Archive for April, 2012

Byron White, VP for University Engagement at Cleveland State to give Saturday Plenary at #ADP12

Byron White

Byron White

Byron P. White, Ed.D. is Vice President for University Engagement at Cleveland State University where he is responsible for developing strategic plans for community engagement to enhance CSU’s numerous partnerships. Before joining CSU in February 2012, White was Vice Chancellor for Economic Advancement for the Ohio Board of Regents. He previously was Associate Vice President for Community Engagement at Xavier University in Cincinnati and founding executive director of the university’s Eigel Center for Community-Engaged Learning. A former editorial page editor of The Cincinnati Post, White also served as editor of the Chicago Tribune’s Urban Affairs Team and a writer on the Tribune’s editorial board. He later became the newspaper’s senior manager of community relations.

White has directed and worked with community-based organizations in Cincinnati and Chicago often in conjunction with the Asset-Based Community Development Institute at Northwestern University, on whose faculty he serves. He also continues to serve as a Senior Fellow for the Community Building Institute at Xavier University, and a Research Associate at the Kettering Foundation. White has a doctorate in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania, a master’s degree in social science from the University of Chicago, and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Ohio University.

White’s keynote address is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. on Saturday, June 9:

PLENARY SESSION: Community Strengths, Assets and Other Ideas We Don’t Really Believe
Language about community strengths and assets is present in nearly every grant proposal, statement of purpose and presentation related to university-community engagement: “We will build on the strengths and assets of the community.” And yet, in the implementation of our engagement efforts, the community’s assets are more an afterthought than the substance of the work. The dominant framework for engagement continues to view the community as deficient and in need of fixing, and residents as clients rather than producers. Byron White will address why our rhetoric and convictions so often fall short of our practice, and what can we do to walk our talk.
Presenter: Byron P. White, Vice President for University Engagement, Cleveland State University (Ohio)

To learn more about Byron White, read this article from the CSU student newspaper, The Cauldron.

Register for the conference here.

Ami Dar, Founder of to give Opening Keynote at #ADP12

Ami Dar

Ami Dar is the founder and executive director of Ami was born in Jerusalem, grew up in Peru and in Mexico, and lives in New York.

The 2012 ADP/TDC national meeting, “Civic Engagement 2.0: Re-Imagining, Strengthening and Deepening Our Civic Work will open with a plenary session featuring Ami Dar. In a talk entitled “Closing the Gap Between Intention and Action,” Ami Dar will explore with participants ways in which we can build a global network that will help people everywhere take action on any issue that concerns them, locally or globally, online and in person.

Built in 1995 with $3,500, Ami launched in order to make getting involved in social action easier than ever. was designed to connect social action agencies to would-be citizen activists, linking like-minded individuals to one another and generating a critical mass of interconnected citizen sector organizations and people. Idealist has become one of the most popular nonprofit resources on the web, with information provided by 70,000 organizations around the world and 100,000 visitors every day. The vision of is:

We would like to live in a world where:

  • All people can lead free and dignified lives.
  • Every person who wants to help another has the ability to do so.
  • No opportunities for action or collaboration are missed or wasted.

Their work is guided by the common desire of their members and supporters to find practical solutions to social and environmental problems, in a spirit of generosity and mutual respect.

To learn more about Ami Dar and Idealist, check out this “flip” chat on Philantopic here. You can also read an interview of Ami Dar here.

Follow Ami Dar on Twitter.

Register for the conference here.


Campus Spotlight: University of Central Oklahoma

American Democracy Project founder George Mehaffy, Vice President for Academic Leadership and Change at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) is visiting the University of Central Oklahoma this week. Mehaffy will be participating in UCO’s ADP Civic Engagement Conference, part of a week of activities celebrating the inauguration of UCO’s 20th President, Don Betz.

Mehaffy will give a keynote address, “The Citizenship Imperative of the 21st Century” on Wednesday. Since 2003, ADP has nurtured a variety of national and local civic engagement projects and initiatives across the United States. President Betz was one of the founding members of the Steering Committee that guided the development of ADP, and the University of Central Oklahoma played a key role as a charter member of ADP and host to the first regional conference in 2004. Now as we near the 10th anniversary of ADP, George Mehaffy will look back at the most prominent accomplishments of the project and the lessons learned, as well as the challenging road that lies ahead.

