takes citizen engagement in public problem solving even deeper. The program relies on citizens to shape the public problem, collect data around it, prototype solutions, and present the best ones to the city for budget considerations. James Wagner, City of Tulsa’s Chief of Performance Strategy and Innovation will talk through the process of the Civic Innovation Fellowship highlighting lessons and impact to date.

REGISTER: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/3077404798140506637

Living Room Conversations webinar – “Media and Polarization”

Thursday, December 13th
3:30-5 pm Pacific, 6:30-8pm Eastern

Join us for a free online (using Zoom) Living Room Conversation on the topic of Media and Polarization. Please see the conversation guide for this topic. Some of the questions explored include:

  • How does the media impact you, your friends, and your family?
  • How often do you talk politics with your friends and family?
  • Has polarization impacted your relationships? What happened?

You will need a device with a webcam to participate (preferably a computer or tablet rather than a cell phone).

Please only sign up for a place in this conversation if you are 100% certain that you can join – and thank you – we have many folks waiting to have Living Room Conversations and hope to have 100% attendance. If you need to cancel please return to Eventbrite to cancel your ticket so someone on the waitlist may attend.

A link to join the conversation and additional details will be sent to you by no later than the day before the conversation. The conversation host is Lewis G.

REGISTER: www.livingroomconversations.org/event/living-room-conversation-media-and-polarization/

National Civic League Webinar – “Engaging the Public in Fiscal Matters”

Wednesday, December 19th
11:30 am Pacific, 2:30 pm Eastern

Can the public really help local governments make solid budget decisions? Of course!

Two communities – Hampton, Virginia, and Placentia, California – will share how residents have contributed their views on budget matters. In Hampton, City Manager Mary Bunting will discuss the I-Value effort in Hampton. In Placentia, Rosanna Ramirez, the city’s director of administrative services, will talk about the city’s Citizens Fiscal Sustainability Task Force.

This webinar is part of the All-America City Promising Practices series and we shared more information about this offering earlier on the NCDD blog – read it here!

REGISTER: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/aac-promising-practices-webinar-engaging-the-public-in-fiscal-matters-tickets-53114553058

2019 IAP2 USA Skills Symposium Early Rate Ends Friday!

If you are looking for ways to improve your public participation skills or gain more tools, then we encourage you to check out the upcoming 2019 IAP2 USA Skills Symposium happening February 25 – March 1 in Austin, Texas. Hosted by NCDD member org, the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2), the Symposium is a valuable opportunity to dive deep into P2 (public participation), connect with fellow P2 professionals, and experience a variety of methods, techniques, best practices, and more. The Early Bird discount pricing ends this coming Friday, December 14 – so act quickly to take advantage of this great discount! You can read the announcement below and find more information on the IAP2 site here.


2019 IAP2 USA Skills Symposium – Learn. Stay. Connect.

Are you troubleshooting current processes, or looking back, and thinking “there has to be another way?” The 2019 IAP2 USA Skills Symposium is just the place to meet other professionals in your field and acquire applicable tools and techniques to help you glean knowledge from the past, and streamline your processes in the future.

Early Bird pricing ends December 14, 2018!

The 2019 IAP2 USA Skills Symposium will offer a variety of training in public participation processes and methods. Join us in Austin, Texas dive into courses covering a range of topics including: mastering facilitation skills, using social media, and working with an angry public. Other topics include designing for diversity, and evaluating public participation initiatives. 1, 2, and 3 day courses are offered featuring experts in the practice of in community engagement. Attendees will engage in hands-on exploration and leave with many lessons learned on designing and managing effective public participation.

Are you an APA AICP? Did you know that ALL Skills Symposium Courses are eligible for AICP Certification Maintenance Credits? To learn more, check out their website!

Please click here to view the schedule-at-a-Glance, course fees, hotel room block information, and more!

Questions? Comments? Contact amelia@iap2usa.org

You can find this information on the IAP2 site at www.iap2usa.org/2019sksymp.

Tap into our Winter D&D Podcast Compilation!

