Archive for March, 2010

A Deliberative Forums Project about Privacy – The American Library Association

From National Issues Forum Website

Join a FREE online workshop: about hosting forums on April 13th; Download FREE issue forum participant’s guide and forum hosting guide


Who Do I Trust to Protect My Privacy?
Privacy Conversation Deliberative Forums

Presenting a New Project from the American Library Association (ALA) Center for Public Life/Libraries Fostering Civic Engagement Membership Initiative Group (MIG) and ALA Office of Intellectual Freedom

About the Project and about the Issue:

The ALA Membership Initiative Group (MIG), Libraries Fostering Civic Engagement is promoting public deliberation on the topic, Who Do I Trust My Privacy To? Using a discussion guide written by members, Nancy Kranich and Carolyn Caywood, participants will examine approaches to protecting privacy that relies on three possible strategies for protecting privacy:

Approach 1:  The Marketplace

The marketplace is the source of innovation in security and privacy protection technology and it also has a vested interest in privacy that secures the integrity of financial data.

Approach 2: The Government

The government has a responsiblity to provide for public safety which includes identity protection and to secure the rights necessary to a free society.

Approach 3: Myself

I, myself, recognize that privacy values are individual and varied and that no one cares more about my needs than me.

About the issue materials that are available:

Participant’s Guide and Moderator’s Guide are now available in Conjunction with ALA’s Privacy Week. May 2-8, 2010.

About the Free Online Training Workshops:

You are invited to participate in free online workshops about hosting and moderating deliberative forums about the issue of Who Do I Trust to Protect my Privacy?

Learn to convene and moderate community discussions on privacy. Register Now to participate in one or both of these free online workshops:

How to Moderate a Deliberative Forum on Privacy

April 13, 2010, 2:00 – 4:00 EDT; 1:00 – 3:00 CDT; 11:00 – 1:00 PDT

For More Information, contact:

Taylor Willingham,
Nancy Kranich,
Angela Maycock,

The American Library Association’s Center for Public Life was established in 2010 in conjunction with the Kettering Foundation.  The Center’s role is to train librarians from different types of libraries to convene and moderate deliberative forums and frame issues of local and national concern, using National Issues Forums materials and processes.

Nancy Kranich
Special Projects Librarian
Rutgers University Libraries
228 Alexander Library
New Brunswick, NJ  08901
732-932-7129 x153
Rutgers University School of Communication and Information

Past President, American Library Association
Civic Librarian

Contact Information:
136 N. 7th Avenue
Highland Park, NJ  08904-2932
732-932-7129, x 153; 732-985-1599;
732-306-3535 (c), 917-386-2515 (f)

Register for the Upcoming ADP Webcast!

April 29, 2010 · 3:00 p.m. Eastern

Register Now!

This practical and insightful three-part webcast series, moderated by Harry Boyte, seeks to spark discussion and action on the role of higher education as an architect and agent of thriving democratic societies.

Our third and final webcast on April 29th, Preparing for Citizenship or a Career – a False Choice, challenges the all too common “false choice” between preparing students for careers and preparing them for lives of meaningful citizenship. A recent AAC&U study found that today’s employers are demanding skills in future employees such as the ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing, teamwork skills, and the ability to analyze and solve complex problems. Yet these are not simply career skills: they are precisely the civic skills needed to build thriving, healthy, and inclusive communities. Explicitly integrating civic skill development into career preparation offers multiple opportunities for greater skill development, career preparation, and citizenship development.

Preparing for Citizenship or a Career will explore practical strategies and approaches that campuses can use to develop these career/civic skills. In this webcast, Harry Boyte talks with Caryn McTighe Musil, noted for spearheading AAC&U’s civic agenda, Mary Kirlin, a leading national expert in the area of civic skills, and Miguel Vasquez, an anthropologist from Northern Arizona University who has worked extensively with the Mexican American community and has been a champion in the Public Achievement movement.

