Listen to Confab Recording on Using Slack for Democratic Movement Building

We had a wonderfully engaging call last Thursday to learn more about the capabilities of using the collaborative platform, Slack, to further connect the D&D field and growing Democracy Movement. The call was co-hosted with our friends at the Bridge Alliance who discussed a new effort launched recently on the platform called the Democracy Movement Slack Forum and gave us a preview of the new space. If you weren’t able to join the call, we encourage you to listen to it now!

We were joined by Walt Roberts who gave the 45 participants on the call a quick tour of Slack and how the platform streamlines communication by bringing text, email, and direct messaging altogether. The way the platform is designed lends itself well to the growing Democracy Movement Slack Forum (DMFS), in how it offers space for participants to self-organize and create action together. Walt shared with us how this space was developed; growing from the Unrig the Summit 2018 conference and catalyzed by the desire to fix our broken and rigged political system. He discussed the evolution of the working title, the Democracy Movement, and how it is really a movement of many movements, across the spectrum of ideologies.

Phase two is currently in progress, in which the organizers of the Slack space are looking to bring in those groups and leaders who are doing Democracy building work. It’s meant to be a collaborative space for people to work together in nonpartisan ways and co-develop this growing Democracy Movement. If you are interested in participating in the DMFS, please reach out to keiva[at]ncdd[dot]org for the information on how to join! We’ve set up a channel on the DMFS called #group_ncdd_forum that we encourage you to join if you’re already onboard the Slack space!

Here are some of our favorite takeaways from the Confab call:

  • Slack brings an “open space” like way of self-organizing conversations and helps bring order to the chaos of multiple streams, threads, and branches of conversation.
  • The Democracy Movement is a broad term that encompasses all efforts to get our country back on track and spans the ideological spectrum.
  • The Democracy Movement Slack Forum is a collaborative work, conversation, & community space for those who seek to work together in nonpartisan ways to co-develop a big democracy movement, reduce silos & build a shared infrastructure.

We had an engaging conversation in the chat discussion and you can view saved the transcript of  it here. We recorded the whole presentation in case you weren’t able to join us, which you can access by clicking here. While access to the Confab recordings is usually a benefit of being an NCDD member, we have made an exception with this one in order for more folks to join the DMSF and co-create this movement. If you like what you experience, we’d love for you to join as an NCDD member (if you haven’t already!) and learn more about the sweet benefits of being part of the NCDD Coalition here!

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We want to thank Walt, Jeremy and the Bridge Alliance team, for making this call happen! And an equally large thank you to all the Confab participants for contributing to this conversation! To learn more about NCDD’s Confab Calls and hear recordings of others, visit www.ncdd.org/events/confabs.

Finally, we love holding these events and we want to continue to elevate the work of our field with Confab Calls and Tech Tuesdays. It is through your generous contributions to NCDD that we can keep doing this work! That’s why we want to encourage you to support NCDD by making a donation or becoming an NCDD member today (you can also renew your membership by clicking here). Thank you!

See you on Slack!

Don’t Miss Confab Call on Using Slack for D&D Movement Building

Friendly reminder about our upcoming Confab Call happening this Thursday with our friends at the Bridge Alliance to explore the use of the collaboration tool, Slack! We learn more about the development of the Bridge Alliance’s new joint project, the Democracy Movement Slack Forum, and discuss some best practices of the platform for movement building around civic action.

This free call will be on Thursday, June 6th from 2-3 pm Eastern, 11 am-12 pm PacificRegister today so you don’t miss out on this engaging call!reg-button-2

Slack is a collaboration platform that streamlines communication amongst members by consolidating text, email, group and instant messaging into one app. For the last few years, the platform has quickly grown in popularity as a great tool for connecting individuals and driving action.

For this Confab, we hope to explore how can Slack be used to further reduce silos amongst people doing dialogue and deliberation work and better cultivate connections to facilitate change. Our hope is that all of us who drive civic change can learn from other’s experiences with the platform to help our collective efforts thrive.