It’s amazing how fast time has gone by since the last time we did a round up of our favorite D&D podcasts! Since it is such a great time of year to pop on a podcast and hibernate, check out the recent list we compiled dedicated to dialogue, deliberation, democracy, and engagement work, to boost you through the chilly months. We’ve added several more podcasts from our D&D community that we’ve found along the way since our compilation last time. Let us know in the comments below what podcasts you’ve been listening to lately and/or share some of your longtime favorites!

Podcasts focused on D&D:

  • NCDDers Tim Merry and Tuesday Ryan-Hart host the podcast, The Outside, a joint conversation to bring in the fresh air necessary for large-scale systems change and equity. Listen here.
  • NCDD member Reva Patwardhan hosts the Dialogue Lab podcast and offers conversations to inspire listeners to thrive while making an impact. Listen here.
  • Conversations With People Who Hate Me by Dylan Marron, was recommended to us by Sage Snider as their favorite dialogue podcast. Check it out here.
  • The McCourtney Institute for Democracy, an NCDD member org, has been running their podcast, Democracy Works, with hosts Michael Berkman and Chris Beem on various democracy issues and interview people working in democracy. Listen to it here.
  • NCDD member organization, the National Institute for Civil Discourse, has several podcasts related to dialogue and NICD’s work, which you can listen to by clicking here.
  • Real Democracy Now! is a podcast based out of Australia and has several seasons that you can listen to here:
  • Engaging Local Government Leaders has a podcast about local government called Gov Love, which you can find here, and their goal “is to tell informative and unique stories about the work being done at the local level”.
  • Center for Civic Education has a podcast 60-Second Civics, which is a “daily podcast that provides a quick and convenient way for listeners to learn about our nation’s government, the Constitution, and our history”. Listen here.
  • The Aspen Institute has a podcast which you can listen to here, and is “working across the globe, bringing together people from different backgrounds, experiences, and points of view, to work together and find solutions to our world’s most complex challenges”.
  • The Civil Conversations Project is hosted by Krista Tippett from On Being, and “is a conversation-based, virtues-based resource towards hospitable, trustworthy relationship with and across difference”. Listen here.

Standalone episodes related to D&D:

  • The Private Side of Public Work featured CEO Matt Crozier of Bang the Table in this episode on their work and how to motivate people to be engaged. Listen here.
  • Conversations that Matter featured Valerie Lemming of NCDD member org, the Kettering Foundation. Via CTM: “In Episode 1 of our 7-part series on Democracy and the Media, Stu sat down with Valerie Lemmie of the Kettering Foundation to explore the current state of citizen engagement, the role that it plays in protecting Democracy, and how it has come under fire as the bombastic politics of the United States bleed over into the political mindsets of other nations.” You can read the article here and listen to the podcast on iTunes.
  • Shared with us via the EngagePhase Weekly newsletter:
    • “The latest episode of the No Jargon podcast features John Gastil, a professor at Penn State, in a discussion about citizen juries and some of the latest research into their inner workings and effectiveness”: Episode 117: The Citizen Expert
    • “A recent episode of the Reasons to Be Cheerful podcast featured guests James Fishkin (Stanford University) and Sarah Allan (Involve UK) in a discussion about various democracy innovations”: Episode 20. Rescuing Democracy: From Ancient Athens to Brexit

Don’t forget to check out the NCDD podcast too!

  • Episode One featured NCDD Managing Director, Courtney Breese and our former Board Chair Barbara Simonetti, on a powerful metaphor she realized which compares the D&D field to a multi-purpose public utility – click here to listen!
  • Episode Two told the story of Conversation Café by stewards of the process, co-creator Susan Partnow, past steward Jacquelyn Pogue, and NCDD staffer Keiva Hummel – click here to listen!
  • Episode Three was on the opportunities for D&D in Congress with Brad Fitch of the Congressional Management Foundation and our own Courtney Breese – click here to listen!
  • Episode Four had  Journalism that Matters Executive Director Peggy Holman and Board President Michelle Ferrier discuss their thoughts about connecting journalists and public engagement practitioners – click here to listen!
  • Episode Five featured Julie Winokur of Bring it to the Table and their work on bridging political divides and healing partisanship – click here to listen!