This webcast will answer the following questions:

  • How might educators and communities create an institutional focus on the creation of 21st Century Skills?
  • How do students best acquire these types of important skills?
  • What are employers looking for in college graduates and how might these needs be met?

To learn more about the webcast, please visit this website.

April 29, 2010 · 3:00 p.m. Eastern

Register Now


Summer Research Institute on the Future of Community Engagement in Higher Ed

June 25-27, 2010 on the Boston University campus

By Dan W. Butin, Dean, School of Education, Merrimack College

Can you major in service-learning? (Or community engagement or community change or some similar phrasing?) Traditionally, service-learning and community engagement have been theorized and enacted as a pedagogy and philosophy across higher education. One supposedly does service-learning; one doesn’t study it. Yet this is no longer the case. More than 50 academic programs across higher education offer minors and/or majors in community engagement (or a comparably named program). This raises a host of pragmatic, conceptual, and political questions: what do students study in such a major and how do they do it? What does it mean to make the community both the focus of analysis and the context of change? What does this mean for the status, viability, and institutionalization of service-learning in higher education?

Join faculty, students, administrators, and community organizations at a summer research institute focused on academic departments and programs with minors and majors in community engagement, broadly defined. This free summer institute will be held from Friday, June 25 through Sunday, 27, 2010, on the Boston University campus and is open to anyone already involved in or on the path towards an academic program in community engagement, broadly defined.

The summer institute is the first step in understanding, developing, and organizing this burgeoning movement. We will develop and share resources, foster networking and sharing of best practices, and initiate opportunities for research and practice to strengthen our respective programs and fields. See the summer institute’s website for more information, a listing of these academic programs, registration information, and the research base for this growing academic movement. For more information, please contact Dan W. Butin at

Please take our Uses of Electronic Media Survey

As you know, there has been a significant increase in the use of electronic media to facilitate civic work in higher education. Thirty years ago students organized and communicated about civic demonstrations, forums, protests and other forms of civic engagement with face to face meetings, flyers, and large gatherings. Today, many students organize civic activities using electronic media.

A graduate course in the History of American Higher Education at the University of Maryland, supervised by Dr. KerryAnn O’Meara, is conducting a study comparing how civic work was facilitated in the late 1960s and early 1970s to how it is facilitated today. We are asking you to help develop our understanding of the role of new electronic media by completing the following brief survey:

At the conclusion of the semester, Dr. O’Meara and her student team will share the results with all who participated. Thank you for considering this request.

To be sure that your survey results are incorporated into the study, we ask that you complete the survey by Friday, April 9th.

6th Annual Missouri State University Public Affairs Conference

Springfield, Missouri
April 13-16, 2010
The sixth annual Missouri State University Public Affairs Conference will convene April 13-16, 2010, with a preconference event featuring Paul Solman of The NewsHour on PBS April 7.  The theme of this year’s conference is “The New Economy: Peril and Promise.
During 2008-2009, the world witnessed a severe financial crisis which triggered a global economic meltdown not seen since the depression of the 1930s. The pace of economic contraction has slowed somewhat in recent weeks and a few fresh signs of economic stability may have emerged. But still many questions remain: Are we witnessing a fundamental restructuring of the American economy? What are the implications of the new economic realities for various sectors of the economy such as education, health care, manufacturing, energy and above all environment? What is the appropriate role of government in this new economy? What policies will lead to a sustained economic recovery?
In this backdrop, it is only natural that we spend time discussing and debating the nature of these changes and their impact at the local, regional, national and global levels. The 2010 Public Affairs Conference will provide attendees with a great opportunity to discuss and debate these pressing issues in a truly interdisciplinary format with leaders and experts in a variety of fields. Through our diverse program of plenary sessions, panel discussion and special events, we are constructing a conference that will allow us to reflect on the perils and promises of the new economic realities that are upon us.
This event is free and open to the public. For more information on the conference, please visit our website or email Mary Ann Wood. We invite your participation and input to help ensure the success of this year’s conference.