We will be joined by the Bridge Alliance and their partners, who will share more about the new Democracy Movement Slack being developed and how the experience has been so far. We’ll also ask others on the call to share their experiences or questions. The Confab will be an opportunity for those on the call who are also Bridge Alliance members to learn more about how to join the Slack group.

We’d love for folks who have used Slack or are still currently using it to join the call and share their experience. What are some of the benefits of using it and are there any challenges? This conversation will offer insight for a new effort underway on Slack by the Bridge Alliance, called the Democracy Movement Slack Forum; a co-creation with the National Association of Nonpartisan Reformers, RepresentUS, and Unite America. This new project is in its developing stages now and is intended to be a transpartisan space for those in the Democracy Movement to communicate and collaborate.

Make sure you register today to secure your spot!

About Our Confab Co-Hosts 

Bridge Alliance is a coalition of over 90 organizations dedicated to rejuvenating America. With each organization focusing on a different sector of the movement, our members represent a combined three million supporters in the burgeoning field of civic reform and civil discourse.

About NCDD’s Confab Calls

Confab bubble imageNCDD’s Confab Calls are opportunities for members (and potential members) of NCDD to talk with and 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!

June Confab on Using Slack for D&D Movement Building

We are excited to co-host another Confab Call at the beginning of June, this time with our friends at the Bridge Alliance to explore the use of the collaboration tool, Slack. We will discuss the capabilities of the platform for movement building around civic action and learn more about the development of Bridge Alliance’s new joint project, the Democracy Movement Slack Forum.

This free call will be on Thursday, June 6th from 2-3 pm Eastern, 11 am-12 pm Pacific. Register today so you don’t miss out on this engaging call!

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Slack is a collaboration platform that streamlines communication amongst members by consolidating text, email, group and instant messaging into one app. For the last few years, the platform has quickly grown in popularity as a great tool for connecting individuals and driving action. For this Confab, we hope to explore how can Slack be used to further reduce silos amongst people doing dialogue and deliberation work and better cultivate connections to facilitate change. Our hope is that all of us who drive civic change can learn from other’s experiences with the platform to help our collective efforts thrive.

We’d love for folks who have used Slack or are still currently using it to join the call and share their experience. What are some of the benefits of using it and are there any challenges? This conversation will offer insight for a new effort underway on Slack by the Bridge Alliance, called the Democracy Movement Slack Forum; a co-creation with the National Association of Nonpartisan Reformers, RepresentUS, and Unite America. This new project is in its developing stages now and is intended to be a transpartisan space for those in the Democracy Movement to communicate and collaborate.

We will be joined by the Bridge Alliance and their partners, who will share more about the new Democracy Movement Slack being developed and how the experience has been so far. We’ll also ask others on the call to share their experiences or questions. The Confab will be an opportunity for those on the call who are also Bridge Alliance members to learn more about how to join the Slack group.

Make sure you register today to secure your spot!

About Our Confab Co-Hosts 

Bridge Alliance is a coalition of over 90 organizations dedicated to rejuvenating America. With each organization focusing on a different sector of the movement, our members represent a combined three million supporters in the burgeoning field of civic reform and civil discourse.

About NCDD’s Confab Calls

Confab bubble imageNCDD’s Confab Calls are opportunities for members (and potential members) of NCDD to talk with and 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!

NCDD Discount on Davenport Institute Local Gov’t Certificate

We’re excited to share that NCDD member org, the Davenport Institute, in partnership with the Pepperdine School of Public Policy, is offering their next professional Certificate in Advanced Public Engagement for Local Government [non-academic] from July 19-21, 2019 in Malibu, CA. Excellent for anyone involved or working with local government, or in graduate school for local government/public policy. NCDD members receive a 20% discount off the tuition, so make sure you register ASAP to receive this great benefit. They are accepting applications until the class is full, so sign up while you still can! You can read the announcement below or on the Pepperdine School of Public Policy’s website here.


