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Posts tagged ‘deliberative dialogue’

New NIFI Issue Guide on The Opioid Epidemic

A new resource is available for dialogue and deliberation from our friends at the National Issues Forums Institute (www.nifi.org):

What Should We Do about the Opioid Epidemic?

This new issue advisory titled What Should We Do about the Opioid Epidemic is now available to order as a downloadable pdf (free). A post-forum questionnaire is also available to download (free).

Opioid Issue Guide

The following is excerpted from the guide.

In the last year, doctors wrote more than 236 million prescriptions for opioids, or about one for every American adult. But many patients became addicted to the painkillers as their bodies began to tolerate higher and higher doses. Others, if they could no longer get prescriptions, switched to heroin; then came the even deadlier fentanyl…

This issue guide presents three options for deliberation, along with their drawbacks. Each option offers advantages as well as risks. If we increase enforcement, for example, this may result in many more people in prison. If we reduce the number of prescriptions written, we may increase suffering among people with painful illnesses.

Option 1: Focus on Treatment for All

This option says that, given the rising number of deaths from opioids, we are not devoting enough resources to treatment to make real headway in turning around the epidemic. Addiction is primarily a medical and behavioral problem, and those are the best tools for combating the crisis. Treatment should be available on demand for anyone who wants it. At the same time, the pharmaceutical companies that have profited from making and promoting opioid painkillers need to contribute more to the solution.

Option 2: Focus on Enforcement

This option says that our highest priority must be keeping our communities safe and preventing people from becoming addicted in the first place. Strong enforcement measures are needed, including crackdowns and harsher sentences for dealers, distributors, and overprescribing doctors. And we should take tougher measures to cut off the supply of drugs at the source. Addiction to opioids and other hard drugs brings with it crime and other dangers, and closing our eyes to these dangers only makes the problem worse. Mandatory drug testing for more workers is needed. In the long run, a tough approach is the most compassionate.

Option 3: Focus on Individual Choice

This option recognizes that society cannot force treatment on people. We should not continue to waste money on a failed “war on drugs” in any form. Only those who wish to be free of addiction end up recovering. We should be clear that crime will not be tolerated, but if people who use drugs are not harming society or behaving dangerously, they should be tolerated and allowed to use safely, even if they are damaging their own lives, Those who do not or cannot make the decision to get well should not be forced, and communities shouldn’t spend their limited resources trying to force treatment on people.

Click here to read more and to download these materials.


About Deliberation in National Issues Forums
National Issues Forums issue guides are designed to stimulate public deliberation, which is a way of making decisions together that is different from discussion or debate.  The purpose of deliberative forums is to inform collective action.  As citizens, we have to make decisions together before we can act together, whether with other citizens or through legislative bodies.  Acting together is essential for addressing problems that can’t be solved by one group of people or one institution.  These problems have more than one cause and therefore have to be met by a number of mutually reinforcing initiatives with broad public participation.

About the National Issues Forums Institute
The National Issues Forums Institute’s mission is to promote the use of public deliberation in schools, colleges, civic organizations, and religious institutions in the United States.  The institute’s members are volunteers drawn from leaders in government, colleges and universities, libraries, civic organizations, the media, and medicine.  For more information visit www.nifi.org.

#CLDE17: Three Half-Day Pre-conference Workshops the Morning of June 7, 2017

 

During the 2017 Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE) Meeting, there are a variety of pre-conference sessions geared toward honing in on our civic skills. On Wednesday, June 7th, there are three morning pre-cons exploring assessment, engaged scholarship, and dialogue and deliberation training.

Check out the session descriptions below and be sure to register by May 1st for our early-bird rates.