Stay tuned to the blog as we work to release more NCDD podcasts in the future! We recently launched our end-of-the-year fundraiser and one of our main asks is to fund the NCDD podcast. We have a lot of great ideas in store that we would love to share with you and we encourage you to consider donating to NCDD in show of support to the larger dialogue and deliberation community or join as a member!

Highlights from the Kettering Winter Newsletter

In case you missed it, NCDD org member, the Kettering Foundation sent out their Winter newsletter, which you can read in the post below to learn what they’ve been up to lately. Highlights include Kettering at NCDD2018, discount opportunity on Dzur’s new book – Democracy Inside, upcoming CGA forums, and more. Please join us in congratulating John Dedrick, who was recently named Kettering’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer! If you haven’t already, you can sign up for Kettering’s newsletters by clicking here to stay up-to-date on all that they are is working on.


Kettering Foundation News & Notes – Winter 2018

Sometimes wisdom can be found in odd places. In the 2008 movie The Christmas Clause, an elf at the North Pole patiently explains, “Seeing isn’t believing. Believing is seeing.” There are no elves (that we know of) at the foundation, but in researching what it takes to make democracy work as it should, we try to help people recognize democratic practices in a wide variety of often ordinary activities. In the past month, foundation program officers and associates have taken that message on the road in speeches, panels, and conferences.

Civility: Beyond Miss Manners

The need for civility was once a humdrum topic more often found in the musings of Miss Manners than in the opinion pages of the New York Times. No longer. In our highly contentious political environment, civility has become an enduring concern. And explorations of that concern frequently include people who have been involved in Kettering’s work.

An example: On October 29, Solutions Journalism Network cofounder and CEO David Bornstein authored a column in the New York Times to address the topic. Titled “Recovering the (Lost) Art of Civility,” the column is a question-and-answer session with the Consensus Building Institute’s David Fairman. It explores how economic shifts, demographic changes, and a lack of motivation for political parties to work together, instead of stoking conflict, all contribute to rising tensions. The column addresses what citizens can do; for example, cultivating a genuine spirit of curiosity and willingness to listen to what members of “the other side” really believe.

The column cited the work of the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation, as well as Everyday Democracy and Spaceship Media. People from all of these organizations have participated in Kettering Foundation research exchanges and other meetings at the foundation.

Hal Saunders’ Work Continues

The late Harold “Hal” Saunders, Kettering Foundation longtime director of international affairs and founder of the Sustained Dialogue Institute, was a pillar of the Dartmouth Conference and a creative thinker of the first order. His vision of citizen involvement in peacemaking resulted in his developing Sustained Dialogue, a form of citizen diplomacy that uses empathy, listening, and relationship-building between citizens of different nations to improve understanding. It’s also why he wrote his book Sustained Dialogue in Conflicts: Transformation and Change.
It is fitting that his book has now been translated into Russian, with Kettering Foundation support and the vision of Irina Zvyagelskaya and Alex Aksenenko, members of the Dartmouth Conference Task Force on the Middle East. Both had been using the English version as part of their courses on diplomacy. Irina teaches at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, and Alex at Moscow State University.

Senior associate Phil Stewart tells us that the Russian International Affairs Council will hold a public event at the end of December 2018 to formally announce the book’s publication. Hal has been gone nearly two years, but it is gratifying that his visionary work continues to bear fruit.

Out and About with Kettering Staff

Ray Minor: The Day “OGs” Taught Firefighters
When Kettering Foundation program officer Ray Minor talks, E.F. Hutton listens.

Ray delivered a speech at the E.F. Hutton and Antioch College conference on Social Capital in Yellow Springs, Ohio, on October 20. Ray spoke of social capital as the relations and connections that build trust, reciprocity, and a willingness to work together as citizens, institutions, and communities.

In his speech, Ray cited five case studies to illustrate his points. One involved the Los Angeles Fire Department’s work with former gang members, or OGs (original gangsters), in the south precinct. The OGs educated the firefighters, who were fearful of answering calls in crime-ridden neighborhoods, on gang culture and behaviors; the firefighters trained the gang members in life-saving techniques. Call them strange bedfellows, call them coproducers; somehow, it all works.

