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
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.
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How journalists can be both watchdog and guide dog (Solutions Journalism)
"Sunlight is the best disinfectant." It's a well-known saying in journalism. Louis Brandeis first made the statement in a 1913 article for Harper's Weekly. The idea is simple, and it's a tenet of journalism that is still upheld today: shed light on wrongdoing, and that exposure will be enough to ignite transformation. It's the reason journalists call themselves watchdogs. Their job is to locate and reveal misbehavior. But what happens next? How do communities figure out what to do about a problem once it's been spotlighted? Continue Reading
How democracies slide into authoritarianism (Washington Post)
Part political philosophy, part literary criticism and part a personal memoir, "The Captive Mind" sought to "create afresh the stages by which the mind gives way to compulsion from without, and to trace the road along which men in people's democracies are led to orthodoxy." Continue Reading
Opinion: WhatsApp skewed Brazilian election, showing social media's danger to democracy (PBS.org)
Using WhatsApp, a Facebook-owned messaging service, Bolsonaro supporters delivered an onslaught of daily misinformation straight to millions of Brazilians' phones. They included doctored photos portraying senior Workers Party members celebrating with Communist Fidel Castro after the Cuban Revolution, audio clips manipulated to misrepresent Haddad's policies and fake "fact-checks" discrediting authentic news stories. Continue Reading
Americans Value Equality at Work More Than Equality at Home (The Upshot)
A study finds broad support for gender equality, but a disparity in people's views of gender roles in public and private. Continue Reading
Why a push for a living wage for congressional staffers should resonate in hyper-expensive D.C. (Washington Post)
On Twitter, Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez pointed out that she wasn't alone and that many Hill employees had to work second jobs to afford to live in the city. "Time to walk the walk," she wrote. "Very few members of Congress actually pay their interns. We will be one of them." Continue Reading
NYC Establishes First Ever Minimum Wage For Uber & Lyft Drivers (Gothamist)
Tens of thousands of drivers who work for app-based companies in New York City are set to receive a raise, after the Taxi and Limousine Commission voted on Tuesday to enact a minimum pay standard for the independent contract workers. The move makes New York the first city to establish pay regulations for the ride-hailing giants, and comes on the heels of a first-of-its-kind cap on app-based cars passed by City Council. Continue Reading
Elevating Community Authority in Collective Impact (Stanford Social Innovation Review)
To achieve greater equity, we must yield to the decision-making authority of the communities we seek to help. StrivePartnership and other partnerships in the StriveTogether national network are enhancing collective impact to integrate and elevate the expertise and authority of those closest to the problems we're trying to solve. Continue Reading
PA Mention - Engaging the public would have eased Amazon's arrival-and it still can (Crain's New York)
Engaging people in decisions about the future of their community leads to smarter, more broadly supported policies, and when that engagement is sustained it leads to more economic success. Continue Reading
The Charter-School Teachers' Strike in Chicago Was 'Inevitable' (The Atlantic)
The move could signal a shift in the long, contentious relationship between teachers' unions and these privately run schools. Continue Reading
Do Children Get a Subpar Education in Yeshivas? New York Says It Will Finally Find Out (New York Times)
The city's yeshiva probe began in 2015, after Mr. Moster's group filed a complaint claiming that scores of students - boys, in particular - graduate from ultra-Orthodox yeshivas unprepared for work or higher education, with little exposure to nonreligious classes like science and history. Instead, some yeshiva graduates say, students spend most school days studying Jewish texts. Younger boys sometimes attend about 90 minutes of nonreligious classes at the end of the day, a city report found. Continue Reading
School Spending Is Up, and Other Key Takeaways From Latest Federal Data (Edweek)
Despite a growing chorus of teachers and public school advocates complaining about America's spending on its public schools, spending actually increased 2.9 percent between fiscal year 2015 and 2016, according to a report released Thursday by the National Center for Education Statistics. Continue Reading
Switching majors is adding time and tuition to the already high cost of college (Hechinger Report)
Despite the spiraling cost of the investment, some students commit to it without a plan. Continue Reading
For-Profit College Chain Closes, Shutting Out Nearly 20,000 Students (New York Times)
The for-profit college chain Education Corporation of America said this week that it would shut down nearly all of its schools, leaving almost 20,000 students with partially completed degrees and credits that many other schools will not accept. Continue Reading
How colleges are preparing students for jobs that don't exist yet (PBS)
Eighty-five percent of the jobs that today's students will do in 2030 don't exist yet, the Institute for the Future has predicted. Continue Reading
NYC Health & Hospitals projects $362M loss from Trump-proposed changes to public charge rule (Modern Healthcare)
New York City Health + Hospitals said Wednesday it could see a loss of up to $362 million in the first year alone if proposed changes to the public charge rules are enacted. Continue Reading
Patient portals still largely unused, Health Affairs finds
Patient portals can be important tools for increasing patient interaction with personal health data and fostering communication with providers, but only if patients are willing to use them. In a sample of U.S. adults, 63% reported not using a portal in the past year, a new Health Affairs study shows. Continue Reading
Physician fee schedule reform needed to bridge primary-care gap (Modern Healthcare)
Reforming the physician fee schedule would help close the income gap that has led to a shortage of primary-care physicians, according to a new paper. Continue Reading
(Dayton, OH) I recommend Maciej Bartkowski’s Defending the Truth: An Activist’s Guide to Fighting Foreign Disinformation Warfare from the International Center for Nonviolent Conflict. It’s free, concise, practical, and inspiring.