Half-day Morning Pre-conference Workshops
Price: $65/person
Wednesday, June 7 | 9:00 a.m. – Noon

  • Planning for Institution-Wide Data Collection on Civic and Community Engagement
    Most campuses are eager to answer the question “How are the students, faculty, and staff on campus working to address civic issues and public problems?” We will explore this question in this workshop by reviewing a range of strategies to assess community-engaged activities (i.e., curricular, co-curricular, or project-based activities that are done in partnership with the community). In addition to these many strategies, institutions also often approach assessment with a variety of lenses including assessment and evaluation of community outcomes, student outcomes, partnership assessment and faculty/staff engagement among others. In practice, campuses confront an array of challenges to align these approaches into a comprehensive data collection framework and infrastructure. This session will give participants tools, strategies, and information to design, initiate and/or enhance systematic mechanisms for monitoring and auditing community-engaged activities across your institution.
    Organizers: H. Anne Weiss, Director of Assessment, Indiana Campus Compact and Assessment Specialist in Community Engagement, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis; and Ross Markle, Senior Research & Assessment Director, Global Higher Education Division, ETS

 

  • Measures That Matter: Regarding Engaged Scholarship In Tenure and Promotion
    Many higher education institutions have faculty involved in community engaged scholarship but lack strategies for assessing the quality of this work for promotion and tenure or contract renewal. Engaged scholars do not know how to make the case that their work is scholarship and personnel committees do not know how to evaluate non-traditional, engaged scholarship. A knowledge gap exists related to criteria that might be held up against engaged scholarship projects to assess quality and impact. The purpose of this pre-conference workshop is to share specific reforms that can be put in place to define, assess, document, and reward community engaged scholarship. The presenter will share promotion and tenure language that has already been put in place at other institutions and then suggest four criteria that could be used to assess engaged scholarship portfolios.
    Organizer: KerryAnn O’Meara, Professor of Higher Education, Director of UMD ADVANCE, University of Maryland, College Park
  • Dialogue and Democratic Deliberation: Moderator Training

    NIF Safety & Justice cover.jpgIn preparation for the Friday plenary session, Democratic Deliberation on Safety and Justice, we invite conference participants to this pre-conference institute for an introduction to democratic deliberation and moderator skills. During this session, participants examine democratic dialogue and deliberation while learning the skills and roles of active and engaged moderation.

    Organizers: Kara Lindaman, Professor of Political Science, Winona State University (Minn.); John Dedrick, Vice-President, Kettering Foundation; William Muse, President Emeritus, National Issues Forum Institute; and John J. Theis, Executive Director, Center for Civic Engagement, Lone Star College (Texas)

In order to promote forums on this issue for the Kettering Foundation’s annual report to policymakers in Washington DC,  National Issues Forum Institute (NIFI) is making the PDF of this issue guide FREE to download for anyone convening forums from January 1, 2017 – May 9, 2017. If you hold a forum using the free materials, please submit a moderator report and have the forum participants complete the post-forum questionnaire to ensure the insights from your community are captured in the report. More information about this opportunity can be found on the National Issue Forums website.

Be sure to register by May 1st for our best rates and book your hotel room by May 16 at our special group rate!

New NIFI Issue Guide: “Bridging and Bonding – Creating Engaged Communities in a Time of Rapid Change”

By Renee Baharaeen, AASCU Civic Engagement Intern and Truman State University Student

Our friends at the National Issues Forums Institute bring you a new 16-page issue guide, titled Bridging and Bonding: How Can We Create Engaged Communities in a Time of Rapid Change?, was created by the General Federation of Women’s Clubs in collaboration with the Kettering Foundation and Franklin Pierce University.

Bridging and Bonding – How Can We Create Engaged Communities in a Time of Rapid Change?

As time has progressed, Americans are now beginning to work longer and harder than they have historically. With a societal focus shifting towards the importance of income, a decrease can be seen in civic engagement activities and volunteering. Changes also show a decline in community “social capital”, or connecting with others. Additionally, emerging trends reveal technology and entertainment are becoming more prevalent in society and causing changes in communication practices.

This guide presents readers with three ideas on how to revitalize the importance of an engaged community in a rapidly changing time.

Option 1: Embrace the Change and Affirm Differences

The first option focuses on accommodating a diverse population. Diversity is increasing in America, and it is important to understand and accept the changes. However, this option also comes with a risk that more traditional members of civic organizations will resist new changes. Additionally, this option could potentially create weaker relationships due to a lack in the quality of communication practices.

