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Posts tagged ‘Dialogue and Deliberation’

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?

Free Materials to hold forums on Economic Inequality from NIFI

Special Offer from NIFI – FREE Materials for Forums

Making Ends Meet: How Should We Spread Prosperity and Improve Opportunity?

NIF
Over the past several months, the Kettering Foundation has been researching the increasingly important issue of economic inequality. The naming and framing of this issue has focused on the growing inequality and the difficulty that families have with surviving economically.

The outcome is a new National Issues Forums (NIFI) issue guide entitled, Making Ends Meet: How Should We Spread Prosperity and Improve Opportunity? The guide will be ready for distribution in early December. Our goal is to have 100 forums by the end of March 2016 so that the results of this research can be reported at the A Public Voice (APV) event in Washington on May 4th.

Hence, a special offer is being presented to the first 100 conveners and/or moderators who agree to conduct a forum. They will receive 20 FREE copies of the issue guide and a copy
of the starter video. The moderator will be expected to have each participant complete the questionnaire following the forum and to mail them back to us. I am asking each of you to consider offering a forum to a group with whom you have contact and who you feel is interested in this issue-your church, a book club, a class you are teaching, a civic organization to which you belong, etc. You can make a significant contribution to spreading awareness of public deliberation and to helping to find a solution to this significant public issue.

Sign up for this offer from NIFI here.

Text, Talk, Act: National Conversations about Mental Health

Text, Talk, Act is a nationwide conversation on mental health and how to help a friend in need. How does this work? A group of friends gets together and through text messaging the group receives discussion questions that lead them through a conversation about mental health. Talking about the importance of mental health issues is essential, but many people don’t know how to start the conversation.

You can register your school, club, or organization to win a prize for participating in Text, Talk, Act of $1,000 by clicking here.

TTA Infographic Fall 2015_0.

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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