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ADP Remembers 9/11: Free Discussion Guide Available from Everyday Democracy

In order to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the tragic events of September 11, 2001, I will be posting a variety of resources and guest blog posts about ways in which ADP campuses or partner organizations are working to create teachable moments with which to engage students in conversations about the effects of 9/11 on our democracy and ways we can work collectively as informed, engaged citizens to affect positive change in our society.

Today’s blog post is adapted, with permission, from The National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation’s August 29, 2011 Community News Story, “What will you do on 9/11?”

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

With the tenth anniversary of the tragic events of September 11, 2001 right around the corner, our friends at Everyday Democracy have made available a new discussion guide, One Nation, Many Beliefs: Talking About Religion in a Diverse Democracy (2011) on their website.

This free discussion tool is adapted from a 2006 LaGuardia Community College guide. According to Everyday Democracy, the One Nation, Many Beliefs discussion guide is “designed to strengthen relationships and understanding across religious and philosophical perspectives as a foundation for talking about intergroup tensions and the role of religion in public decision making.”

While most people don’t blame religious differences for causing 9/11, in the aftermath of the tragedy, tensions surfaced between people with different religious beliefs. We were reminded of how these tensions simmer just beneath the surface when, in August 2010, a controversy erupted over locating an Islamic cultural center in lower Manhattan near Ground Zero.

This discussion guide can help us honor and remember the 9/11 victims by working together to create a more vibrant democracy that honors the voices of all of its people. It explains how to run a “dialogue-to-change” or “study circle” effort on your campus or in your community that will help foster relationships across religious differences and to explore the role of religion in our community and national lives.

To download the “One Nation, Many Beliefs” discussion guide in PDF form, go here.

Please let Everyday Democracy know if you use the guide and how it worked so that they can improve the guide. You can do so by emailing mrogers.bursen [at] everyday-democracy [dot] org.

To see NCDD’s original “What will you do on 9/11?” Community News story, go here.

New MLK, Jr. National Memorial is Inspiring and a Cause for Reflection

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

Between natural disasters here on the East Coast last week (a 5.8 earthquake last Wednesday and Hurricane Irene this past weekend) I found time to visit the new national monument on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial is stunning. It is a fitting reminder of the important — albeit unfinished — work of a citizen who inspired a sense of civic agency and purpose in generations of Americans. As you walk through the “mountain of despair” and come around to the “stone of hope” in which MLK’s likeness is carved, you get a sense of his work and his dream for our democracy — that we as a nation live up to our founding principle of all persons being created equal. 

The new MLK Memorial overlooks the Tidal Basin and is situated across the basin from the Jefferson Memorial and is nearby to the Lincoln and Washington Memorials. The surrounding “Inscription Walls” and the memorial as a whole are cause for contemplation and reflection — about how we use our own civic agency to enact change in our communities — local, national, and global, and what kind of society we want to leave as our legacy for the generations that come after us.

As we think about our work in the American Democracy Project,  this MLK quote from 1959, inscribed on the wall of the memorial, particularly spoke to me: “Make a career of humanity. Commit yourself to the noble struggle for equal rights. You will make a greater person of yourself, a greater nation of your country, and a finer world to live in.” Career preparation is an important role of higher education and entails not only helping students get jobs, but also helping students develop the key civic skills and competencies that employers seek in their employees. These are the same civic skills and competencies that students will require as they  consider their roles as informed and engaged citizens in our democracy and as they contemplate their “careers” as citizens.

I hope you have the opportunity to visit this new memorial, and if you’re in town stop by AASCU and visit us!

For more information about the MLK, Jr. Memorial go here.

ADP and The Democracy Commitment mentioned in ACPA Summer Newsletter “The Pipeline”

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

The American Democracy Project and our new sister community college civic engagement initiative The Democracy Commitment were recently included in ACPA’s Commission on Student Development in the Two-Year College’s Summer 2011 newsletter “The Pipeline.”

ACPA: College Student Educators International’s Commission for Student Development in the Two-Year College is “is directly concerned with issues relevant to student development programs at two-year institutions.”

In her “From the Chair” introduction, Dr. Lisa Kelsay, the current chair of the Commission for Student Development in the Two-Year College, wrote, “Recently, I had the opportunity to participate in the American Democracy Project National Meeting and The Democracy Commitment planning meeting in Orlando, FL. The American Democracy Project began in 2003 as an initiative of the 4-year colleges and it has grown extensively since day one. The goal according to the ADP is to “produce graduates who are committed to being active, involved citizens in their communities.” The Democracy Commitment was created to focus on democracy at the 2-year college level. The excitement level by faculty, staff, and students from the 2- and 4-year colleges in attendance was incredible. Keynote speakers such as Erica Williams (Civic Engagement Laboratory) and Andrew Rosenthal (New York Times) brought such a depth to the information shared. Through conversations with attendees and at various workshops, I learned about many projects and programs that we could implement on our campus through collaboration between academic and student affairs. I believe that participating in this initiative would be good for all 2-year colleges. To learn more about this program and how your college can become a part of this new initiative, go to”

The newsletter also includes a portion of Cecilia Orphan’s earlier interview with The Democracy Commitment co-founder Dr. Bernie Ronan from this blog’s March 2011 post, “The Democracy Commitment: Community Colleges in the Mix.”

You can view the Summer 2011 edition of “The Pipeline” electronic newsletter here.

For more information about ACPA’s Commission for Student Development in the Two-Year College, go here.

Civic Engagement Position Opening: Salisbury University (MD)

Occasionally I am sent job postings for civic engagement opportunities within the AASCU network. Below you will find a recent job listing. Please pass this along to anyone you know of who is looking for an exciting opportunity to do civic work at an AASCU school! – Jen Domagal-Goldman


Salisbury University is seeking qualified applicants for the position of Managing Director, The Institute for Public Policy and Civic Engagement (PACE).

Primary Job Duties: Work with the Director of PACE to identify, develop and execute program planning; identify, coordinate and engage in SU community, outreach and publicity activities; interact and/or correspond with students, faculty, administration, board, speakers, and donors; research civic/political engagement issues; grant writing; coordinate Presidential Citizen Scholar Program; supervise PACE student employees; and manage the daily operations of the Institute. Writing responsibilities include the PACE newsletter; annual report; grant applications; website updates; press releases and media advisories; Event Briefing Memos; and all external PACE correspondence, brochures and promotional materials. May have the opportunity to teach undergraduate courses.

Minimum Qualifications: Master’s degree or PhD. in public policy, public administration, nonprofit management, or political science; and eight years of program management or similar experience.

Applications received by August 14, 2011 will be given first consideration.

You can view the entire job posting here.

You can read more about PACE here.

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