Read the rest of Ray’s speech here.

Ray also moderated a panel at the 2018 Northeast Conference on Public Administration, which was held November 2-4 in Baltimore, Maryland. Ray’s remarks for the panel, “A critique on the government’s response to communities of color,” discussed US immigration policy and its adverse effects on people of color. Ray cited four cases, including Vietnamese and Haitian “boat people,” Cuban refugees, and the recent Central American refugee caravan to support his point that US immigration policy historically has favored certain European immigrants and disfavored immigrants from nations of color, including China, Mexico, and African countries.

A Civil Dialogue with Valerie Lemmie
On October 19, Kettering Foundation director of exploratory research Valerie Lemmie brought her independent status as a voter and her years of experience as a city manager to a University of Dayton panel titled “A civil dialogue in an uncivil time.”

The panel featured former Ohio governor Robert Taft and members of the Ohio statehouse on both sides of the aisle, as well as members of academia. The audience heard Valerie reflect on the challenges of citizenship and working in government.

“The value of working in local government is that you get exposed to every facet of society from elites to the downtrodden,” Valerie said. “Often when people are uncivil, it is because of their anger and their frustration. They have had it! They come to a city council meeting and are given three minutes to speak. While they are talking, nobody is listening. They have knocked on the door, and nobody has answered,” she said.

Valerie recalled her work in Cincinnati when the shooting of an African American man by a police officer sparked unrest. “The hardest part as a civil servant and a woman of color was to be boycotted whenever I walked along downtown streets, to hear protesters chant ‘No justice, no peace.’ It broke my heart that they thought I, as a woman of color, did not understand,” Valerie said. “I saw my role as being in the system but not becoming the system in order to make change.”

“Most of us care about our communities. . . . What if we got together on a wicked problem that we were concerned about? What if we said, ‘This isn’t a right or wrong issue; this is a matter of values’? We may not agree with our neighbor, but this will give us a perspective that we didn’t have before, a perspective that allows us to wrestle with the trade-offs and perhaps be able to reach common ground on what we can do to solve problems,” Valerie said.

For more, watch the video.

Dzur’s Book Explores Innovations in Democracy
In December, Oxford University Press will publish a new book by Albert Dzur, professor at Bowling Green State University and former scholar-in-residence at Kettering. Democracy Inside: Participatory Innovation in Unlikely Places looks at recent instances of transformative citizen action across the United States and, through examples and interviews, demonstrates that looking beyond conventional politics is necessary to bring about change. Dzur argues that change requires transforming classrooms, courtrooms, and offices into civic spaces where citizens and institutions can interact in a constructive and effective way.

You can order a copy on the Oxford University Press website. Use code ASFLYQ6 to save 30 percent.

KF Swarms Conference
The National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) met in Denver November 2-4, and among its 40-plus presenters for more than 5 dozen workshops were many familiar faces from the Kettering Foundation, including program officer Ekaterina Lukianova and senior associates Betty Knighton and Paula Ellis. There were many more fellow travelers who have come to the foundation over the years, including, of course, Sandy Heierbacher, NCDD’s founding director. The conference featured a deliberation led by Virginia York on the opioid epidemic, using the NIF issue guide What Should We Do about the Opioid Epidemic? For more details and information, head over to the NCDD website.

Dedrick Named Kettering’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
John R. Dedrick has been named executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Charles F. Kettering Foundation.

“John’s new title recognizes the work he has already done, providing leadership to both the foundation’s research programs and its operations,” said Kettering president David Mathews in announcing Dedrick’s new title. “This recognition is long overdue and well deserved.”

“It’s an honor and privilege to be part of this organization,” Dedrick said. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve the foundation.”

Since 2008, Dedrick has served as Kettering’s vice president and program director. He joined the foundation in 1995 as a program officer and held the position of director of programs from 2003 to 2008.

Dedrick received a BA and MA from the College of William and Mary and an MA and PhD in political science from Rutgers University.

Dedrick is emeritus board president of Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement. He serves on the executive committee of the Deliberative Democracy Consortium, Philanthropy Ohio’s public policy committee and the editorial board of the Journal of Public Deliberation. He is also a faculty fellow at Fielding Graduate University, where he leads seminars on topics including deliberation, dialogue, and civic engagement.

