Search Results for '"civic agency"'

Opportunities for Students to Put their Civic Agency to Work for the Public Good

Americans for Informed Democracy (AIDemocracy) is a non-partisan organization based in Washington, DC that is an important friend of ADP. They have opportunities for college students to engage in collective action around important global and local issues closely related to our 7 Revolutions (population, resources, technology, information, economics, conflict, and governance).

Americans for Informed Democracy (AIDemocracy)

AIDemocracy is a non-partisan organization comprised of young people in the U.S. concerned about our individual and collective roles in the world. AIDemocracy believes that students have the responsibility to understand and take collaborative action on important issues and that students have the power to build a better world.

AIDemocracy still has a few spots available on their climate change, hunger, sex & justice, and security campaign teams! If you are an inspired college student with an interest in mobilizing your peers to understand and take action on these issues or are looking for a chance to hone your organizing and leadership skills, then AIDemocracy needs you!

They are recruiting the following positions for each of their four teams:

* Coordinator: leads strategy development and supports other team members
* Organizer: recruits other interested students to join the cause
* Issue Analyst: monitors, analyzes and writes about related news and debates
* Communications Guru: spreads the word about team activities, events and information via print and social media

These are year-long, volunteer positions. AIDemocracy is looking for multiple people for each position, on each campaign. Details and job descriptions are available on their website. Each campaign team will plan their strategy for the coming year this August.

Here’s a quick pitch for each issue:

Hunger Campaign Team: Overcoming chronic hunger is one of the most crucial challenges facing our world today. Each day nearly 1 billion people across the world go without enough food to lead a productive and healthy life. As a result, problems like extreme poverty, disease, conflict, and climate change become all the more devastating and entrenched. Ending hunger is a vital step towards making this world a more equal, just, peaceful, and sustainable place. There are still spots available for outstanding young adults from across the nation to come together and campaign to end the grave injustice of global hunger.

Sex & Justice Campaign Team:  Sexual and reproductive health and rights encompass a wide variety of issues that pose challenges especially for women and adolescents in developing countries. Girls are becoming mothers instead of going to secondary school. Sexually transmitted infections are spreading. Mothers are dying in childbirth. Gender based violence persists. Even though these issues are complex, we have the power to advocate for change. Stand up against injustice and inequality. Join the sex & justice campaign team!

Climate Change Campaign Team: When it comes to tackling climate change, today’s young people know there’s not a second to waste! All around the world, young people are rising up to tell our leaders that we won’t stand for any more empty promises, failed agreements, and injustice. From our college campuses and city halls to COP conferences worldwide, our voices are being heard, and we’re seeing great progress, especially at the local level. But critical battles around climate adaptation and emissions continue, and we need your voice more than ever! AIDemocracy is offering outstanding individuals the opportunity to join their Climate Change campaign team and lead our network around this critical issue! Apply today to make your vision for a sustainable, just planet a reality.

Security Campaign Team: This September marks the tenth anniversary of 9/11. Are we secure? How do we define security? How much should we be spending on defense, versus other approaches like diplomacy and development? The Security Campaign Team will inspire student debate around these and other critical questions. Hot topics will include US engagement in Iraq and Afghanistan, nuclear weapons, and defense spending. Join us!

To apply, please send a statement of interest to Positions will be filled on a rolling basis. Hurry – they only have a few spots left!

Carnegie Mellon Connects Civic Agency and Deliberative Polling

Guest Blogger Robert Cavalier writes about his work with Deliberative Polling and Civic Agency. Carnegie Mellon has been a very important partner with theAmerican Democracy Project, and the findings of this poll support the need for increased opportunities for citizens to deliberate about important issues of the day.

By Robert Cavalier,  Carnegie Mellon University

On September 25th, 2010 a representative sample of over 180 randomly selected citizens from the Pittsburgh area came to Carnegie Mellon University for a day-long Deliberative Poll ® on county government. The background issues and a report on the results of this deliberative event can be found at this website.

A number of questions on the post-survey form sought input on the participants’ own experience on the deliberative process and the effects that such an experience had on them in terms of civic agency. Here are some relevant highlights:

Feedback on Small-Group Conversations: How helpful did you find the small-group conversation?

“Very” = 66%

“Somewhat” = 28.8%

Feedback on knowledge gained about issues: How much did this day of conversation give you a better understanding of important issues facing your community?