Professional Certificate in Advanced Public Engagement: Three-Day Intensive Workshop for Local Government Practitioners

In an age where trust in government (and indeed in all institutions) is at an all time low, and indifference toward local government is at an all time high, the very future of local representative democracy requires leaders with a new skill – an ability to break through cynicism and mistrust and engage residents in local policy. From public safety, to city budgets and spending, to planning and environmental policies, today’s challenges need leaders who can re-vitalize public involvement and lead residents engaged in the difficult work of self-government.

Over this long weekend at the Villa Graziadio on the Pepperdine Malibu campus, mid-career professionals are prepared to lead a publicly-engaged organization by gaining a deep understanding of the context, purpose, and best practices for engaging residents in the decisions that affect their lives and communities. 

Next Certificate Offering
July 19-21, 2019: Malibu, CA

The cost of the Professional Certificate is $1990, which includes instruction, materials, and meals. Many participants secure funds for training from their employer to support their participation in this program. Limited financial aid may be available.

Applicants who are accepted to the program can receive a 20% discount when they use the code “NCDD” during registration.

You can read the announcement on the Pepperdine School of Public Policy’s website at www.publicpolicy.pepperdine.edu/certificate-public-engagement.

Join in as The Public Square Academy Launches Beta Group

The Public Square Academy, a modern civics education and service club, recently announced the launch of their new beta group and they are currently seeking participants to join! NCDD member Michael Freedman shared this opportunity to join this new beta group which seeks to explore journalism’s impact on society, improve how we engage with the media, and provide a space for folks to build deeper relationships with each other. The group will test the short, interactive program, Media Meal Planning, which works to help you improve your personal media consumption practices. You can learn more in the announcement below and find the original version on The Public Square Academy’s site here. We encourage interested folks to sign up ASAP, as the group is starting soon and will run from May 13 to June 7th, 2019.


Join Our Beta

At The Public Square Academy, we believe that a democracy is only as good as the citizens who care for it. We support individuals on their journeys to becoming educated, empowered, and engaged citizens serving the greater common good.

PSA is a modern civics education and service club for today’s fast-paced, tech-enabled world. We would like to invite you to participate in the beta program of The Public Square Academy’s interactive subscription.

Join with other Public Square Members to tackle issues affecting our democracy, our society, and our communities.  The Academy is a team-based approach to self-improvement and for the common good. Each month our learning teams focus on important topics, engage in challenges, and craft solutions to share with the community.

Our Beta group will explore Media Meal Planning, a short, interactive program to help you improve your personal media consumption practices. Learn about the fundamental role of Journalism in society, what practices make for good reporting, and how editorial policies shape what you read.  Working in small groups, you will participate in a virtual Pub Crawl, to test develop your criteria for selecting and judging media outlets. The results of this challenge will be a collective rating of media outlets to be distributed broadly.  Come join the fun!

Program Objectives:

  • You will become more savvy media consumers, selecting higher quality media, outlets, and journalists.
  • You will be more efficient in staying up to date on current events and news – freeing up your time for other pursuits.
  • You will become better informed, which will get you invited to all the right dinner parties!
  • You will have fun and make new connections while learning!
  • And… maybe we can raise the level of intelligent, civil dialog on the planet!   Even just a bit.

Our beta group will run from May 13 to June 7th, 2019. We will send you more details on May 10th.

Expect to spend an hour or so per week on your own study, and participate in a weekly video conference meeting with your learning team.

You can learn more about the beta group on The Public Square Academy site at https://thepublicsquare.academy/.

Essential Partners Celebrates New Co-Executive Directors

In case you didn’t read the announcement earlier this week, Essential Partners – an NCDD sponsoring organization, has some big changes happening! After four years in leadership, Parisa Parsa will be stepping down as Executive Director of Essential Partners, though she will continue to bring her wisdom and intellect to the field. In her place, long-time EP staffers, Katie Hyten and John Sarrouf, will become Co-Executive Directors of the organization. Join us in wishing a huge congratulations to Katie and John as they move into their new roles, and all the best to Parisa in her future endeavors – we can’t wait to hear the great things she’ll do next! And if you are looking to try some of EP’s trainings, we want to remind folks that NCDD members receive a discount! We encourage you to read the announcement in the post below and find the original on the EP blog here.