CIPE Youth Essay Contest 2010 – June 18 deadline

The Center for International Private Enterprise invites young people to share their ideas on how to create opportunities for youth to strengthen democracy and the private sector in their own countries.

Who can participate:
Students and young professionals aged 18-30.

Contest Deadline:
June 18, 2010

Winners Announced:
Fall 2010

Essay Length:
2,000 – 3,000 words

Essay categories:
Democracy that delivers
Enterpreneurship and society
Women and participation

First, second, and third place authors for each category will receive a $1,000 honorarium, and winning essays from each category will be published as Economic Reform Feature Service articles.

Zeeshan Suhail
Board Co-Chairperson, Muslim Consultative Network
Board Member, Americans for Informed Democracy
Google Voice: +1.917.267.2362

Connecticut Community Engagement Conference: Connecticut Universities as a Community of One

By Kenneth Barone, Assistant to the Governor William A. O’Neill Endowed Chair, Central Connecticut State University

On Saturday, March 6, 2010 students, faculty, and staff of various colleges and universities from across the state of Connecticut gathered as one community to share community engagement efforts and resources. The conference was held at Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) with more than 100 individuals representing 15 public and private college and universities throughout the state. The theme was “Connecticut Universities as a Community of One.”

William R. Dyson, the keynote speaker and current holder of the Governor William A. O’Neill Endowed Chair at CCSU spoke to the audience about the importance of universities playing a role in the success of the state. Dyson was one of Connecticut’s longest serving state lawmakers and he expressed the significance of involving oneself in the community; the purpose of doing so: to make a difference.

After Dyson energized those in attendance, conference attendees then had the opportunity to attend several breakout sessions. The breakout sessions touched on a variety of topics from the role of social identity in service to science-based community engagement. Students shared their experiences with service-learning projects in New Orleans and also gave tips on how to start a community service club on your campus. AmeriCorps VISTA members coordinated a seminar to explore the possibility of joining AmeriCorps or the Peace Corps. Members of the community shared their various experiences while working with institutions of higher education to achieve institutional goals.

An important aspect of the conference was to provide an opportunity for colleges and universities to network – to facilitate collaboration on future projects. Networking, sharing information and resources, as well as expanding community partnerships all took place as the Connecticut Community met to better understand how to strengthen Connecticut’s communities.

The Connecticut Community Engagement Conference will take place again in the fall.  Indeed, it is envisioned that community engagement colloquia such as the March 6th conference will carry on as participants endeavor to make a value-added contribution to their respective communities.

Here is a link to the conference website where more information can be found.

Conference Sponsors:

  • Central Connecticut State University
  • Center for Public Policy and Social Research
  • Governor William A. O’Neill Endowed Chair in Public Policy and Practical Politics
  • Office of Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
  • Office of Continuing Education and Community Engagement
  • Student Government Association
  • Connecticut Campus Compact
  • Department of Higher Education, Commission on Community Engagement

The Philosophy Dialogue Series at Texas State University-San Marcos

We naturally associate democracy, to be sure, with freedom of action, but freedom of action without freed capacity of thought behind it is only chaos. (John Dewey)

For almost fifteen years the Philosophy Department at Texas State University-San Marcos has provided a unique model for “freeing thought” through its Philosophy Dialogue Series. As an open forum for the lively exchange and critical evaluation of diverse ideas, the series enriches the cultural and academic life of the university and community.

Vincent Luizzi, professor and chair of the department, notes that Texas State has taken a distinctive approach to connecting the dialogue series with The American Democracy Project, which is a sponsor. According to Luizzi, this approach “rests on the idea that informed and responsible civic action requires a critical evaluation and discussion of the issues which citizens face in a democratic society.”