The ADP’s first regional conference took place at UCO in 2004, with then-Provost Betz representing Central among more than 100 chief academic officers in attendance.

For more information, go here.

For a schedule of events, go here.


Promoting Your ADP Activities: Campus & Friends Showcase at the ADP/TDC National Meeting in San Antonio

Are you an ADP campus coordinator? Do you want to share your campus activities? Are you an ADP Friend? Do you want to promote the work of your organization? Consider hosting a table at the Campus and Friends Showcase at the American Democracy Project/The Democracy Commitment National Meeting in San Antonio, Texas.

Campus and Friends Showcase Instructions

Saturday, June 9

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

The Campus and Friends Showcase is a wonderful opportunity to share and celebrate your work and help others learn how to promote civic engagement on their campuses. For the seventh year in a row, we will feature the ever-popular Campus and Friends Showcase!  There is no cost to participate.  Simply complete this registration form no later than Monday, May 7th to reserve your spot.

The Campus and Friends Showcase will take place on Saturday, June 9th 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.  The Showcase is designed as an exhibit hall with tables available for presenters. People love to see what other campuses have done with the American Democracy Project.  The Showcase also serves as an important networking opportunity for project participants to connect with national leaders in the civic engagement movement.

This year the Showcase will occur simultaneously with the ADP/TDC Poster Session.

Information about materials you should provide, the set-up, and the structure of the showcase is here: Campus and Friends Showcase Instructions.

If you haven’t already done so, don’t forget to register for the American Democracy Project/The Democracy Commitment National Meeting, June 7-9, 2012. To register for the meeting visit our website.

I hope to see you in San Antonio!

Jen Domagal-Goldman, ADP National Manager

What We’re Reading: Bringing Theory to Practice’s Civic Provocations Monograph

The Bringing Theory to Practice Project just announced the publication of Civic Provocations, a monograph in their Civic Series edited by Barry Checkoway. Civic Provocations, edited by Donald W. Harward is a collection of “informal essays, provocations, that support and deepen inclusive and intentional campus-based consideration of an institution’s own civic mission and the civic mission of higher education today.”

Take a look at pages XV and XVI for the “Civic Seminar Thoughts and Recommendations” contribution by AASCU’s George Mehaffy.

This monograph features 13 “provocations” by leading civic scholars and institutional leaders; the essays are intended to stimulate dialogue and action on the campus level. Civic Provocations is divided into four parts:

  • Part 1: Provocations: The Nature and Current Relevance of Attending to the Civic
  • Part 2: Provocations: Probing Dimensions of the Civic
  • Part 3: Provocations: Implications of Considering the Civic as a Core Aspect of the Mission of Higher Education
  • Part 4: Campus Civic Seminars

A Civic Seminar is outlined in the monograph. Funding opportunities are available for Civic Seminars to stimulate campus discussions and subsequent actions. Application information is available here.


Campus Spotlight: Travel, Serve, Learn — SUNY Brockport’sTeam Memphis Winter 2012

SUNY Brockport Logo

The College at Brockport offered a WinterSession 2012 service learning course entitled CMC 211: Protest and Public Opinion. This course included classroom segments on campus, plus an 9-day, 8-night field experience in Memphis, Tennessee where students attended classroom sessions and took field trips related to the course.  While in Memphis students performed service work with the Zion Cemetery Project, helping to reclaim an abandoned 16-acre Black cemetery that contains 23,000 graves, some of them former slaves.  The field trips included Civil Rights sites in Memphis. This academic experience culminated with visits to the site of Martin Luther King’s final speech, the National Civil Rights museum at the Lorraine Motel where Dr. King was assassinated and with observing Martin Luther King Day in Memphis.

This blog post is a compilation of blog posts that students wrote chronicling their experiences as part of Team Memphis. Thank you to Dale Hartnett, Protest and Public Opinion instructor, for compiling this blog post! You’ll be able to learn more about this course at the ADP National Meeting in San Antonio, Texas during Dale Hartnett’s presentation on Friday, June 8 at 1:30 p.m. Not registered yet? Register here!