Common Ground for Action Forums in December

There are a number of Common Ground for Action (CGA) forum opportunities coming up in December. These are great opportunities to let students or colleagues try a deliberative forum from the comfort of their own desk (or couch).

  • Wednesday, December 5 @ 1:00 pm EST to Thursday, December 6 @ 3:00 pm EST
    CGA Moderator Workshop for Educators  REGISTER
  • Wednesday, December 5 @ 1:00 pm EST/10:00 am PST
    Shaping Our Future: How Should Higher Education Help Us Create the Society We Want?  REGISTER
  • Saturday, December 15 @ 6:00 pm EST/3:00 pm PST
    America’s Energy Future: How Can We Take Charge?  REGISTER

And, for those who have been trained as CGA moderators but could use a refresher or have questions about using CGA in their work, Kara Dillard has online “office hours” each Friday. REGISTER here! December’s sessions are:

  • December 7 @ 12 pm EST
  • December 14 @ 12 pm EST

Thelma Chollar

The foundation lost a good friend the week before Thanksgiving when Thelma Chollar died at the age of 102. She was the widow of former Kettering Foundation board chair and president Robert G. Chollar (1971-1981). Chollar had been residing in an assisted living facility in Vienna, Virginia, for several years. Her son Ric wrote in an email that her final days were comfortable and pain-free. The family plans to hold a memorial service in Fairfax, Virginia, January 12.

Mary Mathews remembers Chollar as a strong woman who exerted a quiet influence behind the scenes. “What I remember the most is how open and inviting the expression on her face always was; it was reflective of an innate gentleness and acceptance,” Mary said. She said Chollar often hosted social events at her home with Kettering Foundation board members, staff, and associates because the term of her husband’s presidency predated the current campus and the foundation had no facilities for get-togethers.

Bob Daley was the foundation’s director of communications when Robert Chollar died in 1981. For several years thereafter, Bob and his wife, Berneta, would escort Chollar to foundation events, picking her up at her Kettering condominium and bringing her to dinners and other occasions. “She was a small woman, always gracious, and always grateful for the little things we would do for her,” Bob said.

Read the full obituary here.

See KF or NIF in the news? Please let us know.

We do our best to track mentions of the foundation and National Issues Forums in the news and in academic journals, but we need your help to make sure we don’t miss anything. If you see Kettering or National Issues Forums mentioned in press coverage or academic publications, please let us know by emailing newsandnotes@kettering.org.

Webinar Roundup Featuring MetroQuest, Living Room Conversations, and more!

As the NCDD network continues to grow, we are coming across more and more exciting webinars that we are thrilled to share with you! Because we try to only post on the blog once a day, we are going to be doing more weekly roundups of webinars happening in the field in order to keep sharing more D&D events for you to tap into. This roundup includes several NCDDers that we encourage you to check out in the post below and register in the links provided. This week we are featuring MetroQuest (and are proud co-sponsors of this webinar!), PACE (this webinar is co-hosted with Media Impact Funders and includes our NCDD2018 sponsor, the Democracy Fund), Living Room Conversations (register ASAP for this one as the webinar is tomorrow) and the Zehr Institute.

Do you have a webinar coming up that you’d like to share with the NCDD network? Please let us know by emailing me at keiva[at]ncdd[dot]org, because we’d love to add it to the list!


Webinar Roundup: MetroQuest, Living Room Conversations, and PACE

MetroQuest webinar – “Transforming Public Apathy to Revitalize Engagement”

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

Apathy is all around us. Most people have become disengaged not only from politics, but also from the government agencies that make decisions that directly affect their quality of life. Increasingly, leaders are asking themselves “How do we boost public participation?”

Join TED Talk celebrity, Dave Meslin and MetroQuest Chief Engagement Officer, Dave Biggs as they explore proven techniques for building a culture of engagement. They encourage us to recognize apathy as a web of barriers that reinforce disengagement – and show us how we can work together to dismantle the obstacles to revitalize public engagement.

