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From the CommunityFrom the Community

#NCDD2018 is Here!

Today is the day! #NCDD2018 is finally here and we couldn’t be more excited!! As our fantastic D&D community convenes, we look forward to a jam-packed weekend filled with inspiring speakers, an exciting variety of great workshops, the hottest efforts in civic engagement, and so much more!

This weekend will be a great opportunity to connect with hundreds of folks passionate about dialogue, deliberation, and public engagement work! Connect with movers and shakers in the field as we explore how to further strengthen our capacity for this work and amplify D&D across the nation and world.

You can still join us if you’re in the Denver/Colorado area -check out the registration page here and consider registering for even just one day at the $175 one-day registration rate!

The NCDD 2018 Guidebook: A Comprehensive Guide

We have several exciting options of our #NCDD2018 guidebook for conference attendees to check out. Our beautiful guidebooks were created by our co-founder, Andy Fluke; so make sure you pick up your hard copy at the NCDD registration office! In addition to our classic offering, we teamed up with Konveio who is hosting a digital, interactive version – which you can find here. The Konveio digital version allows NCDDers to makes comments on sessions, engage with other attendees, tweet directly from the guidebook, and more. It’s great addition to our usual conference experience, so check it out!

Follow along on social media

NCDD will be keeping you up to date on about what’s happening during the conference via our social media outlets, so make sure to be part of the conversation! Our conference team and attendees will be live tweeting the whole conference on Twitter, so follow us @NCDD and using the hashtags #NCDD2018, #NCDD, and #NCDDEmergingLeaders.

You can also follow along on NCDD’s Facebook page or on Instagram via ncdd_network. These will all be great ways to be part of the conversation even if you’re not here with us in Denver.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Discover All the Great Offerings at #NCDD2018!

#NCDD2018 is almost here! Just another day until our pre-conference sessions kick off on Thursday and we couldn’t be more excited to start seeing folks again! In order to really get the most out of #NCDD2018 we encourage you to check out the extra offerings at the conference, in addition to our inspiring speakers, over 60 workshops, and 30+ presenters at the D&D Showcase.

The full conference schedule is on the NCDD blog and make sure you check out the interactive, digital version hosted by Konveio! Share your thoughts here on the blog about the conference theme and how to amplify the work of D&D. Get started on the conference networking early by connecting with other attendees here. If you are looking for a room share at the Sheraton, folks are posting here. Finally, if you haven’t gotten your tickets and you’d like to join us, we have 3-day and single-day tickets still available here. That’s all, folks!

Can’t wait to see everyone at the conference!

Thursday, November 1st

Pre-conference sessions!
We are thrilled to offer five exciting day long and one half-day pre-conference sessions on Thursday, November 1, 2018, prior to the start of NCDD 2018! These sessions are great for people of various levels of experience, and offer a variety of topics. Read through these descriptions and go to ncdd2018-precon.eventbrite.com to register!

  • Standing Up for Social Justice in Times of Fear & Hatred
  • Tackling Wicked Problems in Local Communities: A Workshop for Local Governments, School Districts, and Community Leaders
  • What is Participatory Budgeting and how can it work for me?
  • A Taste of the Theory and Practice of Bohm Dialogue
  • Transforming Community Spaces: A Workshop for Community Facilitators
  • We the People Are More Powerful Than We Dare to Believe: First Steps in Dismantling Corporate Rule

5 – 7pm – Informal Meet & Greet
We welcome all folks participating in pre-conference activities and conference attendees who have arrived early to join NCDD’s Staff at Mix16 Lounge in the hotel lobby for an informal meet & greet!

6 – 7pm – Deliberation Bootcamp
This session, specifically designed for newcomers to the conference, will provide an overall introduction to NCDD and to many of the key concepts, organizations, and challenges related to the field. The session will be led by Martin Carcasson, NCDD Board member and Director of Colorado State University’s Center for Public Deliberation. Email Martín at mcarcas@colostate.edu to let him know you’ll be attending the Bootcamp.  (Governor’s Square 14)