“A River To Ignite My Mind and Alert My Senses “

January 11, 2012

Zion Cemetery

Zion Cemetery

Today was our first day in Memphis… we went to Zion Cemetery and met with Dr. Milton Moreland (professor from Rhodes College in archeology.) Before he arrived, Haley presented about the cemetery and shared various cemetery ceremonies such as the going home ceremony and famous persons that our buried there such as Dr. Georgia Patton Washington, who was the first African American female doctor in Tennessee.

When Milton arrived he showed us the various stones including the late Doctor’s which was buried under a magnolia tree (that tree must beautiful in the spring, I almost could smell its sweetness as Mr. Milton told us about her). Milton also shared with us his assumption that the cemetery had mass graves from the epidemic of yellow fever of the 1870′s and Professor Hartnett showed us stones where two people were buried in the same plot; hence maybe they were buried on top of each other. – Kammie

“…We are a revolution”

January 12, 2012

Today, the team decided to go on a driving tour of Memphis. During the tour led by our professor/tour guide, Dale Hartnett, we visited places like the Mississippi River, and the famous Beale Street. We saw so many things that struck our interest, but nothing more than the campsite of Occupy Memphis. While driving by on our way to see the Mississippi River, we noticed a campsite, and asked if that was the Occupy Memphis group. Professor Hartnett said that he believed this was at least the general area that they were supposed to be located. We all got so excited that we asked to go see it.

The Occupy campaign falls in line with the subject matter of our class, Protest and Public Opinion, and the idea of meeting

Occupy Memphis

Occupy Memphis

some of the people who are part of this group excited all of us. We walked up to their campsite, but we didn’t see anyone there. It was early, so we figured that most of the protestors were still sleeping. On one of the bulletin boards they had a list of some of their events and rallies coming up. Needless to say, we will be attending one of those rallies very soon. Also, while we were there, Professor Hartnett offered the suggestion to bring some of the protestors dinner tonight. We have a lot of leftovers from the Americorps dinner last night, and he thought that would be a good idea. We all thought that this was an awesome idea and one of our team members, Erica Stoeckeler, looked up their website, found their number and gave them a call. We received no answer. We even tried tweeting them when we noticed that they have an active twitter account. So far, we haven’t heard from them, but we will keep trying. If we don’t hear back from them, we still plan to go to their rally on Monday.

Before we left, one of our team members came across one of their signs said that seemed pretty thought provoking:

“We are not a movement, we are a revolution”

It is part of our class to analyze groups like these, and discuss whether or not they would be considered a “Movement” or “Revolution”. Even if they are not technically considered either of these things, I find it inspiring that groups of people are organizing around the nation to fight for what they feel is right. Hopefully this group can consolidate their goals with those across the US and truly become a social movement, because we live in an era where not many people will stand up and demand change. This group has the potential to become something bigger than what it is now. I hope that it does. –Imani Lawrence

Strange Fruit

January 13, 2012

I looked up into the twisting trunk of the magnolia tree, faintly tuning in to the story of the buried resting beneath.  Nothing hung from the Southern symbol, yet stillness ebbed through the tangled branches.  The words of Billie Holiday reeled through my recollection:

“Southern trees bear a strange fruit,

Blood on the leaves and blood on the root

Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze

Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees

Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh,

Then the sudden smell of burning flesh”

The song was played for us less than a week ago back in our classroom at Brockport as part of our introduction in the Civil Rights Movement.  While standing in the cemetery, that memory seems long ago.  The cemetery bodes us to peel back the layers of history resting with fallen and forgotten graves.

Magnolia Tree

Magnolia Tree

Thomas Moss, Calvin McDowell and William Stewart are among those who have come to rest in the Zion Cemetery in Memphis. While walking the gravesites with Team Memphis 2012, Dr. Moreland of Rhodes College, who spearheads the restoration efforts, tells of these 1892 black merchants who were victims of lynching.  Ida B. Wells was moved to crusade against lynching and make known her anti-lynching position after these three black merchants were lynched for reasoning other than the usual rational cited; rape.  Fellow student, Haley, informed us that it is believed that the lynching occurred to “keep the nigger down.”