“A great deal” = 60%

“Somewhat” = 30%

Feedback on learning from different points of view: How much did this day of conversation cause you to consider points of view that you had not previously considered?

“A great deal” = 48%

“Somewhat” = 39%

Feedback on Motivation to Act: Will you become more engaged in your community as a result of this deliberative poll? = 90% said “yes”

“Definitely Yes” = 35%

“Probably Yes” = 55%

Feedback on event as a whole: Given what you know now, would you still have participated in the deliberative poll conversation? = rounding the numbers, almost 99% said “yes”

Definitely Yes = 80%

Probably Yes = 19%

(Three individuals said “probably not’; no one said “definitely not.”)

Responses to several of these questions merit special attention, given claims by those both supportive of and critical of the very idea of deliberative democracy. Many who support the idea of a more deliberative democracy need greater empirical evidence to buttress their beliefs. And those critical of deliberative democracy offer data they claim casts doubt about whether American citizens are interested in deliberative forums. Diana Mutz argues that people do not want to engage in discussions with those they don’t agree with while Hibbing and Theiss-Morse uses polls and focus groups to claim that citizens don’t what to be bothered by the details of government. Combing both of these positions, the authors of Stealth Democracy write: “…real-life deliberation can fan emotions unproductively, can exacerbate rather than diminish power differentials among those deliberating, can make people feel frustrated with the system that made them deliberate, is ill-suited to many issues…People dislike political disagreements …People get frustrated by details and many simply tune out of the exchange because they feel uncomfortable or inadequate discussing politics.”

To these critics we can offer empirical evidence that they are wrong in their assertions, and that well-designed and well-structured deliberative forums of the kind we experienced on September 25th can and do bring out the best in our citizens. In a political season where negative ads and superficial sound bites belie a democracy driven by the aggregation of votes at any cost, we can see a different kind of democracy out there, a more deliberative democracy. Initiatives like this and the ones valued by the American Democracy Project can indeed help foster this kind of democracy and raise the level of civic discourse to that sought after by our Founding Fathers.

We the People: Update on the Civic Agency Initiative

By Cecilia M. Orphan, National Manager, American Democracy Project

In light of the increased attention on the part of the Department of Education and many philanthropic organizations on college completion and workforce development, leaders in the American Democracy Project have found ways to tie their work to these goals. Most notable in this effort is the work of the Civic Agency initiative which seeks to develop and operationalize the concept of civic agency. Within this initiative, we deliberately emphasize the connection between developing a strong set of skills that are both civic and professional in nature. To describe this connection we use the phrase “21st Century Skills.”

Participants at the 2010 Civic Agency Institute.

The notion of civic agency involves the capacities of citizens to work collaboratively across differences like partisan ideology, faith traditions, income, geography and ethnicity to address common challenges, solve problems, and create common ground. Civic agency requires a set of individual skills, knowledge, and predispositions. Civic agency also involves questions about institutional design, particularly how to constitute groups and institutions for sustainable collective action. Over the last three years of our partnership with the Center for Democracy and Citizenship led by Harry C. Boyte and Dennis Donovan, we have experimented with strategies for developing a strong sense of civic agency on the part of undergraduate students.

What we are finding is that the programs that produce strong civic outcomes for students also help prepare them for the workforce. Additionally, I have observed anecdotal evidence that suggests that students involved in Civic Agency activities tend to persevere to graduate attainment. While the data is still anecdotal, I’m sure that with a little more digging we’d be able to find actual statistics to support this evidence. This has helped leaders within the initiative demonstrate their commitment to degree attainment and workforce development while developing student civic skills.

The challenges facing American democracy are too complex and deep-rooted to rely simply on elected officials to solve. Indeed, we need a concerted search for solutions that involves everyday people, business leaders, students, non-profit leaders, and governmental officials. This realization gave birth to the new phase of the Civic Agency initiative called “We the People.” In the We the People (WtheP) vision, government is our meeting ground, partner and common instrument in addressing our problems and building a shared life. Students in the Civic Agency initiative are beginning to use their civic skills to foster partnerships with business and NGO leaders and local government with the goal of solving public problems. We launched We the People last fall and many of our campuses have started experimenting with strategies to encourage partnerships between students and elected officials.

What follows is a set of updates about We the People and Civic Agency.