Announcing Changes at Essential Partners

After four years of visionary leadership, Parisa Parsa has made the decision to step down from her role as Executive Director. She will continue to serve as an experienced and trusted practitioner in the field.

With creativity, intellect, integrity, and heart, Parisa ushered in a new era for this organization. Her time at Essential Partners has been marked by deepening impact, innovative partnerships, and institutional successes.

In her departure, Parisa embodies the rock star’s mantra, Always leave them wanting more.

Essential Partners remains in strong and familiar hands. John Sarrouf, formerly Director of Program Development, and Katie Hyten, formerly Director of Program Operations, have been invited to serve as joint Executive Directors by our board of directors.

Many of you have worked with Katie and John in the past. You may have met them in the field collaborating with partners, while designing custom projects to meet a community’s needs, or in our office leading workshops. Katie and John have been crucial to the growth, development, and impact of our work across the globe.

This moment of transition has also provided the staff and board with an opportunity to reflect on the organization itself. Fortunately, we have a set of tools to help us do that.

Our trademark approach, Reflective Structured Dialogue, has provided a space to share our hopes and concerns and to explore shifting responsibilities. It has allowed us to be heard and to hear one another, to be understood more fully and to better understand one another. It provided the necessary foundation for effective collective action.

The results of this process will be largely indiscernible outside our offices. We will continue to build upon Parisa’s brilliant contributions, the living legacy of our founders, and Laura R. Chasin’s vision especially. The organization’s structure, leadership, and staff roles will be adjusted in response to the ongoing evolution and emerging needs of our work.

Essential Partners’ mission has never felt more urgent, and we remain as committed as ever to repairing the fabric of communities that have been frayed by conflict.

If you have questions about any of this, feel free to contact us.

You can find the original version of this article on the Essential Partners’ blog at www.whatisessential.org/blog/announcing-changes-essential-partners.

Welcome to the Newest NCDD Sponsoring Member: The Courageous Leadership Project

We are absolutely thrilled to welcome the Courageous Leadership Project to the Coalition as a Sponsoring Member! It is through the generous support of our members that we are able to thrive as a Coalition and work to serve you as best as possible. Huge thank you to Stephani Roy McCallum and the Courageous Leadership Project team for joining!

The Courageous Leadership Project helps people find their inner leader so they can have brave honest conversations and find solutions to the challenges they face in their lives, organizations, and communities. They offer several training opportunities to strengthen skills around having more challenging conversations and learning about the IAP2 Strategies for Public Opposition & Outrage in Public Participation.

The Courageous Leadership Project is generously offering fantastic discounts to NCDD members on their upcoming trainings, both in-person and online. There’s a special opportunity to enter to win free registration on their next month’s event, GATHER: 5 days of Brave, Honest Conversations ONLINE, happening May 13-17thWinners for this unique NCDD giveaway will be selected on Friday, April 19th, so make sure you enter ASAP!

We strongly encourage everyone to learn more the Courageous Leadership Project and these special opportunities in the post below, and explore their website here.


About The Courageous Leadership Project

At the Courageous Leadership Project we bring our expertise in leadership development, coaching and decades of experience in high stakes, high emotion engagement to create opportunities for better results. Stephani Roy McCallum is the Chief Storm Rider at the Courageous Leadership Project, where she harnesses the energy of conflict and high emotion and rides it to clearer skies.  Working around the globe we help leaders have brave, honest conversations™ about the challenges they face to find solutions – together.

Bravely leading is in you. You just need to find it. Build your skills & knowledge for Brave, Honest Conversations™ in your life, organization and community.

Upcoming Training Opportunities

ONLINE TRAININGS

Win one FREE registration to GATHER!