Option 2: Strengthen and Renew Traditional Ways of Connecting

Option 2 encourages creating ways for community members to bond in person. It is based on the idea that physical contact is how individuals create strong relationships. Focusing on the community will put an emphasis on cultural importance, giving everyone a role to play. On the contrary, this idea can also create fragmented communities, not encouraging communication with others outside of the local population. Additionally, resources spent on cultural efforts may take away resources from other societal concerns such as poverty, education, and health care.

Option 3: Meet People Where They Are

The final option is to understand and accept the social and economic circumstances of individuals. While time may not be an affordable option, people may be willing to contribute to their community in other ways such as donating money. It is important to consider, however, that this option may encourage economic and professional development emphasizing individualism rather than collectivism.

Learn more about the issue guide here and download the issue guide (pdf) here.

New National Issues Forum: The Changing World of Work–What Should We Ask of Higher Education?

National Issues Forums Institute
Releases New Issue Guide

NIFI GUIDE IMAGE

The Changing World of Work:
What Should We Ask of Higher Education?

FREE download – For a limited time, this guide is available as a free pdf download for those who would like to be part of this national project by holding community forums for a national report on this issue.

A new issue guide about higher education’s role in society, The Changing World of Work, from the Kettering Foundation and the National Issues Forums Institute (NIFI), explores questions about what role higher education should play in preparing people for the workplace:

There is a pervasive anxiety in America about the future of higher education. Spiraling costs combined with seismic changes in the American workplace raise questions about whether a bachelor’s degree is still worth the cost. In a recent cover story, Newsweek magazine asked: “Is College a Lousy Investment?” For a growing number of Americans, the answer appears to be yes…

The guide presents three possible options for deliberation.

  • Option One: Prepare students for the job market.
  • Option Two: Educate for leadership and change.
  • Option Three: Build strong communities.

Groups, organizations, and individuals planning to hold forums using this issue guide are invited to become part of the conversation and national report by posting forums on the National Issues Forums website calendar. Just sign up for an account, then log in and post your event. Your efforts are appreciated.

Learn more and to order or download these issue materials.


About Deliberation in National Issues Forums
National Issues Forums issue guides are designed to stimulate public deliberation, which is a way of making decisions together that is different from discussion or debate. The purpose of deliberative forums is to inform collective action. As citizens, we have to make decisions together before we can act together, whether with other citizens or through legislative bodies. Acting together is essential for addressing problems that can’t be solved by one group of people or one institution.  These problems have more than one cause and therefore have to be met by a number of mutually reinforcing initiatives with broad public participation.


About the National Issues Forums Institute
The National Issues Forums Institute’s mission is to promote the use of public deliberation in schools, colleges, civic organizations, and religious institutions in the United States. The institute’s members are volunteers drawn from leaders in government, colleges and universities, libraries, civic organizations, the media, and medicine. For more information visit www.nifi.org.

Campus Spotlight: ADP at CSUF Does Dialogue Right

By Stephanie South, Program Associate, AASCU

cal state fullertonFacebook has been aflutter with political commentary and heated debate over a variety of hot-button issues ever since the election ended but especially in recent weeks as a result of the Connecticut shootings and the fiscal cliff issues facing Congress.

While advocates of civil discourse are no doubt glad that people are coming to the table to talk, speech that is divisive and unproductive is not necessarily the desired outcome.

Perhaps this is why the American Democracy Project at California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) hosted a series of town hall meetings aimed at engaging students and teachers in discussion around the topics that are most likely to produce these kind of disputes. The goal of the gatherings is to bring the peace back to participation. To educate students how and get them to engage in dialogue that is informed and free of hostility. Discussions that move people from shouting to listening and the community from screaming to solutions.

The first series of these town halls was focused on social policy and drew over 250 attendees on the first day. A session on economics followed it a couple days later, and the most recent one focused on civil rights and liberties—including same-sex marriage, women’s rights, immigration, and legalization of marijuana.

To read more on these roundtables, click here.
You can also “like” CSUF’s ADP Townhall on Facebook here.

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