Western Kentucky University (WKU) by Terry Shoemaker

Western Kentucky University’s Institute for Citizenship & Social Responsibility (ICSR) is dedicating the entire month of April to WtheP activities. These activities will include a “Wii the People” civically-minded bowling league, a four-week league that uses Nintendo’s Wii bowling game, that will gather together groups from around WKU’s campus including the Young Republicans, Young Democrats, African-American Studies, WKU Americans for an Informed Democracy (AID), and FeelGood to participate in civic dialogue on contemporary issues while Wii bowling. The league runs through April with the Wii Bowling Championship game set for April 12th.

The ICSR will also bring two guest speakers to WKU’s campus in April.  First, author, activist, and public theologian, Brian McLaren will speak to students and community members on “Being the Change” on April 11th.  McLaren, who published the book, Everything Must Change in 2007, has been instrumental in creating an emerging social justice initiative among evangelical Christians.  He will challenge WKU students to become change agents.

Second, Jon DeGraaf, co-author of Affluenza and National Organizer for Take Back Your Time, will be at WKU’s campus on April 28th. DeGraaf’s work on consumerism and society has been influential in recognizing over-consumption as a systemic issue in America. He will challenge WKU’s students to recognize their time poverty and consumerism, and imagine another way of being. In addition, ICSR will show John DeGraaf’s film Affluenza on April 14th. Third Tuesday Tea, ICSR’s regular monthly meeting to discuss contemporary topics with WKU students, faculty & staff, will be dedicated to the topic “Consuming Democracy.” This timely event will be a precursor to John DeGraaf’s visit and will bring energetic conversation to the topic.

Other organizations are also centering their events around the idea of We the People on WKU’s campus. A group of students will visit the Highland Research and Education Center in New Market, Tennessee. Another group is participating in a poverty/hunger simulation. Still another is working to cater all these events raising money for the Hunger Project.

For more information visit this website.


University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) by David Hoffman

In the fall 2010, a third annual cohort of 30 students completed our Civic
Imagination and Social Entrepreneurship course, in which students work in groups to envision, develop and prepare to launch campus and community change projects. Among the projects developed in the class were an online networking space for campus activists, a campaign to discourage distracted driving, a program to inspire K-12 students with visits from collegiate scholar-athletes, and an organization dedicated to addressing incidents of injustice on campus.

We’re also in the process of developing an initiative tentatively entitled UMBC’s Civic Year. The concept is to deepen and make more visible UMBC’s support for civic agency through a year of themed activities, including courses, contests, art exhibitions, online discussions and community-building events.  These activities are likely to encompass recurring programs that might not otherwise emphasize civic agency, including research conferences, book discussions, service projects and speaker series. Our intention is that much like a successful Olympic games, this intense period of themed activities will produce lasting (civic) infrastructure improvements and make civic innovation and agency even more central to our campus culture.


San Francisco State University (SFSU) by Gerald Eisman

Over the past two years, the Civic Agency project at San Francisco State University has centered around the development of a consortium of local universities who have partnered with neighborhood stakeholders (residents, city agencies, nonprofits, merchants, faith-based and secular community-based organizations) to co-create resilient communities – those rich in social capital and optimally prepared to respond to, and grow from, both short and long term challenges and opportunities.

Founded and coordinated by the Institute for Civic and Community Engagement (ICCE) at San Francisco State, the consortium, named the Neighborhood Empowerment Network University (NENu), serves as a hub for community-engaged scholarship in the Bay Area by facilitating connections among and between local academic institutions and neighborhood stakeholders in support of the larger NEN network. In order to facilitate those connections, NENu engages in three core activities:

  1. recruiting and retaining academic institution partners and neighborhood stakeholders,
  2. providing linkages to city agencies and other asset managers, and
  3. providing the infrastructure to facilitate communications among all NENu partners.

Target neighborhoods (called Engaged Learning Zones – ELZs) are selected for focused NENu activities by the agreement of each of the three dimensions of the partnership – neighborhood leadership, city government representatives, and academic partners. Currently four ELZs are underway – in San Francisco’s Ocean/Merced/Ingleside (OMI) district, North Beach, Polk Street, Western Addition, and we hope to soon launch activities in the neighborhoods Northwest of Twin Peaks.

Initial activities involved stakeholder interviews, identifying assets, public forums, prioritizing issues, and directed action through service learning. Students in varied disciplines such as Urban Studies, Instructional Technologies, Geography, Art, Broadcast Communication, Public Administration, Marketing, Communication Studies and others have contributed to ELZ activities. University students are currently assisting in the development of inclusive online tools for neighborhood leadership development, research on indices for measuring community resilience, GIS mapping of community assets, cohort mapping of leaders and their organizations, and internships in the offices of city supervisors.