6:30 – 8:30pm – Breaking the Partisan Trance: A dialogue think tank about this American moment
Similar to a couple in the middle of deep-set resentments, growing numbers of Americans today have become so enraged that they can hardly see or hear each other honestly anymore.  The kind of collective distortions that anger generates can be reminiscent at times of a “trance-like” state.  If that’s true, we’re curious about the ways in which dialogue practices can effectively break the almost hypnotic, reflexive reactions that currently paralyze politics. This evening will be dedicated to exploring these possibilities together, and trying them out for ourselves, utilizing various approaches we’ve been exploring, including a Living Room Conversation format and the Transpartisan Matrix to assist in the collective inquiry. Come join the brainstorm.. The fate of the republic depends on it! (Governor’s Square 15)

8 – 9:15pm – Emerging Leaders Mentoring Session
NCDD is hosting a pre-conference event for young people and students. This will be a time for attendees 35 and under to connect with the other younger conference attendees. We will also be kicking off our NCDD 2018 Mentoring Program, which will intentionally connect a cadre of experienced D&D leaders with students and youth attendees during the conference. (Governor’s Square 12)

Friday, November 2nd

 6pm – 8:30pm – White Privilege Symposium Community Event
We are sharing the Ballroom with the White Privilege Symposium for their community event, featuring performances and speakers. Event is open to NCDD attendees and the public.  (Plaza Ballroom)

7:30pm – 9:30pm – National Issues Forum: The Opiod Epidemic
What Should We Do About The Opioid Epidemic?  –  Virgina York will lead attendees in a National Issues Forum on the opioid epidemic. Join fellow attendees to experience the National Issues Forums model and deliberate on possible approaches to this complex national issue. (Governor’s Square 15)

8:30pm and on  – Building Bridges Salon
Join a late night discussion about dialogue and racial privilege after the WPS community kick-off event. Come upstairs around 8:30pm to the 15FIFTY Restaurant & Lounge for a loosely facilitated conversation to explore how WPS attendees & NCDDers can do better together.

Saturday, November 3rd

12:30 – 1:30 pm – Ben Franklin Circles Lunch

Ben Franklin Circles (BFC) use Franklin’s classic 13 virtues to spark discussion about how participants can improve themselves and their communities. Join BFC hosts from around the country for a relaxed lunch and Ben Franklin Circle in action. Get a feel for the BFC approach as we discuss Franklin’s virtue of “Resolution” in relation to our conference theme: connecting and strengthening civic innovators. The combination of Franklin’s original prompts and modern day topics generates a unique lens for civic dialogue and community building. Come eat, explore, and innovate with us. (Plaza Court 2)

For planning purposes it would assist the presenters to know if you will plan to attend this discussion circle.  Please fill out the brief form here.

This lunchtime breakout session is a circle in action. For general information about BFC please see our workshop on Friday Nov. 2nd , Session A.

Hosted by: Tracy Rogers-Tryba, Ben Franklin Circle Host, IL and Danyel Addes -Network and Program Manager, Belfer Center for Innovation and Social Impact, 92nd Street Y

5pm – on – Free Time & Civic Dinner Opportunity

Explore downtown Denver and go out to dinner with new or old friends… We’ll provide you with all you need to organize your evening out!

Conference sponsor Civic Dinners is offering to help people run their own Civic Dinners Saturday night. Civic Dinners helps people transform dinner tables into forums for positive social change. Our friends at Civic Dinners are happy to help anyone who wants to host on any of their three national topics: Bridging the Racial Divide, The Voice of Women, or Common Ground (just launched!).

Civic Dinners will be getting people to sign up during the Showcase/Reception on Friday afternoon. Those of you who’d like to host something at a restaurant or, even better, local folks who’d like to host a Civic Dinner in your home, can plan to do so! If this is of interest to you, email Jenn Graham at jenn@civicdinners.com so you two can connect on the details.

Make sure you check out the full conference schedule for the line-up of workshops, plenaries, and more!

On Monday, NCDD member David Campt will be holding one of his workshops, Dismantling Racism: One Conversation at a Time, on November 5th in Denver. Learn more and register here!

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Apply for EvDem’s Institute for Community Change Leaders

NCDD member, Everyday Democracy – a sponsor of #NCDD2018, recently announced they are seeking applications for their new Institute for Community Change Leaders program. The Institute will be a year-long experience to strengthen leadership and community building skills through a racial equity lens. The first part will be a five-day retreat in December to learn and build relationships with your fellow cohort; then design a plan over the following year to address an issue your community is facing.  Applications are due November 9th. You can read the announcement below and find the original on Everyday Democracy’s site here.