Search the burial records for William Stewart on the Zion Community Project website.  What you will unearth is the section and row that he is buried in.  However, this information won’t bear meaning until stepping foot in the actual cemetery.  Part of the purpose we serve in joining in the restoration efforts is to devise a system to help graph and map out the cemetery so the former sections and rows can be traced back to specific locations.  I am excited to be a part of this effort and hope in a few years down the road to see more of the community coming together to take ownership over this noteworthy project.  Like Billie Holliday graphically reminds us we need to we preserve this piece of history. – Jess

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – M.L.K.

January 17, 2012

Remember visiting your grandparents’ house for holiday dinners? Everyone in the family would rise to enthusiastically greet and embrace you upon arrival. The aroma of food filled your nose and warmed your soul, as you’d mingle amongst family members, catching up with one another. Outbursts of laughter and little cousins running around the house would interrupt conversation, only to put a smile on your face knowing you were home.

Farewell Dinner

Farewell Dinner

Yesterday, we were at “home” in Memphis. Our team woke early to attend a service at the Mount Vernon Baptist Church – Westwood, where we were formally introduced and praised in front of the entire congregation. Following the church service, senior pastor, Dr. Reverend Netters, treated our group to a traditional soul food meal at the legendary Four Way restaurant. Afterwards, we were invited to LeMoyne Owen College for an annual fundraising event, where we were introduced to many black churches from the Memphis area.  Throughout the day, worshipers took us aside to thank us for the work we’ve done, wish us good luck with our studies, and lavished us with warm hugs.

At LeMoyne Owen fundraiser, I had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Reverend Netters’ great grandson, Jalon, who afterwards pointed out that I had separated from the team Memphis group. I responded that it shouldn’t be too hard to find them, as we instantly located my White classmates dispersed among a sea of Black people. As Jalon and I laughed, it became apparent for the first time in the past week that we were the minority.

I wish all members of minorities could be treated like family, as we have been for the past week by the Mt. Vernon Baptist Church; embracing one another for differences and taking advantage of opportunities to learn from one another. – Erica


January 19, 2012

Stepping off the plane made it final. Team Memphis 2012 had dispersed.  There will be no picking up right where we left off.  Not an option! We have been changed for the better- a sentiment I think we all would share!  Our trip sets the stage for a transformational year.  After all, as Andrea (if I’m not mistaken), one of the ladies passing through the hostel, pointed out, “this is the Year of The Dragon.”

Zion Cemetery

Zion Cemetery

Andrea impressed with our dedication to the restorations efforts of the cemetery likened us to missionaries. Others shrouded us with gratitude and welcomed as if we were fellow Memphians.  The recognition left us knowing the work we did was impactful.  IMPACTFUL BUT INCOMPLETE-is the chronicle that we stepped into and then back out of.  Knowing that the work is incomplete is not unsettling rather it is uplifting.  Who will come together to narrate the next page or chapter remains to be foreseen.  Will Karen, who preserved the records of the T.H. Hayes Funeral Home, connect with Dr. Moorland of Rhodes College to make the records accessible online; will Carol of AmeriCorps spearhead an annual clean-up project at Zion Cemetery; or will a member of the Mt. Vernon Baptist congregation who serves on the Zion board recruit others to join the board?  The possibilities of partnerships are limitless.  I have faith that progress will be achieved.   Whichever scenario plays out, these are opportunities for the community to come together and reconnect with the past and…we helped to create them (through direct action and in raising awareness!)

Today in reflecting upon our trip Mark Noll, Director of Institute for Engaged Learning for The College at Brockport, posed the question “Should all students be required to complete a course with a service learning component?”  Our group stood divided.  Dr. King, I believe, would answer YES.  Simply put, he describes service work as “The rent we pay to live on Earth.”  This begs the bigger question of “What is the goal of our college experience?”   Is it merely to get a degree or, as Mark suggested to us, is it meant to be a transformative experience?  The latter I would contend!

For more information on SUNY Brockport’s Team Memphis experience:

Civic Data Challenge Turns Raw Data into Beautiful Community Tools

Civic Data Challenge logoBelieve that communities can take better advantage of key data in their decision making? Want to analyze civic data sets as part of your research or as a course project? Check out ADP partner NCoC’s new Civic Data Challenge!

