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Posts tagged ‘democratic dialogue’

New NIFI Issues Guides: Climate Change and Human Trafficking

 

Check out the following two new Issues Guides from our friends at The Kettering Foundation and the National Issues Forums Institute:

climate choices forumThis new issue guide titled Climate Change: How Should We Meet the Challenges of a Warming Planet?  from the Kettering Foundation and the North American Association for Environment Education is available free download. The Environment and Society Series is designed to promote meaningful, productive deliberation, convened locally and online, about difficult issues that affect the environment and communities.

All around is evidence that the climate is changing. Summers are starting earlier and lasting longer. Heat waves are becoming more frequent and intense. Dry regions are getting drier and wet regions are seeing heavier rains. Record cold and snowfalls blanket some parts of the country, while record fires ravage forests across the West.

Climate disruptions have some people worried about their health, their children, their homes, their livelihoods, their communities, and even their personal safety. They wonder about the future of the natural areas they enjoy and the wild animals and plants that live there. In addition, there are growing concerns about our national security and how climate change might affect scarce resources around the planet and increase global tensions.

Other links:

  • Climate Choices: How Should We Meet the Challenges of a Warming Planet? – Post-forum Questionnaire
  • Climate Choices: How Should We Meet the Challenges of a Warming Planet? – Options Chart

human trafficking forum.jpgThis 8-page issue guide, titled Human Trafficking: How Can Our Community Respond to This Growing Problem? and compiled by the Maricopa Community College (a TDC campus) with guidance from Dr. Dominique Roe-Sepowitz, Director of the Office of Sex Trafficking Intervention Research in Arizona State University is available as a free download and a video overview is available to watch online. The guide presents three possible approaches for consideration:

  • Approach 1: Focus on Families’ and the Community’s Roles;
  • Approach 2: Focus on Schools, First Responders and Other Professionals;
  • Approach 3: Reform Laws and Policies.

Many Americans are unaware of the extent to which human trafficking is an issue in their communities. Others may be aware of some aspects of the problem, but may feel powerless to do anything about it. But as law enforcement and others document a growing industry in human trafficking across the country, what can and should our community do to combat the problem?

Partner and Friend Spotlight: 4 Resources from Everyday Democracy

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Top 4 Resources from Everyday Democracy
Did you know that Everyday Democracy has many resources to help you create community change including discussion guideshandouts and worksheetshow-to handbooks, and reports.

To get you started, here are the top four resources from Everyday Democracy:

  1. Facing Racism in a Diverse Nation Discussion Guide
    This discussion guide is designed to help all kinds of people take part in meaningful dialogue to examine gaps among racial and ethnic groups and create institutional and policy change.
  2. Protecting Communities, Serving the Public Discussion Guide
    This discussion guide designed to help communities bring police and residents together to build trust and respect, develop better policies, and make changes for safer communities.
  3. A Guide for Training Public Dialogue Facilitators
    This comprehensive training curriculum includes advice for creating a training program for both youth and adults, with expanded facilitator training, plus suggestions for ongoing support and evaluation of dialogue facilitators.
  4. Organizing Community-Wide Dialogue for Action and Change
    This comprehensive guide to help you develop a community-wide dialogue to change program from start to finish.

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.

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