Now Accepting Applications: Institute for Community Change Leaders

EvDem LogoStrengthening democracy in our country and communities will depend on strong, diverse leaders – leaders from all backgrounds and ages who have the skills, knowledge and courage to help people engage with each other across difference, understand and embrace racial equity, and create equitable and sustainable community change.

The Everyday Democracy Institute for Community Change Leaders is a unique experience that will deepen your leadership in engaging your community, in using a racial equity lens, and in leveraging the power of voice and participation as a pathway to equitable change on the issues your community is facing.

Join peers from across the country and across sectors who want to take their leadership to the next level. You will have the opportunity to reflect on the meaning of democracy in this moment, consider ways to address racial equity in the current context, create plans for engaging your community for equitable change, and connect across generations in a community of learning and practice.

The Institute for Community Change is for you if…

  • You want to connect your community leadership to the broader challenges facing our democracy
  • You want to reflect deeply about the kind of leadership that creates opportunity for voice and participation for all and a powerful racial and intergenerational equity framework
  • You would appreciate learning with a community of leaders from all ethnic backgrounds, sectors, and ages
  • You want to improve your skills in engaging the community in dialogue to address tough public issues with a racial equity lens and sustained, people-driven impact.
  • You see the potential of Everyday Democracy’s Dialogue to Change approach for your community and want to learn more about how to apply it.

More about the Institute
The Institute begins with a five-day learning experience designed to help leaders from a variety of sectors deepen their knowledge, skills, and readiness for leading community change in inclusive, participatory and equitable ways.

There will be time for connection, reflection, and skill building in an environment that is supportive of deep learning and fun. Our curriculum will address these topics:

  • The theory and practice of democracy and what it means for today
  • Using a racial and intergenerational equity framework
  • Coaching for inclusive community organizing and community-level change
  • Facilitating intra- and inter-group dialogue
  • Communicating with clarity to various audiences to support inclusive, equitable engagement and change
  • Issue framing that helps people start where they are, talk productively about racial equity, and move to individual and community-level change
  • Using evaluation as a tool to model racial equity and build others’ capacity for leadership and community change
  • Using the arts to expand and deepen community change
  • Self-care in the context of authentic community as a leadership practice

The in-person retreat is the first phase of year-long learning opportunity, as part of a cohort of leaders. In the second phase, Everyday Democracy will support the group through personalized webinars and conference calls, to deepen the learning begun in the retreat and provide opportunities to exchange ideas and experiences. In phase three, we will support participants as they implement a community engagement strategy of their own choosing and design, on an issue of importance to their community. In the final phase, we will support leaders as they reflect on and assess their leadership experiences, share their lessons with each other, and apply their learning to planning their future leadership development.

Who should apply?
The Institute is designed for leaders in a variety of sectors and settings who care about engaging the community in dialogue and change with a racial and intergenerational equity lens. Whether you are a neighborhood problem solver, community organizer, faith leader, school leader, public official, non-profit leaders, or another kind of concerned resident who wants to improve your community’s ability to cross divides and work together in equitable ways, this is for you. We welcome folks from every stage of their leadership practice.

When and where
The practicum and retreat will take place December 10 – 14, 2018 in a hotel and conference center located in scenic south-west Connecticut in the vicinity of parks, museums, and gardens. The facility includes a spa, which participants can enjoy at their own cost. If you are flying into Connecticut, use either Bradley International or Tweed New Haven Airports.

Cost
Your payment of $500 that includes an entire year-long experience will cover your lodging (up to five nights), breakfast and lunch each day of the retreat, and all materials. Other meals and your travel will be your responsibility. If two people are able to attend from the same community, your combined cost will be discounted to $850. If cost is a barrier for your participation, please apply for a scholarship.

How to apply
The application period ends November 9, 2018. Individuals will be notified regarding acceptance by November 14, 2018. Click here to download the application.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

We Are All Catalysts: Part One – How We Can Amplify and Broaden Dialogue and Deliberation Work

“After all, the ordinary hero hiding in each of us is often the most powerful catalyst for change.” ~ Tate Taylor

We all have a spark within and we choose every day how we will or will not use our spark. In our NCDD community, we spark conversations–dialogues that change hearts and minds and steadily change the world. Our sparks can be small or big, but we must work intentionally to ensure that the sparks catch fire. What do I mean by this? I mean that it is up to us, as those working firsthand in the creations of spaces for dialogue and deliberation, that we do not work in isolation. Like the catalysts in science, we must interact with others to create the chemistry worth having in our world.