One immediate outcome has been the creation of a database of community service opportunities that will be shared by NENu universities to help direct students to community sites. The database will utilize contemporary social media tools on top of traditional listings of community organizations.

Of central importance to NENu is the development of bridging and bonding social capital in a city whose neighborhood demographics are both diverse and changing dynamically. The strength of these bonds will provide a platform for addressing a wide range of issues and help the city as it prepares its residents to respond to and recover from any natural disaster including, as predicted by geologists, a major earthquake in the next 20 years.

For more information about the Civic Agency initiative, please visit this website. For more information about We the People, please visit this website.

Footage from the Civic Agency Institute: Harry Boyte on We the People

By Cecilia M. Orphan, National Manager, American Democracy Project

“It’s important for us as academics to recognize that our knowledge is less important than the community’s knowledge. As an academic, you are on tap – not on top. It is essential for communities to develop their own power.” – Harry Boyte

For those of you who weren’t able to join us in DC for the third annual Civic Agency Institute, please see below for footage from the event. In this video, Harry Boyte elaborates on We the People and explains how we might describe our work to others. This is an amazing and short (15 minutes long) speech that lays the groundwork for We the People.

The song is “We Are the Ones” by Melissa Etheridge.

Dennis Donovan at Castleton College: The Frontlines of Civic Agency in Education

Dennis Donovan conducted a training at Castleton State College in late October

Dennis Donovan conducted a training at Castleton State College in late October

“Castleton College has all the ingredients to become a higher education ‘democracy demonstration’ site for us and a leader in Public Achievement and the We the People movement,” said Dennis Donovan after his visit to the American Democracy Project Civic Agency Initiative school in Vermont.

Over the course of three days in October, Donovan conducted trainings and workshops for Castleton students, faculty, administrators, and community members. In the campus-wide event, titledInstitutionalizing Civic Engagement through Organizing, participants learned to “understand and distinguish between three ways of conceptualizing democracy and what it means to be a student, faculty, or community leader, and also began to practice community organizing skills.”

Castleton College first became involved in civic engagement through the leadership of its Academic Dean Joe Mark in the 1990s and eventually began sending a core group to the American Democracy Project’s annual conferences on “educating citizens” from 2003 onward. In 2008, Castleton was invited to join the American Democracy Project’s Civic Agency Initiative, which “seeks to further develop and operationalize the concept of civic agency” by “producing a series of national models for developing civic agency among undergraduates.”

The concept of civic agency involves developing the capacity of citizens to collaboratively solve problems. It entails a marked change in culture to adopt “practices, habits, norms, symbols, and ways of life that enhance or diminish capacities for collective action.” Castleton is unique in that as opposed to having one center or project designed to spread concepts of civic agency, its focus is infusing ideas into the whole campus.

“The institution is designed with so many opportunities and experiences that students will naturally bump into things,” says Academic Dean Joe Mark. “The college will never demand outright that people do civic agency, as this approach doesn’t work. Civic agency is not a graduation requirement — we want it ubiquitous, but not mandated.”

And ubiquitous it is. Concepts of civic agency have been incorporated into Castleton’s orientation practices, RA program in campus dorms, student government and other student groups, curriculum on service learning, education department curriculum, and interactions between faculty members, as well as Castleton projects with the broader community.

“Castleton has made a conscious effort to ‘graft’  civic agency concepts onto a lot of different programs to create culture change and a tipping point,” says Dean of Students Dennis Proulx. “The goal of Dennis’s training was to unite all of the grafts and expose bigger themes and it worked.”

Changes are already afoot in Castleton’s work with the Slate Valley Teen Center and partnership between the athletics department and a local elementary school. There has been a greater shift in thinking to considering the teens and elementary students as “co-creators” within these two initiatives, and allowing them to have a greater participatory effort through use of the Public Achievement model. People are getting excited.

Academic Dean Joe Mark also noted the progress of the student government after Dennis’s visit. Ryan Badinelli, the treasurer in Castleton’s student government, was first exposed to civic agency from attending an American Democracy Project conference and did not know what to expect. He describe civic agency as changing both Castleton and himself.

“The college has grown in prestige, academics, diversity — growth from community engagement and the idea that everyone has the ability to succeed,” says Baldinelli. “In the push for civic agency, students are beginning to realize that Castleton is there for them. Dennis Donovan was able to bring more understanding to people about what is going on in this movement. People need to meet Harry and Dennis, who have powerful ideas.”