Each semester philosophy faculty and majors choose a new set of eight topics and design an interdisciplinary series of lectures, interactive presentations, and discussions around them. The topics are selected on the basis of general interest, intellectual and moral import, and relevance to contemporary issues.  Many of the topics involve applied philosophy, and enable students to connect controversial contemporary issues with their philosophical roots.

Recent topics include:

The Whole Mind Empathy and Emotion Music
Designing the Future Meaning Philosophy and the Brain
Evolution and Identity Applied Philosophy Faith and Politics
Medical Ethics Philosophy, Technology, and Science Fiction Animal Consciousness
Patriotism and Democracy Creativity and Play Sustainability

From its inception in 1995, the series has evolved from a few presentations a month to more than 50 events each semester. Since 2004 the series has also been connected with a course, “Dialogue: Theory and Practice,” which is offered at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Students study the nature and use of dialogical reasoning and learn to prepare and lead stimulating dialogues that encourage participation and interaction.

Faculty and student presenters come from all eight colleges on campus as well as from the dialogue class. The department also invites nationally recognized scholars, such as Antony Flew, Richard Swinburne, Parker Palmer, David Luban, and Jerry Coyne to participate in the series.  Panel discussions that bring together scholars from different fields contribute further to crossing the boundaries of disciplines. For example, a March discussion on evolution will include panelists from evolutionary biology, behavioral psychology, philosophy, physical anthropology, and religious studies. A sustainability symposium includes contributors from philosophy, political science, geography, sociology, biology, business, engineering and technology, social work, and occupational education.

A new event added to the series this semester is Friday’s “Talk of the Times,” an informal discussion of weekly news that works toward a deeper level of analysis of current events than found in the typical superficial sound bite.

All of the events in the series are free and open to the public. For the current calendar and more information about the Philosophy Dialogue Series, please visit this website.

eCitizenship Meets the Public Square at NKU

By Mark Neikirk

Facebook. Ustream. Twitter. Evite. LinkedIn.  Podcast. Skype.

Each of those is a familiar noun to us in 2010 yet the 21st Century began without them in our vocabulary. It’s not exactly a news flash, but “E” tools abound and new ones are coming into use daily.

As the American Democracy Project’s eCitizenship initiative gets rolling, Northern Kentucky University’s Scripps Howard Center for Civic Engagement is, like other ADP universities, finding ways to turn these newly minted nouns into active verbs – and so this past week we Facebooked, Ustreamed, Twittered, Evited, Linked , podcasted and Skyped our way through a public forum around the topic: “News In the Information Age: What happens to democracy if the presses stop?”

The Forum’s first mission was to attract a live audience. Butts in the seats, if you will. Social media tools were a tremendous help.  A Facebook page was used to promote the Forum, as were Facebook messages and LinkenIn postings.  Some experimenting with was applied as well, along with more traditional email blasts from list-serves. A web-based poster was created by our designer ( And we recorded a video promo on our channel, NKYFORUM. The NKU home page and the Scripps Howard Center for Civic Engagement‘s Northern Kentucky Forum page were employed as well.  Some traditional marketing methods were used to (press release; postcards by USPS). In addition, I produced a preview of the Forum for  the  ADP National Blog, which Cecilia M. Orphan (ADP’s National Project Manager and eCitizenship zealot) graciously posted and then sent along this reminder to me of the value of being a contributor to the blog: “I shared this story on our Facebook, Twitter, and blog platforms… As you know, the ADP Blog has a readership of close to 1,000 people including ADP campus participants, national news organizations, and our national partner organizations”

Our target in-person audience for the evening was 150, and so we set up 150 chairs. The Forum doesn’t have a formal RVSP system and doesn’t have tickets, so we weren’t sure how many people were coming.  But just before we started we had to add 25 more chairs as more people came in. We filled those seats, too.