The upcoming 2018 NCDD conference in Denver seeks to “catalyze the catalysts” by asking how we can work together to broaden the use and amplify the impacts of dialogue and deliberation efforts locally and globally. We live in an interconnected world, but it is very easy in our everyday lives to cling to the familiar and agreeable. This includes the media we consume, company we keep, and in our own work. It is up to us to share our work in ways that amplify the benefits and accessibility of both dialogue and deliberation. This means we need to intentionally step up our efforts and in doing so, step out of our comfort zones to facilitate the connections we need most–such as those across ideological divides poisoning our discourse. As Jonathan Haidt shares in his book The Righteous Mind, “When I was a teenager I wished for world peace, but now I yearn for a world in which competing ideologies are kept in balance.”

We see incredible work by D&D innovators every day that are answering this call to bring together our communities in innovative ways that heal and strengthen our relationships. Here are just a few examples (among many) from some of our conference presenters…

Libraries Transforming Communities is a joint effort by the American Libraries Association and NCDD. The initiative is founded on the strengths of the library as a trusted public community space and a place ideal for D&D work and is intended for use by libraries around the world to facilitate healing and idea generation via D&D.

The Center for Public Deliberation at Colorado State University has the mission of enhancing the local civic culture through increased participation and know-how of how deliberation works. Through elevating conversation via civics education, the center celebrates how crowds conversing (rather than arguing) can create better ideas for the whole community. They also recently won a Civvys Award for Local Winner!

The David Mathews Center for Civic Life based in Alabama believes in public forums and have locals define the issues and come together to solve them. The center provides education, services in moderation, and setting up community engagement events.

Make America Dinner Again empowers everyone to act locally with dinners of 8 and 2 moderators that discuss tough issues with an emphasis on respectful conversation and delicious food.

We hope these examples evoke excitement for the D&D community (and for the upcoming conference)! In true NCDD form, we want to engage this community of innovators in discussing how we build capacity for D&D in more communities and design action steps to make this happen moving forward. How have you succeeded in building capacity for engagement in the communities you serve? What do you think the next innovations might look like for dialogue, deliberation, and engagement? What do we need to discuss and think about together as a field, in order to succeed in broadening the use of D&D?

We hope readers will share below their own stories of successes, ideas for new innovations, and even the challenges that we need to tackle collectively in order to achieve this goal of bringing dialogue, deliberation, and public engagement to more communities. Share your thoughts below and engage with others’ responses. NCDD’s staff will be sharing your input at the conference to help us jumpstart further conversations and collaborations we hope will help us all take our work to the next level. You can still join us at #NCDD2018 – get your tickets today!

Stay tuned for the follow-up post, “We Are All Catalysts: Part 2”, where we will shift from examples to best practices to help everyone begin or continue to strengthen and amplify their dialogue and deliberation initiatives!

From the CommunityFrom the Community

NCDD Discount on Dismantling Racism Workshop on 11/5

In case you missed it, NCDD member David Campt will be holding one of his workshops, Dismantling Racism: One Conversation at a Time, on November 5th in Denver! The session will be a great opportunity for those folks looking to strengthen capacity for having anti-racist conversations and to learn skills around empathy, active listening, and more. He is offering NCDD2018 conference attendees a special discount, so we encourage you to utilize this fantastic offer! Learn more about the workshop below and register for the event on Eventbrite here.


Racism Skeptics and Empathy; An Innovative Approach White Allies Can Use to Change Hearts and Minds

This event is presented jointly by Coming to the Table and University of Denver Conflict Resolution Institute

Do you struggle as a white person to respond in social or work situations when someone makes a racist comment or questions the reality of racism? Many white people are at sea in these situations. We need tangible tools and skills to participate in healthy, productive, and effective dialogue with racism skeptics. Scientific evidence shows that empathy-based dialogues can change adults’ minds.