We’re thrilled to offer our membership the opportunity to win one FREE registration at GATHER: 5 days of Brave, Honest Conversations™ ONLINE May 13-17. Each day there will be a live webinar where Stephani Roy McCallum from the Courageous Leadership Project will walk through the day’s topic, what it is, why it matters and how to do it. You will get a chance to ask questions and get answers. At the end of each day you’ll have access to resources, exercises and additional work to dive deeper into brave, honest conversations. Click here to enter for this registration giveaway!

It takes courage and channeling a little #braveaf in your life to say yes to growing as a leader! If this sounds like an opportunity you’d be interested in, please click here to enter your name to WIN. Winner will be drawn on April 19 so don’t delay!

Watch this short video to learn more about GATHER. You can find information on the schedule, speakers, topics and more on our website.  Do you have questions? Check out our FAQs. Register here!

NCDD members receive $50 off. Use discount code NCDD50.

IN PERSON TRAININGS

Brave, Honest Conversations: Bravely leading challenging conversations

April 17-18, 2019 – Whitehorse, YT, Canada
July 18-19, 2019 – Victoria, BC, Canada

Brave, Honest Conversations™ are a way of talking together, working together and living. When we show up with courage, compassion and integrity the possibilities are endless. The world needs more leaders who dare to make a lasting difference.

It’s time to build your leadership skills – to practice courage, compassion and responsibility for impact. When you build your capacity to lead others, groups and the world around you, you create the momentum for positive change and the opportunity to move from stuck to possible. Foundational to leading others is the ability to lead yourself, to practice courage, compassion and kindness for yourself, and to make choices that allow you to bring your best self to the world. Learn new ways of being and showing up in tough conversations, and also find some new tangible, practical tools to improve your work in the world. Register here!

NCDD members receive $100 off. Use discount code NCDD100.

IAP2 Strategies for Public Opposition & Outrage in Public Participation

May 27-28, 2019 – Calgary, AB, Canada
July 16-17, 2019 – Victoria, BC, Canada

This two-day training course combines the work of risk communication expert Dr. Peter Sandman with the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) core concepts for meaningful and effective public engagement.

Development of this course for IAP2 was led by Stephani Roy McCallum in 2009, and an update of course materials in 2017 reflects the current context of today’s charged, polarized environment. The workshop is practical, hands-on participatory mix of video, lecture, group exercises and decades of real-world experience in engaging the public in high stakes, high conflict situations. Register here!

NCDD members receive $100 off. Use discount code NCDD100. 

FREE WEBINAR: Brave, Honest Conversations™

Some conversations are hard to have. Fear and discomfort build in your body and you avoid and procrastinate or pretend everything is fine. Sometimes you rush in with urgency, wanting to smooth things over, fix them, and make them better. Sometimes you go to battle stations, positioning the conversation so you have a higher chance of being on the “winning” side.

NONE OF THIS WORKS.

Instead, it usually makes a hard conversation harder; more divided, polarized, and disconnected from others. The more people involved, the harder the conversation can be. I believe that brave, honest conversations are how we solve the problems we face in our world – together.

In this webinar, we will cover:

    • What is a Brave, Honest Conversation™? Why have one? What can change because of a brave, honest conversation?
    • How do you have one? What do you need to think about and do?
    • How do you prepare yourself for a brave, honest conversation?

Join us on one of the following 2019 dates: March 6, June 12, July 10, and August 21. All webinars are an hour and 15 minutes long and start at noon Eastern Time. Register here!

You can learn more about The Courageous Leadership Project at www.bravelylead.com/.

Recognizing Silence for Deeper Engagement

Some of the most challenging aspects of being in dialogue with someone is the ability to hold space for silence, yet not all silence means the same thing or has the same impact. Katie Hyten of NCDD sponsoring member org Essential Partners, recently wrote the piece, Positive and Negative Silence: Notes from the Field, which offers some distinguishing examples. We encourage you to check out the upcoming trainings on their website and remember that NCDD members receive special discounts on these workshops listed here. You can read the article below and find the original version on Essential Partners’ blog here.


Positive and Negative Silence: Notes from the Field

When I first trained as a mediator, I was awed by a demonstration from one of my early instructors: he would listen to people argue, he would ask a question or reflect something back in fewer than five words—and then he … waited. And waited. He waited until the people in conflict felt they could respond to the question.

