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ADP National Meeting Update: Featured Sessions Lineup

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

This year we have a spectacular set of Featured Sessions planned for theAmerican Democracy Project National Meeting in Orlando, June 2-4, 2011. Featured sessions are smaller than the large plenary sessions, but longer and bigger than our concurrent sessions. They provide participants with the opportunity to dig deeply into a variety of topics with some of the nation’s leading experts in the civic engagement movement. Please see below for a description of eight of our exciting Featured Sessions.

To register for the ADP National Meeting, please visit this website.

ADP National Meeting Featured Sessions

Featured Sessions: Block 1 ∙ Friday, June 3 ∙ 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
The Need for Civility and A New Approach to Online Problem-Solving

There are currently two billion people online around the world. With the growth of social networking sites and the increase of online participants, instances of online hostility have grown not just in frequency but also in severity. Online hostility has become a social epidemic and the negative effects on its victims are extreme. This is not acceptable, and we as a global community need to draw a strict line in the sand and say enough is enough.

This session outlines the extent of the problem, addresses the emotional, physical and reputational effects on victims, talks about why the unique culture of college-age students makes them particularly vulnerable, and discusses what can be done to create a healthy online environment where everyone can fully engage and contribute without fear or threat of being the target of unwarranted abuse, harassment, or lies.

Andrea Weckerle, Founder, CiviliNation

Strengthening Local Democracy Through Civic Engagement : Active Citizenship in Eau Claire, WI The presentation will review the civic engagement model and process used to train citizens to do public work and to strengthen democracy within the greater Eau Claire community. Key results and lessons learned in implementing the civic engagement model will be shared.Mike Huggins, Eau Claire City Manager, Tom McCarty, Eau Claire County Administrator, and Don Mowry, Director, Center for Service Learning, University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire
Developing Democracy’s Hubs: Campus Centers and Institutes as Critical Resources for Passionate Impartiality As the deliberative democracy movement continues to expand, a number of centers and institutes have developed at our colleges and universities across the country that are dedicated to serving as critical impartial conveners and facilitators for their local communities. Such sources of “passionate impartiality” are increasingly essential to a high functioning democracy. Martín Carcasson founded the CSU Center for Public Deliberation (CPD) in the fall of 2005, and continues to serve as the director.  The CPD relies heavily on the work of student associates that earn class credit while being trained as deliberative practitioners, and who then work on a wide variety of local projects focused on improving the quality of public discussion and building capacity for community problem solving. He will discuss what brought him to the work, his experiences of developing the center and working with the students, and the future role for “democracy’s hubs” like the CPD in our democracy and our campuses.Martín Carcasson, Director, Center for Public Deliberation, Colorado State University

The Democracy Commitment and ADP

This session will introduce a new national partnership between the American Democracy Project and The Democracy Commitment, a national coalition of community colleges. How will this partnership work, how can our communities and regions benefit, and how can we assist students in making the transition from community college engagement work to university engagement work?  How is this partnership strategically important during the current period, and how can we grow the connections between ADP institutions and TDC institutions?

Presenters: George L. Mehaffy, Vice President, Academic Leadership and Change, AASCU, DC, Brian Murphy, President, De Anza College, CA, Felice Nudelman, Director, Director of Education, The New York TimesBernie Ronan, Associate Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs, Maricopa Community Colleges, AZ, Cecilia M. Orphan, National Manager, American Democracy Project, AASCU, DC, and Andrew Mott, Director, Community Learning Partnerships, DC

Featured Sessions: Block 2 Saturday, June 4 ∙Noon – 1:30 p.m.
Interactive Townhall on Student Engagement Unlike a political townhall, this will be an interactive, problem-solving session.  Participants will co-create and share various models for engaging students in deeper conversations on campus.  The first phase of the session will consist of small-group discussions about obstacles, and the second phase of the session will consist of small-group discussions about resources and potential solutions.  Participants can expect to share effective practices with each other and to explore partnerships that span multiple institutions.Lucas Cioffi, CEO, Athena Bridge, Inc.
Happiness Initiatives: A New Model For Citizen and Student Engagement Happiness science is hot these days. Models like the Seattle Area Happiness Initiative can help students understand what they need and want from life, and how they can work with others to achieve loftier goals than money and “stuff.”  Learn how this exciting new project from Sustainable Seattle helps students explore the deeper meanings of work and life and draws them into engaged citizenship.John de Graaf, Author, Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic, and  Executive Director of Take Back Your Time
Strategies for Re-imagining Undergraduate Education: Preserving a Civic Engagement Agenda While Addressing the Forces Affecting Higher Education If the goal of the Red Balloon Project is to re-imagine undergraduate education, the immediate question becomes “What are we re-imagining undergraduate education for?” Answering the “what for” is perhaps the most important part of our work. In this roundtable discussion, we will explore ways to focus our re-structuring and re-thinking on citizenship preparation, and by doing so, protect higher education’s most important public purpose: the maintenance and improvement of American democracy.George L. Mehaffy, Vice President, Academic Leadership and Change, AASCU
Civic Health in the “New Normal” In collaboration with our ADP campus partners, NCoC will explore the challenges and opportunities in mobilizing their civic potential given today’s systemic economic crisis. As an open topic for consideration, it would be our aim to elevate the current dialogue to give education leaders and civic engagement practitioner’s new insights to the challenges they face within their respective campus communities.Kristen Cambell, Director, Programs and New Media, National Conference on Citizenship, DC, Patricia Loughlin, Associate Professor of History, University of Central Oklahoma, and Michael Stout, Assistant Professor of Sociology Anthropology and Criminology, Missouri State University
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