Participate in this vital conversation! Learn how to use empathy, active listening and relating skills in conversations about racism in a comfortable workshop setting.

Dismantling Racism: One Conversation at a Time

A Workshop with David Campt, PhD
Author of “The White Ally Toolkit”

Monday, November 5, 2018
6:30 pm – 9:15 pm

Craig Hall, University of Denver, 2148 High Street, Denver, CO 80208 (more…)

NCDD EventsNCDD Events

Listen to Konveio TechTues Recording & Explore #NCDD2018 Digital Interactive Guidebook

We had a very special Tech Tuesday this week featuring Konveio and unveiled the exciting ways we are utilizing the tool for the #NCDD2018 conference! Konveio is a digital outreach platform that turns static PDFs into engaging websites to better convey ideas, collect feedback, and spark action. We strongly encourage you to check out the recording of the call to learn more about it!

Over 90 participants tuned in to learn more about Konveio and how we plan to use the platform to bring the conference guidebook to life for #NCDD2018. Because NCDD conferences are highly engaging experiences, and we are always seeking new ways to bring in new tools and processes, that’s why we teamed up with Konveio to enrich the experience of conference attendees with this interactive option of the guidebook (in addition to the hardcopy one we will provide in each participants’ tote bag when you arrive).

NCDD2018 will be from Friday, November 2 to Sunday, November 4th and is going to be a fantastic time for practitioners and enthusiasts of dialogue, deliberation, and engagement work to dig in together about how to build capacity for this work and amplify its usage. We hope you will consider joining us if you haven’t registered already so you can both experience this powerful event and have a real opportunity to use Konveio in action! Get your ticket for the whole conference or check out the single-day rate; and don’t forget to explore the pre-conference offerings happening on Thursday, November 1st, the day before NCDD2018 officially starts!

On the call, Chris Haller, founder and CEO of Urban Interactive Studio, gave a quick overview of Konveio (which was initially called CiviComment) with some real-world examples and showcased all the fun and useful features of the digital #NCDD2018 conference guide. How Konveio works is users simply upload their PDFs to an online viewer so others can read and navigate them in their browser. They then add maps, videos, charts, and other rich content to make it more insightful and easier to explore. Finally, they can ask for feedback using embedded surveys or comments directly on the document. Chris walked us through the digital version of the #NCDD2018 guidebook and exciting components, like: interact with other attendees, watch the embedded conference teaser video, have the ability to leave comments on workshops and on specific parts of the book, tweet content directly and more! Click here to explore the guidebook and we encourage conference attendees to start making your own contributions!

We recorded the whole presentation if you were unable to join us, which you can access here. We had several insightful contributions to the chat, which you can find the transcript of here.

Tech_Tuesday_Badge

THANK YOU to Chris and everyone who joined this call! We encourage you to check out the TechTues recording and because Konveio is still in beta stage, stay tuned to https://konve.io/. To learn more about NCDD’s Tech Tuesday series and hear recordings of past calls, please visit www.ncdd.org/tech-tuesdays. Archives access is a benefit of being an NCDD member, so ensure your membership is up-to-date (or click here to join).

Finally, we love holding these events and we want to continue to elevate the work of our field with Confab Calls and Tech Tuesdays. It is through your generous contributions to NCDD that we can keep doing this work! That’s why we want to encourage you to support NCDD by making a donation or becoming an NCDD member today (you can also renew your membership by clicking here). Thank you!

NCDD EventsNCDD Events

Sneak Peek at NCDD2018: Our Featured Speakers!

Just one more week until the National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation kicks off in downtown Denver! We hope you are getting as excited as we are and even more so after you see some of our featured speakers! We have a dynamic lineup in store for all three days that will elevate exciting innovative civic practices happening across the country, explore how to broaden the reach of this field, and catalyze us for our work moving forward. You won’t want to miss this event! The late registration rate starts this coming Saturday, October 27th, so make sure you register today!

In addition to our great speakers, NCDD2018 will be filled with over 60 fantastic workshops which will span a wide range of subjects, plentiful networking opportunities, 30+ presenters during our engaging D&D Showcase event, and so much more! Remember we also have six exceptional pre-conference sessions being offered on Thursday, November 1st, that we strongly encourage you to check out. Take advantage of the pre-conference calm and more intimate space to learn and meet more folks passionate about D&D and engagement!