This week the first-ever Civic Data Challenge launched at the Data 2.0 Summit in San Francisco. It’s a project of ADP partner NCoC (the National Conference on Citizenship) that will bring new eyes, new minds, new findings, and new skill sets to the field of civic health.

The Challenge will turn the raw data of “civic health” into beautiful, useful applications and visualizations, enabling communities to be better understood and made to thrive. NCoC is opening up its data, as well as other data on the important topics of health, safety, education, and the economy.

You’re invited to collaborate with others, analyze the data, and create something amazing to showcase what you find. Designers, data scientists, researchers, and app developers are especially encouraged to join the challenge. And … there will be prizes!

The Challenge opened to the public on April 3 and entries must be received by July 29. Winners will be announced at the 67th Annual National Conference on Citizenship on September 14 in Philadelphia.

The Challenge is presented by NCoC (the National Conference on Citizenship) in partnership with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. NCoC and Knight Foundation hope the Challenge will uncover new findings on why community engagement and attachment are critical to building thriving communities.

Join the challenge!

Like the Civic Data Challenge on Facebook at and follow it on Twitter at

ADP in the News | April 3, 2012 Edition

I will be sharing brief updates about American Democracy Project activities at ADP colleges and universities in a monthly news roundup. If you have an ADP event you’d like posted in this format, please email me at

- Jen Domagal-Goldman, National Manager, American Democracy Project


‘The People Speak: Voices of Occupy Wall Street’ at UCM

A student written and produced performance, The People Speak: Voices of Occupy Wall Street includes poetry, prose, song, and movement. This ADP grant-funded production will be held April 2 and 3rd in the University of Central Missouri’s Black Box Theater. Admission is free. Read more here.

Find out more about ADP at UCM here.


UCO’s Leadership Book Club for Student

The University of Central Oklahoma’s ADP co-sponsors a leadership book club – Read & Lead—for students. Student participants receive a free copy of the selected book – the current book is Outcasts United by Warren St. John. A discussion of the book will take place on Wednesday, April 11th at noon.

Learn more about ADP at UCO here.


IUSB ADP sponsors spring event series “Women, Politics and Power”

Indiana University South Bend is hosting a series of events this spring in response to our current focus on the roles of women in politics and society, given the focus of lawmakers and politicians on health care matters related to gender. Events include “Preparing the Next Generation: Women as Role Models” – a lunch featuring Christian Wolbrecht, an IUSB political science professor; and “Back to the Future: Women in American Politics, 1776-2012 and Beyond” a lecture by campus ADP director and political scientist, Elizabeth Bennion. All events are free and open to the public. Read more about IUSB’s Women, Politics and Power series here.


Fort Hays State University’s ADP Events

With campus Student Government Association elections on the horizon, Fort Hays State University’s American Democracy Project is doing its part to inform students on the candidates for president and vice president with a candidate debate.

In February, FHSU’s ADP conducted a mock presidential election; President Barack Obama was re-elected to a second term, earning 40 percent of the student vote. Learn more about the mock election here.

Learn more about ADP at FHSU here.


ISU’s ADP co-sponsors anti-bullying film screening

Illinois State University’s ADP and other co-sponsors will host a free on-campus film screening of an anti-bullying movie: Not in Our Town: Class Actions, April 10-11. A moderated discussion will follow the 30 minute movie. Learn more here.

Like ISU’s ADP on Facebook here.


Georgia College announces search for Director of Center for Engaged Learning

The new Center will provide oversight and coordination of ADP among other efforts. Learn more about the position here.

Learn more about ADP at Georgia College here.


CalU’s ADP Presents 2012 Election Outlook

California University of Pennsylvania’s ADP sponsored a moderated panel discussion, 2012 Election Outlook: The Race for the White House. Read more here and here.

Learn more about ADP at CalU here.


Kennesaw State’s ADP co-sponsored “Youth as Global Changemakers” Event

Kennesaw State University’s ADP co-sponsored global recording artist and activist Emmanuel Jal’s “Youth as Global Changemakers” in March. Jal, a former child soldier in Sudan, has released three studio albums, including his international hit “War Child.” His latest single “We Want Peace” will be featured on an upcoming album. His music played a role in the award winning documentary “God Grew Tired of Us” and the Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur. Jal’s memoir “War Child” and the full-length documentary of the same name have received critical acclaim.

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