As for the event itself, here’s a summary of the social media and other “e” tools we employed:

  • Clickers: Using Turning Point “clickers,” we assured audience participation – posing three questions that the audience could answer, with the bar chart results immediately visible to the panelists and moderator so they could react to the audience views. This worked well (but was not a new feature of the Forum; we’ve used clickers for all but one other event of ten held since October 2008).
  • Ustream: We set up a channel and videostreamed live. This wasn’t glitch-free. Both in tests beforehand and during the event, we lost out videocast and had to reconnect. But the crucial Q&A part of the evening moved flawlessly and remains on view on the Ustream site at the NKYFORUM channel.  About 70 people watched the Forum from around the country via this videocast. We drove traffic by telling niche audiences (such as the chairs of key journalism schools) about the planned videocast.
  • Twitter: Given the evening’s topic, we partnered with the Cincinnati chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists for this event, and SPJ helped draw an audience by pushing the Forum to its membership. SPJ also provided a journalist who Twittered live from the event. You can read the archive of that by going to Twitter and searching “NKYFORUM” but here is a sample:
  1. cincyspj: Boehne: Younger news consumers “agnostic to where it (news) comes from, as long as it serves the purpose”.
  2. Hetzel: Internet & multimedia let us tell more of the story than we can in just print.
  3. Schulhofer-Wohl: News source doesn’t matter as much as people getting the news & being able to think critically about it

(Cast: Rich Boehne, CEO of E.W. Scripps Company;  Dennis Hetzel, manager,; Sam Schulhofer-Wohl, Princeton University economics professor; also on the panel, New York Times reporter Jacques Steinberg).

  • Skype: This was an experiment tried but not executed. A fifth panelist was to join us virtually via Skype from New Mexico (M. E. Sprengelmeyer is the owner and publisher of the Guadalupe County Communicator in New Mexico; he previously covered national affairs in Washington for the Rocky Mountain News, which was closed last year).  For reasons still being diagnosed, the Skype didn’t work – possibly because of soundboard complications given the other feeds necessary for the evening. The idea was to have the Skype video and audio on screen “live” and interacting with the in-person panelists. We’re already planning our next Skype use, and we’ll get the bugs out.
  • Podcast: The Forum was previewed on a local public radio station, WVXU, when then posted the podcast and archived it:

It is worth mentioning that this Forum was born, appropriately enough, from a blog. Last year, the prestigious media think tank, The Poynter Institute, posted their widely read journalism blogger Jim Romenesko’s reference to some new research about newspapers and civic activity. Here’s t he intro, posted March 16, 2009:

Newspapers do matter, Princeton study finds

The shutdown of a newspaper has an immediate and measurable impact on local political engagement, according to a new study by economists at Princeton University.

The focus of the study was the closing in 2007 of The Cincinnati Post, where I had been managing editor, so naturally, I took an interest. I called the author, Dr.  Schulhofer-Wohl,and invited him to NKU to speak, and then set to work with a planning committee to build a public forum around the topic. Meanwhile, ADP’s eCitizenship initiative as born and so, as we planned the Forum, we looked for ways to build in many of the tools I’d heard about at ADP’s Wayne State University conference on eCitizenship.

As for the conclusion of the Forum panel on the future of media, it was this: “E” tools are here to stay, they are empowering for a democracy and citizens, like the media and media companies, need to keep learning how to use them effectively to encourage a substantive and smart civic dialogue.

I’ll talk more about the Forum during a session at this summer’s ADP conference. Meanwhile, I can share more via email with anyone interesed. I’m at

One very significant “thank you” is in order: NKU is a New York Times and USA Today readership program campus, and the Times worked very closely with us to provide reporter Jacques Steinberg as a speaker. He also met with our faculty to discuss his blog on higher education and the admissions process, The Choice. In addition, he met with about 40 NKU journalism and international students to discuss modern media for 90 minutes. So the Forum leveraged some other valuable programming on campus, and the Times readership program was key to making this value-added feature possible.


Mark Neikirk is the executive director of Scripps Howard Center for Civic Engagement at Northern Kentucky University. The Center’s website is

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