Civic Engagement & Democracy News from our Friends at the DDC

DDCSelected News from the Deliberative Democracy Consortium

  • Can a group of people write a graphic novel about civic infrastructure? We’ll find out at the Frontiers of Democracy conference
  • Public Agenda celebrates their 40th anniversary and opens the Yankelovich Center for Public Judgment –
  • New issue of the Journal of Public Deliberation – has articles on online deliberation, institutional design, inclusion, recruitment, voting, culture, divided societies, and more, by authors like John Gastil, Alan Tomkins, Carolina Johnson, and Jennifer Stromer-Galley, and reviews of books by Josh Lerner, Chris Karpowitz and Tali Mendelberg, Paula Cossart, and Jose Marichal
  • Rich Harwood champions the role of libraries in engagement, as “uniquely trusted local institutions” –
  • Boiling down public engagement to four basic types –
  • How can “social deliberative skills” be encouraged and supported online? New research from Tom Murray and colleagues
  • Personal Democracy Forum is now accepting applications for its Civic Hall Fellowship Program –
  • New National Issues Forums guide on health care costs –
  • Using keypad polling as part of community planning in Laconia, NH – @OrtonFoundation
  • The Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life at the University of Texas is seeking a new director –
  • Latest issue of the National Civic Review focuses on the connection between engagement and educational opportunities
  • The new Promising Practice Database is a feature of membership in the National Civic League – @allamericacity
  • How schools in Pittsfield, NH have implemented a more democratic, student-centered approach to leaning –
  • MetroQuest releases a free guide to effective online engagement –
  • Luca Belgiorno-Nettis reflects on whether the great democratic documents of the past have meaning for us today –
  • What do we mean, exactly, by “participation?” Take the survey at to help clarify
  • The Rockefeller Brothers Fund revises its guidelines for its Democratic Practice Program – @RockBrosFund
  • Online engagement platforms mainly involve the privileged? Probably. Here’s why this matters – and why it doesn’t –
  • Should all institutions be democratic? No, says Peter Levine
  • The National Issues Forums Institute releases three new discussion guides on water issues –
  • “The biggest crisis in the world is that we are at a low point in how we all participate in shaping our communities”
  • IAP2 USA seeks nominations for 2015 Core Values Awards, for project, research project, and organization of the year –
  • Rita Allen Foundation announces $515,000 in grants to build civic engagement through technology and media –
  • The session schedule is filling in for the Frontiers of Democracy conference, June 25-27. See the list so far at
  • Everyday Democracy on how to create spaces for all voices, in Baltimore and elsewhere –
  • “‘When people have meaningful, productive roles in making public decisions and solving public problems, we get smarter, more equitable, more broadly supported public policies,’ says Leighninger”
  • Peter Levine has been named associate dean of Tisch College; Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg will succeed him as CIRCLE director
  • Peter Levine & Eric Liu find that no civic renewal organization “ has managed to be large, deep, diverse, and focused”
  • Martin Carcasson and Leah Sprain introduce “deliberative inquiry,” a theory designed to aid the work of practitioners – “ Deliberative inquiry moves from a linear event-focused model where deliberation produces refined public opinion and decision outcomes to using deliberative principles to guide a cyclical learning process.”
  • The Democracy Fund releases its first annual report –
  • The National Conference on Citizenship will be held October 9 in DC –
  • Laura Black, Tim Shaffer, and Nancy Thomas take stock of the field of public deliberation for JPD – “Traditionally, journals haven’t played a central role in social change. But for JPD, we have the potential to do more than a traditional ‘academic’ journal. This is not to be interpreted as a diminishment of rigorous scholarship; instead, we see it as a commitment to making scholarship meaningful to people and communities.”
  • Submit lab ideas now for the World Forum for Democracy 2015. Theme: “Freedom vs control: For a democratic response”
  • “The future of journalism and the future of civic engagement are closely intertwined.”
  • Combining thick and thin engagement in budgeting through a new tool, Balancing Act – @BalancingActEP

Partner Spotlight: Ready to Find Common Ground? Bring it to Your Table

Bring it to the Table Logo

Ready to Find Common Ground?
Bring it to Your Table
by Julie Winokur

Emmy Nominated Filmmaker Julie Winokur

Emmy Nominated Filmmaker Julie Winokur

Last year I came to the ADP/TDC national meeting excited about finally finding people, who like me, were tired of divisive politics. This year, I’m even more enthusiastic as I officially roll out our toolkit and campus-wide launch for Bring It to The Table.    