Reflecting on the Civic Agency Institute and Our Work Ahead

By Cecilia M. Orphan, National Manager, American Democracy Project

We had a wonderful conclusion to our two-day institute in Washington, DC. On the second day, our campuses started mapping the next two years of their work. While being facilitated by two students from Middle Tennessee State University, each of the 18 campuses represented at the Institute presented their early action plans. I am both inspired and impressed by what their plans entail.

This work calls for a lot of community organizing – power mapping, one-to-ones, relationship building, etc. The university leaders that attended our meeting are among the most talented and dedicated people I’ve ever had the opportunity to work with. They are passionate about making government by the people a reality. And they understand the paramount importance of working with students to make this happen. Finally, they believe deeply in the democratic purpose of higher education and see themselves as instrumental to realizing this purpose.

Over the next few months, I’ll feature stories of the early work of our campuses on the blog as they agitate students to solve local problems with elected officials. The theme of our national conference in Orlando, June 2-4, 2011, will be animated by “We the People.” We’ve driven the ideas of “We the People” into the theme of the national meeting which is, “Beyond Voting: Citizenship in the New Era.” During the ADP Meeting we will explore what it means to be a citizen. In the conference programming, we will pay special attention to models for successful community-elected officials partnerships and the progress we’ve made in the first seven months of this new phase of our work.

I recorded Harry’s closing remarks and will share those in the next week or so after editing. Not quite sure what We the People is? Read this blog post. Not sure what Civic Agency is? Visit this website. And if you’d like to get involved in the movement,contact me!

Something is Definitely Stirring: Day 1 of the Civic Agency Institute

By Cecilia M. Orphan, National Manager, American Democracy Project

Just a quick word about today before I head to bed. I think it’s clear that there’s something stirring. Our students, faculty members, and national partners were talking about our work as a “movement.” It seems clear that ADP schools will lead this work. In the movement, we’re trying to activate citizens to solve local problems by partnering with elected officials. This movement presents an alternative to the negative, partisan bickering that we’ve been subjected to. Under Harry Boyte and Dennis Donovan’s leadership, ADP campuses are offering a new vision of how politics can work.

During the day, the 65 participants in the institute were bombarded with loads of information – ideas about how they might partner with national organizations like Rock the Vote (we had Eric Axelson in the meeting), the Center for Democracy and Citizenship, and the National Issues Forum; strategies for infusing civic agency principles throughout the curriculum; tips for working with students, and more.

We had a wonderful set of speakers including Nancy Kranich who talked about how we might use academic libraries as civic spaces. KerryAnn O’Meara described the attributes of faculty members who have a sense of their own civic agency and ability to affect change. KerryAnn also described strategies institutions can use to activate and support their faculty members in becoming civic agents. Marta Urquilla from the White House gave us more insight into how the Obama Administration is working to engage people in governance. Joe Mark, Academic Dean at Castleton State, helped us understand what it means to truly infuse Civic Agency across campus. Joe also helped participants understand the power of working in partnership relationships with students. The folks from Northern Arizona (Rom Coles and Miguel Vasquez) described the work they’ve been doing with Public Achievement and their local school system. And we had a lot of time to think and talk about how we might, as public colleges and universities, fulfill our purpose as being Stewards of Place and Stewards of Democracy. It was a wonderfully energizing day and I look forward to tomorrow’s meeting when we get down to the brass tacks of what we’ll do next.

So…what is next? We’re going to ask participants to answer Melissa Helmbrecht‘s challenge of making their work immediate, measurable and specific. We’ll help participants build action plans and think about next steps, and then they’ll return to their campuses and start organizing. I hope you’ll join the conversation by commenting on this blog post, leaving a comment on the ADP Facebook page, engaging us on Twitter, or giving me a call.

Not quite sure what We the People is? Read this blog post. Not sure what Civic Agency is? Visit this website. And if you’d like to get involved in the movement, contact me!

Follow the Institute on Twitter using #CivAg10.

Question: What are the specific, immediate, and measurable things we can do as ADP campuses to activate our students to solve local problems?

Follow the Civic Agency Institute This Week!

By Cecilia M. Orphan, National Manager, American Democracy Project

Use this hash tag to follow the Civic Agency Institute: #CivAg10.


