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Partner Spotlight: The Democracy Imperative

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

National partners are extremely important to the success of the American Democracy Project. With limited time and resources, without our partners we would not be able to offer our members the amount of innovative resources and programming we currently do.

Occasionally, I use the ADP Blog to spotlight the work of some of our stellar partners who have helped advance ADP as a national movement. Today I am highlighting the work of The Democracy Imperative (TDI). TDI’s mission is to strengthen public life and democracy in and through higher education. TDI’s mission has a lot of connection to ADP’s mission of preparing informed, engaged citizens for our democracy.

I became acquainted with the work of TDI when I attended the No Better Time conference the summer of 2008. The Executive Director of TDI, Nancy Thomas, also spoke at our national meeting in Providence. She gave a thoughtful and well-received presentation on politics, power and privilege in community/university partnerships. I have been deeply impressed with TDI’s ability to bring community members, pracademics (practitioners/academics), students, faculty members, administrators and staff  together with the goal of improving democracy.

TDI is a national network of multidisciplinary scholars, campus leaders, and civic leaders in the fields of democratic dialogue, public deliberation, and democracy-building. In ADP, we see democratic dialogue and deliberation as key 21st Century Skills that students need to hone in order to be effective citizens and professionals. TDI’s work has challenged us in higher education to consider how we are helping our communities develop these skills.

Membership in TDI would dovetail nicely with participation in ADP for a campus striving to develop and expand their democracy-building agenda. And the best part about the membership in TDI is that it is free! The TDI website is rich with resources and information about teaching deliberative democracy, democratic leadership and decision making. I urge you to spend some time on TDI’s website and consider joining this incredible network of colleagues and scholars who care deeply about higher education’s role in advancing American democracy.

To learn more about TDI, please visit this website.

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