Embracing silence lets people take ownership of the conversation, gives them time to think before speaking, and helps them be more intentional. It’s also one of the hardest things we ask of people in a dialogue.

Negative Silence: Awkward & Excruciating

Most people are familiar with awkward, uncomfortable silences, the kind of silence that means no one came prepared, or that people are unwilling to respond to a question. People are also all too familiar with the silence of being ignored. I think of these as negative silences.

Negative silence happens when I ask a question that doesn’t feel right to people, either because it doesn’t connect or because they aren’t ready to respond. Those moments can be excruciating, and endless—although they happen to every facilitator once in a while.

But I’m reminded of my first mediation coach’s advice: “negative feedback is more information.” Negative silence tells me how much work there is left to do. It tells me I need to adapt to meet the needs of participants, and lets me begin to collaborate with them on what needs to be done. Negative silence is tough, but it can be a learning moment.

Positive Silence: Care & Openness

There is also a positive silence, though: the silence of composing oneself before speaking, of being intentional about what to say. It’s a positive silence when others are taking in what someone else has said, the silence of committing to enter a tough conversation as your best self—or of waiting long enough to ensure there’s space for quieter voices.

This is the positive silence EP teaches people to cultivate when they’re facilitating difficult conversations about the differences that make a difference to their community.

Positive silence allows the toughest conversations to unfold intentionally and with care. It makes space for all voices, not just those who are most comfortable speaking up. It’s important to recognize positive and negative silences as we work to foster deeper engagement and trust in all our relationships.

If you’re struggling to hold the space for positive silence in your facilitation, consider joining us for our upcoming Advance Facilitation Skills workshop.

You can find the original version of this article on Essential Partner’s blog at www.whatisessential.org/blog/positive-and-negative-silence-notes-field.

Who Will You Invite? An Exploration of Stakeholder Selection in Dialogue and Deliberation

A NCDD Listserv synopsis of the conversation entitled: How to pick stakeholders for a stakeholder dialogue

Listserv Contributors: Tom Altee, Adrian Segar, Peter Jones, Marjo Curgus, Peggy Holmes, Chris Santos-Lang, Betsy Morris, Eric Simley, and Sally Theilacker

Synopsis by: Annie Rappeport, NCDD Intern

“The approach to stakeholder selection is the most critical step in the design of fair and inclusive dialogues that reflect a community’s contributions and perspectives” ~ Peter Jones, NCDD Member

In your dialogue and deliberation work do you find yourself struggling as much about who to invite to a dialogue as how to set the agenda? Are you wanting to include many but worried about sacrificing the needed intimacy of the conversation?  If so, you are not alone.

In September 2018, NCDD member Tom Altee began a conversation with an inquiry to the greater NCDD community about the different considerations for and ways to select community stakeholders gathering because they all care about a particular issue.  Although Tom Altee’s questions were for a specific project related to community transit and the varying interests of bicyclists, walkers, and drivers, the responses quickly broadened this important conversation about dialogue. Tackling who will be included in a dialogue has valuable impacts on what will be discussed as will the overall size of the group and any present uneven power dynamics.

Our NCDD community responded with resources and ideas aplenty. Here are some contributions we believe may serve others well as they craft an approach for their specific local needs and contexts.

  1. Peter Jones has dedicated much of his work and scholarship to the importance of stakeholder selection. He recommends a technique entitled “evolutionary stakeholder discovery” whereby there are multiple waves of invitation and a creation of optimal criteria that the participating stakeholders may represent. This is a time-consuming and worthwhile approach. Marjo Curgus also uses a specific technique that combines network analysis and stakeholder analysis to craft a preferred list of included stakeholders. Marjo notes the importance of conducting this process with a committee and to prioritize levels of influence.
  2. Peggy Holmes mentions different models including the diversity promoting “faultlines” conceptual framework from The Maynard Institute. A handy guide to the faultlines approach is provided on the Society for Professional Journalists website (2019). She also mentions the work of Sandra Janoff and Marv Weisbord as providing useful criteria considerations.
  3. Chris Santos-Lang illustrates impossibility of creating the perfect gathering of stakeholders and the significant issue in dialogue and deliberation work to include stakeholder representation when the needed stakeholder may be physically, mentally or technically (i.e. language barriers) unable to participate at the needed level themselves.
  4. Adrian Segar recommends the 2013 John Forester book Planning in the Face of Conflict. This book features a dozen profiles of planning practitioners that serve as exemplary cases of stakeholder selection for practical problem solving in communities.