Yasmin Karimian and Harry Boyte at the 2009 Civic Agency Institute


This Thursday, in partnership with Dennis Donovan and Harry Boyte of the Center for Democracy and Citizenship, we are kicking off the Civic Agency Institute in Washington, DC. We have 65 faculty members, students, and national partners joining us in DC. These 65 people are what we call, “Agents and Architects of Democracy” in higher education. These academic leaders, students, and faculty members are working to fulfill higher education’s legacy of promoting and protecting American democracy. The Institute is the annual event of the Civic Agency initiative. In Civic Agency, we are experimenting with strategies for developing a deep sense of civic agency in undergraduate students.  Civic agency involves the capacities of citizens to work collaboratively across differences like partisan ideology, faith traditions, income, geography and ethnicity to address common challenges, solve problems, and create common ground. Civic agency requires a set of individual skills, knowledge, and predispositions.

During the Civic Agency Institute, we will launch the new We the People phase of our work with Harry Boyte.  In We the People, we are working to “animate ‘citizen voters’ in 2012. While many leaders are needed in such an initiative, we believe that college students in American Democracy Project schools can take key leadership, reminiscent of the roles students played in the civil rights movement of the 1960s. When the question is the civic health of elections, the government, and the nation itself, and when the electoral process is threatening to spin out of control, we need a broad movement in which the whole citizenry works to redeem American democracy. Civically-oriented politicians are allies and partners, not enemies, in this work.” Taken from Harry Boyte’s blog post.

We have an incredible line-up of co-creators at the Institute who will help us think about how to operationalize We the People. What follows is a sampling of our co-creators: Nancy Kranich, Chair, American Library Association Center for Public Life, Rutgers University New Brunswick, William (Bill) V. Muse, President, National Issues Forum, Norm Ornstein, Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy and Research, KerryAnn O’Meara, Associate Professor of Higher Education, University of Maryland, College Park, and Marta Urquilla, Senior Policy Advisor, Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation, White House. We will also have a representative from Rock the Vote join one of our roundtable discussions.

I see this Institute as the launching point for a new tactical way to deepen our work in the American Democracy Project. I’m very excited to see what unfolds!

We will be live blogging and Tweeting from the Institute. Follow along on this blog and by using the Civic Agency Hashtag #CivAg10. See below for the entire agenda.

Question: How are you working with students to develop their civic agency? What are the important next steps you can take to make “We the People” a reality?


Civic Agency Institute

“We the People”


Thursday, November 11

8:30 a.m.          Welcome and Framing Discussion: “We the People,” The Return of the Citizen Voter

Harry C. Boyte, Co-Director, Center for Democracy and Citizenship, Augsburg College

George L. Mehaffy, Vice President, Academic Leadership and Change, AASCU

9:15 a.m.          Campus Highlights and Challenges

Cecilia Orphan, National Manager, American Democracy Project, AASCU

10:15 a.m.         Break

10:30 a.m.         Roundtable: Creating a Citizen Demand for “We the People” Democracy: Countering Vilification with Public Problem Solving

Norm Ornstein, Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy and Research

Marta Urquilla, Senior Policy Advisor, Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation, White House

A Rock the Vote representative will also participate in this panel.

11:30 a.m.         Strategizing for the Next Two Years

Yasmin Karimian, Student, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Paul Markham, Co-Director, The Institute for Citizenship and Social Responsibility, Western Kentucky University

Dennis Donovan, National Organizer, Public Achievement, Center for Democracy and Citizenship, Augsburg College

12:30 p.m.        Break

12:40 p.m.        Lunch and showing of 50-50: The American Divide Film and Nobody Turn Me Around

Followed by a conversation with Charles Euchner, Author and Creator, Nobody Turn Me Around

1:45 p.m.          Making “We the people” a Reality: Strategies for Curricular and Co-Curricular Change

Joe Mark, Academic Dean, Castleton State College

Nancy Kranich, Chair, American Library Association Center for Public Life, American Library Association Center for Public Life

KerryAnn O’Meara, Associate Professor of Higher Education, University of Maryland, College Park

2:45 p.m.          Break

3 p.m.               Workshop Breakout Sessions (Descriptions on the next page)

Workshop Title Room
1. Agitation 101 

Dennis Donovan, National Organizer, Public Achievement


6th Floor Conference Room
2. Creating Civic Minors in Teacher Education 

Jolanda Westerhof, Director, Teacher Education, AASCU


2nd Floor Conference Room
3. Self Designed/Open Topic 

Harry Boyte, CDC and Cecilia Orphan, ADP


5th Floor Conference Room
4. National Issues Forum (NIF) Information Session  

Bill Muse, President, NIF

Nancy Kranich, American Library Association Center for Public Life

All-Purpose Room

4:30 p.m.          Building the Civic Agency Movement in Northern Arizona

Jason Lowry, Community-Based Research Associate, Northern Arizona University

5:30 p.m.          Reflection

Gary Paul, Associate Professor, Florida A&M University

Friday, November 12, 2010

9:00 a.m. – 2 p.m.