My session takes place Friday, June 5 @ 1:45 p.m. in Studio 9.  

What started as a challenge from my teenage son to become more politically tolerant, morphed into a documentary film which then transformed into an interactive experience that engages citizens in reclaiming civil discourse. The goal of Bring It to The Table is not to change anyone’s political affiliation or belief system, but to empower students to take an active role in breaking down hyper-partisanship at the ground level, citizen-to-citizen. We would like to see Bring It to The Table events take place on ADP, TDC and NASPA campuses across the country as a resounding affirmation that students want and need their voices heard.


Our 40-minute film provides an exciting event for campus organizers to convene students and their community in a dynamic, innovative format. The film is followed by live Table Talks where audience members engage in civil discourse. Our new toolkit offers a roadmap on how to implement and adapt what we’ve found to be successful. We have also developed a mobile app that turns audience members into active participants while collecting data to measure audience impact.  As I return to ADP this year I am excited to provide schools with their own toolkit for campus activities, including a DVD and our web-based mobile app with a personalized access code.

BtT app image

Special Offer:  We will give 25% off the DVD and toolkit for ADP/TDC/NASPA members now through September 2015.

New Trailer: view it here.

To learn more about Bring It and how you can take it to your college campus, please visit our website: and follow us on twitter: @2thetable

[CLDE15 Meeting Update] Campus & Friends Showcase 2015


Do you want to share your CLDE campus activities?
Are you an ADP/TDC/NASPA partner organization?
Do you want to promote the work of your campus or organization?

Consider hosting a table at the Campus & Friends Showcase at the 2015 ADP/TDC/NASPA Civic Learning & Democratic Engagement Meeting in New Orleans, La.

Thursday, June 4, 2015
4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. (during the opening reception)

For the tenth year in a row, we will feature the ever-popular Campus & Friends Showcase—a wonderful opportunity to share and celebrate your work and help others learn how to promote civic learning and engagement on their own campuses. There is no cost to participate. Simply complete this registration form, available here, no later than Tuesday, May 26, 2015.

The Campus and Friends Showcase will take place on Thursday, June 4th from 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. during the opening reception. The Showcase is designed as an exhibit area with tables available for presenters. People love to see what other campuses are doing with ADP, TDC and NASPA, and the Showcase also serves as an important networking opportunity for project participants to connect with national leaders in the civic engagement movement.

It is important to note that the Campus & Friends Showcase is different than the poster sessions, which were solicited during the Call for Proposals. The poster session is designed to be more research-oriented, and the Showcase is set up as an exhibit to provide opportunities for information, networking, and collaboration.

More information about the purpose and structure of the Showcase, registration, the materials you should provide, and set-up details can be found on the Campus and Friends Flyer 2015. If you have any questions, please email Cait Reilly at

If you haven’t already done so, don’t forget to register for the 2015 ADP/TDC/NASPA Civic Learning & Democratic Engagement Meeting, June 4-6, 2015. To register for the meeting visit our website.

Partner Spotlight: Imagining America’s new issue of Public

IA Public

Imagining America (IA) is pleased to announce that “Organizing. Culture. Change.” goes live May 14th. The first section grows out of the 2014 IA Conference on the same theme:

  • the keynote, “Words Changing the World: The Power of Personal, Communal, and Allegorical Stories in Bringing Dreams to Reality,” by Doug Shipman;
  • a response to Shipman’s presentation by a cadre of IA PAGE (Publicly Active Graduate Education) Fellows;
  • Erica Kohl-Arenas’ conversation with long-time IA friend and civic engagement leader Harry Boyte and executive director of Alternate ROOTS Carlton Turner; and
  • an inside look at how the 2014 conference was organized by IA associate director Kevin Bott, community organizer Maria Avila, and Emory University faculty member and administrator Vialla Hartfield-Mendez.

This new issue of Public then features a piece by Marion Wilson on the integration of art as social practice with her teaching, followed by a conversation with McArthur winning artist Rick Lowe.

A broad range of case studies provide examples of integrating culture and organizing:

  • “Public Life through a Prison/University Partnership,” by David Coogan;
  • “ART CART: Saving the Legacy” by Joan Jeffri;
  • “Lost Stories and Cultural Patrimony” by Pat Steenland;
  • “Citizen Stories: A New Path to Cultural Change ” by Alexander Olson, Elizabeth Gish, and Terry Shoemaker; and
  • “Reimagine A Lot” by Claudia Paraschiv.

The issue ends with Ben Fink’s review of Harry Boyte’s Democracy’s Education.

You can access the journal at

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