Our Featured Speakers

Derek Okubo – Executive Director of the Agency for Human Rights and Community Partnerships, City and County of Denver

Derek Okubo is a Colorado native and Executive Director of the Agency for Human Rights and Community Partnerships. The agency acts as a conduit of communication and convener of problem solving among local government, non-profits, businesses and residents. Derek attended the University of Northern Colorado and graduated with a degree in Psychology and double minors in Communications and Sociology

Justine Lee – Co-creator and Head of Partnerships, Make America Dinner Again

Justine Lee is the co-creator of Make America Dinner Again, and as Head of Partnerships, has developed relationships and worked collaboratively with organizations, media, and communities with similar missions, including appearances on NPR, WMAL-DC, and the BBC. In addition to MADA, Justine is a marketer and has ten years of experience managing and producing content for top creative firms, startups, nonprofits, and large tech companies.

Rev. Dr. F. Willis Johnson – spiritual leader and author, Holding Up Your Corner

Rev. Dr. F. Willis Johnson is a spiritual entrepreneur, elder in the West Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church, and adjunct faculty at Methodist Theological School of Ohio. Recognized as a scholar- practitioner, Johnson authored Holding Up Your Corner: Talking About Race in Your Community, and is a sought after thought-leader who empowers individuals and communities towards prophetic response- healing, justice and reconciliation.

Courtney Hartman – singer, songwriter, and guitarist, Slow Tours
April Struthers – organizational consultant and facilitator, Slow Tours

Colorado native, Courtney Hartman, is a Grammy nominated singer, songwriter and guitarist. April Struthers is a consultant, coach, facilitator, and owner of Wit Works, Ltd. The two have been exploring how to set up an anti-ageist, community building, slower-than-usual tour (based on the slow food movement) to allow time for deeper relationship between musicians and community.

Fatima Ahmed, Student, Lakehead University

Fatima Ahmed is a graduate of the Peace & Conflict Studies program at the University of Waterloo and current student at Lakehead University in Ontario. She recently served as the summer program director for Heart to Heart, a peace-building summer camp facilitating dialogue between Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel. Fatima is a mediator and has extensive experience in cross cultural dialogue from her work around the world.

John Steiner, Co-Founder and Board Member, Bridge Alliance

John Steiner is a meshweaver, transpartisan leader and creative consultant, often with his wife and working partner, Margo King. He is one of the national leaders of the current effort to take the transpartisan movement to scale. He currently works full time helping to build, catalyze and serve this emergent, transpartisan/bridging field as a co-founder and board member of the Bridge Alliance, as co-founder and co-director of the Bridge Summit, and as a board member of the Mediators Foundation and BridgeUSA.

Wendy Willis, Exec. Director, Deliberative Democracy Consortium

Wendy Willis is the Executive Director of the Deliberative Democracy Consortium and the founder and director of Oregon’s Kitchen Table in the Hatfield School of Government at Portland State University. The winner of the Dorothy Brunsman Poetry Prize, Wendy is also a poet and essayist, and writes at twowomenandarepublic.com. She has published two books of poems, and her next book of essays, These Are Strange Times, My Dear, is forthcoming in February 2019. Wendy is an NCDD Board Member.

Watch this teaser video if you haven’t seen it already! Looking forward to seeing you all here in Denver!

From the CommunityFrom the Community

The 2018 Civvy Awardees Announced – CSU Center for Public Deliberation Ties for Local Winner!

Exciting news – the winners of the 2018 American Civic Collaboration awards (a.k.a. The Civvys), were announced at the National Conference in Citizenship last week! Granted to those doing high-collaboration work that transcends political division, we invite you to join us in wishing the awardees a big congratulations! Several NCDDers were listed as finalists and we are proud to see the Colorado State University Center for Public Deliberation, founded and directed by NCDD Board Chair Martin Carcasson, tie for Local Winner! You can read the announcement below and find the original version here.


Celebrating 2018 Civvys Winners

On October 18, 2018 at the National Conference in Citizenship in Washington, D.C., six inspiring initiatives were honored as winners of the 2018 American Civic Collaboration awards.

The six winners and 23 finalists represent outstanding examples of collaborative work that elevate democracy and civic engagement, at every level of American life. Instead of sitting on the sidelines, these organizations are working hard to build a better future, and inspire others to do the same.