9 a.m.               Public Achievement Roundtable

Abigail Adams, Professor, Anthropology, Central Connecticut State University

Robbin Smith, Assistant Professor, Political Science, Central Connecticut State University

Gregg Kauffman, Instructor, Coordinator of Civic Engagement and ADP Coordinator, Georgia College and State University

Christopher T. Sutton, Coordinator of Student Development, Lincoln University of Missouri

10:45 a.m.         Ideas for Organizing the Cohort – National Initiative

George L. Mehaffy, Vice President of Academic Leadership and Change, AASCU

Cecilia Orphan, National Project Manager, American Democracy Project, AASCU

12:00 p.m.        Working Lunch: Bringing It Home: Review of Campus Plans

Cecilia Orphan, National Project Manager, American Democracy Project, AASCU

1:35 p.m.          Reflection

Harry C. Boyte, Senior Fellow, Center for Democracy and Citizenship, Augsburg College

1:45 p.m.          Public Evaluation

Dennis Donovan, National Organizer, Public Achievement, Center for Democracy and Citizenship, Augsburg College

2:00 p.m.          Adjourn

Announcing the Civic Agency Institute, Nov. 11-12, 2010


Read the newest blog post about the Civic Agency Institute here.

Follow the Institute on Twitter! Use #CivAg10 to follow us on Twitter.

We are pleased to announce the Civic Agency Institute in Washington, DC, November 11-12, 2010. The Institute will be co-hosted by Harry Boyte and Dennis Donovan of the Center for Democracy and Citizenship. We will begin the official program on Thursday, November 11th. We will end the program at 2:00 PM on Friday, November 12th. This means you should be able to fly out as early as 4:00 PM on Friday without missing any programming. The Civic Agency Initiative seeks to further develop and operationalize the concept of civic agency. The goal of this initiative is to produce a series of national models for developing civic agency among undergraduates and to disseminate those models broadly throughout American higher education. For more information about the Civic Agency Initiative, please visit our website or wiki.

To register for the Institute and reserve your hotel room for this excitinginstitute, please contact Cecilia M. Orphan.

Hotel Information


Hotel Information:  Please read carefully


AASCU has negotiated a rate of $169 at the Marriott Residence Inn, located at 1199 Vermont Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20005. This hotel is a short distance (0.6 mile) from the AASCU offices. You will be able to walk to AASCU’s 1307 New York Avenue location. The hotel cut-off date to receive this conference rate is Wednesday, October 13th. Breakfast at the hotel is included in the $169 rate.

AASCU operates tax-free in Washington, DC and as a courtesy to our members, we will be making all hotel reservations and hotel rooms will be tax-free as well. In order to receive the tax free benefit, AASCU will pay for your hotel room in advance and then invoice you for your stay after the meeting.

You will need to provide a credit card for incidentals upon arrival to the hotel.

PLEASE NOTE:  If you must cancel your hotel room, please notify AASCU by Noon on the day of your scheduled arrival. If you do not notify us in time, you will be charged for a one-night stay. You will not receive the conference rate if you call the hotel directly to make your room reservation. You must make your reservations through AASCU by filling out the attached registration form or by calling Jill Gately, Meetings Manager, at 202-478-4668.

Program Highlights


  • Presentations by Civic Agency campus representatives about their work
  • An exploration of the importance of Public Work led by Harry Boyte
  • Community Organizing 101
  • Facilitated discussions by Harry Boyte and Dennis Donovan of the Center for Democracy and Citizenship
  • Information about how to join the national Civic Agency Initiative
  • Information about how to launch a Public Achievement project on your campus
  • An opportunity to develop a campus project plan

For questions about the program, please contact Cecilia Orphan ( or 202-478-7833.


For questions about the hotel, please contact Jill Gately ( or 202-478-4668.

See you in DC in November!

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