Some examples of advice:
Establish local networks that can be rapidly activated to verify accuracy of shared information or legitimacy of online personas that call for certain actions in the community.
Educate, drill, and practice. … Teach how to identify a deep fake and conspiracy theories and ways to react to them.
Be aware of anonymous interlocutors who attempt to draw you to causes that seemingly align with your own activism goals. Ask them to reveal their identities first before committing to anything. … Do your homework by vetting your potential partners. Perform due diligence by asking the following questions: Who are these anonymous personas asking me to join an online protest group or alive street protest? Do they know anything about my community? Who do they represent? …
Insist on a degree of self-control in community interactions. Civility does not preclude a conflict, but conflict must always be carried out through disciplined, nonviolent means.
Declare your commitment to truth and verifiable facts, including making public and honest corrections if you inadvertently shared inaccurate information or joined actions set up by fake personas. Praise those who adhere to truth or publicly retract untruthful information that they might have previously shared.
Stress the importance of truth in community as a matter of inviolable human rights. There are no human rights without state institutions being truthful to citizens. There is no public truth without respect for human rights.
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)
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.
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.
Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement – “Re-Envisioning America’s Public Square”
Monday, 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?
- 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
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.
Joel Westheimer’s and Joe Kahne’s typology of civic education programs and their intended outcomes is justly seminal in the field of civic education.* Many civics people are familiar with their distinctions among “personally responsible,” “participatory” and “justice-oriented” citizens as the goals of real-world programs and curricula. Most reflective educators favor the last type, although the first type is the most common in everyday practice.
Discussing their article in an undergraduate course in which we also read Martin Luther King, Jr’s book Stride Toward Freedom, I was struck by how perfectly the first two columns describe the people who won the struggle of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. They “volunteer[ed] to lend a hand” so that thousands of Black workers could get to and from their workplaces without using the segregated buses. They had long traditions of belonging and tithing to churches, so they could be organized in their pews to support a boycott. They “obeyed laws,” except when they broke very specific laws as part of civil disobedience campaigns, and they followed the emergent rules of their own movement. They knew “how government agencies worked”–so well that they won federal lawsuits. And they were brilliant at “strategies for accomplishing collective tasks.”
To be sure, they were also justice-oriented. That is why I cite them as an example. Justice rolled down like waters. But imagine a bunch of individuals who “critically assessed” the “structures” of white supremacy and “explored” its “root causes,” asking whether it was fundamentally based in racism, or imperialism, or capitalism, or in-group bias, or law and government, or the fallen state of Man. These people might be justice-oriented but completely ineffective–hence complicit in the maintenance of the system.
If most schools try to impart personal responsibility and evade the question of justice, then it’s important to put the debate about justice on the educational agenda. But in circles where people are eager to debate the root causes of injustice, it’s vital to study how to identify levers for change, organize individuals to contribute their time and effort, and get things done.
Source: Westheimer, Joel, and Joseph Kahne. “Educating the “good” citizen: Political choices and pedagogical goals.” PS: Political Science & Politics 37.2 (2004): 241-247. See also: against root cause analysis; increasing the odds of success for young people’s civic work; social movements depend on social capital (but you can make your own); and the kind of sacrifice required in nonviolence