This in-depth journey will combine humour with many examples of best-practices. The strongest cities have learned how to tap into the collective creativity, passion, and knowledge of their constituents. This webinar will chart the course.

REGISTER: http://go.metroquest.com/Transforming-Public-Apathy-to-Revitalize-Engagement.html

Living Room Conversations webinar – “Peace Building in the United States”

Friday, December 7th
2-3:30 pm Pacific, 5-6:30 Eastern

Join us for a free online (using Zoom) Living Room Conversation on the topic of Peace Building in the United States. Please see the conversation guide for this topic. Some of the questions explored include:

  • How do the “us and them” divisions impact you?
  • Who is us and who is them?
  • How many friends do you have in other groups?
  • What should we expect from our leaders in terms of healing divisions?

You will need a device with a webcam to participate (preferably a computer or tablet rather than a cell phone).

Please only sign up for a place in this conversation if you are 100% certain that you can join – and thank you – we have many folks waiting to have Living Room Conversations and hope to have 100% attendance. If you need to cancel please return to Eventbrite to cancel your ticket so someone on the waitlist may attend.

A link to join the conversation and additional details will be sent to you by no later than the day before the conversation. The conversation host is Shakira M.

REGISTER: www.livingroomconversations.org/event/online-living-room-conversation-peace-building-in-the-united-states

Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement – “Re-Envisioning America’s Public Square”

PACE LogoMonday, December 10th
9 am Pacific, 12 pm Eastern

America’s public square–the institutions, networks, and spaces where Americans engage in the critical issues facing our democracy–is facing a paradigm shift. #Infogagement–a term that describes the recent collision of media, technology, and civic engagement–is fundamental to that shift. A combination of economic impacts, advances in technology, and social change are re-shaping how we access and engage with the information that connects us to civic life. To respond, we must come together to re-envision and rebuild our public square so it serves all members of our democracy.

This webinar will bring together thought leaders from across the Infogagement landscape to engage with participants in answering several questions:

  • What are some of the institutions and spaces that created our public square?
  • What caused the paradigm shift we’re experiencing today?
  • What kind of public square best serves all members of our democracy?
  • How can we reconfigure existing institutions and build new infrastructure to rebuild our public square to serve all members of our democracy?

Speakers:

  • Ashley Alvarado, Director of Community Engagement at KPCC
  • Sarah Alvarez, Founder and Lead Reporter, Outlier Media
  • Kristen Cambell, Executive Director, PACE =
  • Eli Pariser, Founder and CEO, Upworthy
  • Josh Stearns, Director, Public Square Program, Democracy Fund

REGISTER: www.pacefunders.org/webinar-re-envisioning-americas-public-square/

Zehr Institute for Restorative Justice – “Transforming Violence: Restorative Justice, Violent Crime, and an End to Mass Incarceration”

Wednesday, December 12th
1:30pm – 3:30pm Pacific, 4:30pm – 6:30pm Eastern
Guest: Danielle Sered
Host: Howard Zehr

Sered will discuss the use of restorative justice in cases of serious violent crime such as robbery and assault. Common Justice, the organization she leads, operates a restorative justice program that serves as an alternative to prison in the adult criminal justice system. Sered proposes that responses to violence should be survivor-centered, accountability-based, safety-driven, and racially equitable. She will explore the potential of restorative justice applications through each of those lenses, discuss the program’s partnership with the district attorney’s office, describe the violence intervention model the program employs, and invite conversation regarding the potential for more diversion of violence in the movement as a whole.

REGISTER: www.zehr-institute.org/webinars/transforming-violence.html

Catapult NCDD into 2019 with End-of-the-Year Fundraiser!

Yesterday, we shared with you our most recent NCDD champions and if you are looking to join ranks with these incredible people… well, great news! You still can support NCDD as we launch our end-of-the-year fundraiser!

This year marks the sweet 16th birthday of NCDD, which provides us a great time to reflect and be intentional in our vision for the future. The 2018 National Conference on Dialogue and Deliberation was a phenomenal experience that gave us inspiration, connection, and a drive to continue to build this Coalition. While this was our largest and most diverse conference yet, there is still so much room to grow and do better – and we are excited to rise to that challenge.