What we can continue to take from this discussion overall is the importance of questioning how we invite and who we invite in community discussions. The tools and approaches vary, but many times our goals remain constant–to have high quality and effective dialogues that are so because they are diverse, inclusive, and a size that enables everyone to contribute.

We hope this discussion may continue! Please post your thoughts and ideas for stakeholder selection in your work.

Listen to Confab Recording on All-America City Awards

Last week we held our first co-hosted Confab call of 2019 with The National Civic League, who shared more about the All-America City Awards! We were joined by 35 participants to learn more about this prestigious award and requirements for how a city can be eligible to win. This was a particularly timely call, as applications for the 2019 AAC Awards are being accepted until March 6th. That deadline is approaching quickly so we encourage you to listen to the recording to learn more, share this announcement with your networks, and consider organizing your city to apply!

On the call, we were joined by NCL’s Program Director Rebecca Trout and two representatives, Jordan Moore of Las Vegas, NV and Renae Madison of Decatur, GA -both from previous award-winning All-America Cities. Over 500 cities have been awarded the All-America City Award over the last 70 years. Every year, NCL awards the cities who are leveraging innovative civic engagement practices in order to create change on the local level. The focus of this year’s theme is on, “creating healthy communities through inclusive civic engagement” and the award will be given to the cities with projects that promote more equitable health practices and better overall health in the community. Click here to learn more about the award, resources, and where to apply.

The call was an opportunity to hear directly from past recipients of the award and how it has impacted each of their communities. Both shared the projects their cities highlighted for the award, the preparation required, how their teams coordinated logistics, and the overall deep engagement required with each community throughout the whole experience. Jordan, who works for the City of Las Vegas, shared with us the experience of applying for the AAC award and how this process has led to a greater feeling of pride in the city and increased draw for new residents and businesses. We also heard from Renae who works for the City of Decatur and how the award process was a great time for the community to build deeper relationships with each other and with other cities passionate about engaging their communities. The award and the accompanying conference (where the award is announced) work to elevate the powerful community engagement work going on across the country and celebrate those cities best in service to their communities.

We were live tweeting during the call and here are some of our favorite quotes from the Confab:

  • NCL is looking for the cities with programs that are innovative and working to address the real challenges in their city.
  • One thing that surprised me was how welcoming and open everyone was, they didn’t treat it as a competition… communities were so open to sharing and exchanging what works, what was challenging
  • [The AAC awards] is a time to celebrate and connect with other communities doing similar work and it’s an opportunity to learn from different communities.
  • This award attracts new citizens and new businesses. Because Vegas has a reputation for not being a place to live, this [award] helps show that it is a liveable city.
  • This process [of applying for the AAC Award] is unlike any award I’ve ever seen. The amount of transparency and the engagement needed was a lot, and was so worth it.

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We want to thank our friends at the National Civic League for co-hosting this call with us! Thank you to Rebecca, Jordan, Renae, and all the Confab participants for contributing to this conversation! We recorded the whole presentation in case you weren’t able to join us, which you can access by clicking here. To learn more about NCDD’s Confab Calls and hear recordings of others, visit www.ncdd.org/events/confabs.

Finally, we love holding these events and we want to continue to elevate the work of our field with Confab Calls and Tech Tuesdays. It is through your generous contributions to NCDD that we can keep doing this work! That’s why we want to encourage you to support NCDD by making a donation or becoming an NCDD member today (you can also renew your membership by clicking here). Thank you!