We believe in the power of the collective. Since 2002, NCDD has served as a hub, resource clearinghouse, and facilitative leader for the dialogue and deliberation community. Together, we have achieved extraordinary connection and progress across our field and beyond.

Our whole purpose is to support the work you all are doing and create space for the D&D field to flourish. Which is why we encourage our members’ active participation in this co-created organization, that is NCDD. So if you haven’t already, we invite you to join NCDD as a member! There are a lot of fantastic benefits to being a member, like heightened visibility in a robust network, better access to jobs & internships, discounts on our conferences and with some member organizations (the membership often pays for itself with the discounts alone), and more!

As we move into the new year, we are turning to our community to help ensure that NCDD remains strong to continue to serve in these valuable roles and to help keep this network connected. An honest fact is it’s really tough for organizations like NCDD to fundraise and be sustainable because it is a network of organizations, practitioners, and volunteers. Most of the members understandably have to focus on their own organizations and efforts. But networks like NCDD are critical to build a community of practice and grow the field.

In this light, we are asking you to contribute to the organization’s end of year fund drive. It begins today and will run through the first few days of 2019. Our goal is $15,000 and will greatly help NCDD start 2019 off on the right foot.

We hope you’ll consider NCDD’s accomplishments and potential and then follow this link, www.ncdd.org/donate/2018-funddrive to support the work we’re all committed to…

  • NCDD supports and connects the growing dialogue and deliberation community — our conferences, listservs, blogs, forums, and resources offer a unique and valuable way to expand and enhance the work of practitioners as they engage and mobilize people across partisan, ethnic, and other divides.
  • We have created cross-sector partnerships with journalists, librarians, museums, and more, in order to expand D&D beyond the traditional field and make it more accessible.
  • Our Blog, where we keep you updated on some of the most important happenings and opportunities in our field, and our Resource Center, which boasts over 3,100 discussion guides, videos, evaluation tools, reports, books, and other tools.
  • The NCDD site improves the wider public access to D&D through our Beginner’s Guide, our Engagement Streams Framework, the 2010 Resource Guide on Public Engagement, and other essential resources.
  • Building the Emerging Leaders Program to help cultivate the next generation of leaders in dialogue & deliberation.
  • And more!

Our Vision

With this end-of-the-year fundraising drive, we have many exciting goals in mind that we’d like to share with you. Please let us know in the comments section below what are your visions for NCDD in the coming year…

  • “More-time” staff – right now, the reality is that Courtney, Sandy, Joy, and I run this organization part-time while also working other jobs to financially support ourselves (ah, the nonprofit reality!). We’d like to be able to focus more of our energies on NCDD and continue to build this organization to be the robust network that we envision it to be.
  • More staff – we hope to be able to bring on more staff to NCDD and have folks dedicated to various parts of our programming that we wish we had more energy to focus on. A big part of this is recognizing that we need to expand the diversity of NCDD staff, which is something we are working to be intentional about changing.
  • New website – there is SO MUCH excellent content on the NCDD site and we are hoping to raise funds to revamp the website completely. With all the great resources and happenings on the blog, the site can be a bit clunky to get through, so we hope to hire someone to create a beautiful and more streamlined website in the effort to continue to make D&D accessible and be of better service to you!
  • Emerging Leaders Initiative Program – if our field is to continue to survive, we need to invest in those who will be leading the field in the future. The ELI program seeks to foster the next gen in D&D and increase the on-ramps into this field. We would love to bring on someone dedicated to driving this program!
  • NCDD podcast – a wonderful project that we’d love to have more capacity to do. We envision monthly podcasts on the hottest D&D subjects and illuminating the work of leaders and innovators in the field.
  • Building the Coalition – just like in organizing, NCDD would love the ability to do some deep base building, particularly in the areas of the country we need to build our network. We know there are a lot more practitioners to connect with, and the more folks doing this work that we can bring in, the better and stronger our Coalition will be!

If you believe in NCDD’s mission and find value in the resources, connections, and opportunities we provide, we urge you to show your support by making a donation during our fund drive. All contributions are welcome, whether they are $15 or $1,000. And your contributions are tax deductible! Please share the fund drive with your networks and consider asking your favorite angel donor to contribute as well. Help us reach our $15,000 goal, and thank you so much, in advance, for supporting NCDD!

Huge Thank You to Our Giving Tuesday Champions!

Please join us in a HUGE round of applause for the individuals who donated to NCDD last week as part of Giving Tuesday! It is thanks to these incredible champions of dialogue and deliberation that we were able to raise almost $3,300! We recognize you have a lot of great organizations to support on Giving Tuesday and so we are even more humbled and grateful for the support. NCDD is a small operation and we truly mean it when we say, that the Coalition thrives because of support like this! Thank you so much to the following folks for their generous contributions…

Paula Atkinson
Lisa Beutler
Ulf Bley
Barbara Brown
Martin Carcasson
Susan Stuart Clark
Lark Corbeil
Cobie DeLespinasse
Linda Denton
Julie Marett Forbush
Michael Freedman
Cheryl Graeve
Ellen Griffin
Sandy Heierbacher
Jacob Hess
Peggy Holman
Betty Knighton
Mette Kreutzmann
Jen Lade
Steve Lee
Diane Miller
Avril Orloff
Bill Potapchuk
Jeff Prudhomme
Bettye Pruitt
Christine Plourde Reed
Christine Whitney Sanchez
Carol Scott
Landon Shultz
Bruce Schuman
Stephen Silha
Lisa Singh
Jim Snow
Helen Spector
Allan Steiner
Gail Stone
Mary Thompson
Vicki Totten
Linda Urban
Jay Vincent
Wendy Willis

Thank you all so much! We love you!!

In addition to how phenomenal the D&D field is in general, #NCDD2018 was an incredible opportunity to convene hundreds of amazing people dedicated to furthering dialogue and deliberation, which left us absolutely inspired and positively fired up for the new year! We here at NCDD have some really exciting goals in store for 2019 and we can’t wait to share them with you – so stay tuned to the NCDD blog!

New Resource & Webinar on Combating Bias in Schools

Addressing incidents of bias when they come up can be challenging, especially when they happen in schools. NCDD member org, Public Agenda, just released their new guide, “Addressing Incidents of Bias in Schools” to support having these conversations (which can be downloaded for free on their site here). There will also be a free webinar on addressing bias in schools this coming Wednesday, December 5th from 3-4pm Eastern, 12-1 Pacific – which you can register for here. You can read this announcement below and find the original version on Public Agenda’s site here.


Ways to Combat Bias in Schools: A New Resource

There’s a growing concern about discrimination and hate crimes taking place across the country. While incidents of bias can occur anywhere, it’s especially troubling when it happens in our schools. Discussing race and discrimination can be difficult for the most seasoned of professionals, however, that discomfort should not prevent important conversations from taking place.

Join Matt Leighninger and Nicole Cabral of Public Agenda for a one-hour webinar where attendees will be armed with the tips and strategies they need to facilitate safe, illuminating and productive conversations on incidents of bias. Matt and Nicole will pull from the newly-released discussion guide, “Addressing Incidents of Bias in Schools: A guide for preventing and reacting to discrimination affecting students” to provide a framework for this virtual conversation that will include advice on how to use the guide in classrooms, staff meetings, afterschool programs, and schoolwide events.

Date: Wednesday, Dec. 5 – 3:00 pm ET

Guest Speaker: Nicole Cabral, associate director of public engagement, Public Agenda
Moderator: Matt Leighninger, vice president of public engagement, Public Agenda

To register for this free webinar and to receive updates leading up to the event, please  is serving only as the host for this presentation. The content was created by the sponsor. The opinions expressed in this webinar are those of the sponsor and do not reflect the opinion of or constitute an endorsement by Editorial Projects in Education or any of its publications.

Closed-captioning is available for this event. On the date of the event, you can log in as early as 15 minutes before the start of the webinar. Open the “Closed-Captioning” link from the “resource list” (located at the bottom of the console) to access Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART). A transcript will also be available for download from the resource list within three business days after the event.

You can find the original version of this announcement on Public Agenda’s site at www.publicagenda.org/pages/ways-to-combat-bias-in-schools-a-new-resource.