Meet the 2018 winners in each category:

NATIONAL WINNER: iCivics

iCivics is a leader in the field of civic education, paving the way for students to learn about their nation through innovative curriculum that includes games, digital interactives, surveys and teacher resources. More than 200,000 teachers use iCivics games and resources to educate and engage 5 million K-12 students in all 50 states, and the organization is committed to doubling its reach by the year 2020. In the words of Civvys judge and 2017 National Winner Jody Thomas, “This organization hits all the right notes and they have the metrics to back it up.”

LOCAL WINNER – TIE: Interfaith Works NY El Hindi Center for Dialogue; Colorado State University Center for Public Deliberation

The El-Hindi Center for Dialogue at Interfaith Works in Central New York was nominated for their outstanding work in a variety of programs, most notably an initiative bridging the gap in understanding between the Syracuse Police Department and the local community. Their immediate and lasting impact presents a model for other communities to follow. Civvys judge Michele Holt-Shannon, who was also a 2017 Local winner, pointed out “the use of multiracial, multilingual facilitators expands the impact of the dialogues.”

As a pioneering model adopted by other universities, the Colorado State University Center for Public Deliberation operates under the belief that universities play a key role in not just providing quality information or training informed citizens, but in elevating the quality of communication in their communities. They provide forums for citizen engagement, connection and empowerment – improving outcomes for the students involved, the local community, the faculty bringing together theory and practice, and the university as a convener.

YOUTH WINNER: FIRST VOTE NC

First Vote NC believes that if students have an opportunity to practice voting, it will become a habit. They have built a track record of success with their virtual voting platform and civics lessons, which provide education, information, and room for engagement, while de-emphasizing the right versus wrong nature of today’s politics in favor of understanding how perspectives differ because of a myriad of factors. Through a mobilized network of teachers using the platform, the work of First Vote has reached over 40,000 students in 46 counties.

POLITICAL WINNER: MAINE RANK CHOICE VOTING EDUCATION EFFORT

This year, the Chamberlain Project Foundation and the Foundation for Independent Voter Education launched a joint effort in Maine to make sure voters were comfortable and aware of ranked choice voting, which helps broaden candidate pools beyond two parties, increase voter turnout and give more power to each vote. Their work created a transformational change in the way the state of Maine elects its leaders, what Civvys judge David Sawyer called “a game changer for the nation, breaking the polarization paradigm.” Two other judges called this work “an essential experiment” in the “laboratory of democracy.”

COMMITTEE CHOICE AWARD: MONTEVALLO JUNIOR CITY COUNCIL

In 2012, eight middle-schoolers in a small, rural Alabama community approached their mayor to start the first-ever Junior City Council in their town. Through the work of these young people, they established themselves as a political body, and their president sits on the dais at all City Council Meetings to represent the youth voice. The JCC hosts deliberative forums, developed a merchant discount card for teens and convened a mayoral debate, among other activities. Their nomination, submitted by an adult, noted, “In the decade I have worked in civic engagement, I have never seen a group of young people be given as much real power to make positive change in their community.”

You can find the original version of this on The Civvy’s site at www.civvys.org/the-2018-civvys-1/.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Oh the Places You’ll Go & People You’ll Meet at NCDD2018!

A Quick Guide to Networking at the NCDD Conference that will set you on a course for successful partnerships.

What happens when you bring together a few hundred innovators in dialogue and deliberation and give them dedicated spaces to spark conversations and partnerships? MAGIC.

Every two years, NCDD does just that. This November, our three-day conference will convene at the Sheraton Denver Downtown and include 400+ attendees from around the globe. Fellow humans passionate about public engagement ready to connect and create friendships and partnerships that will last years into the future.

NCDD’s planning team has been hard at work to ensure an environment that facilitates idea generation and times and places to find your D&D tribe.

Here’s what you need to know:

Start early! Be sure to download and use the interactive conference guide brought to us by Konveio. This will allow you to browse the events, learn more about the networking opportunities, and many of the great attendees presenting and speaking at the conference.  To learn more about how to use the guide attend the Tech Tuesday on October 23rd!

Want to get a jump start on meeting fellow NCDD attendees and don’t want to wait until Friday morning? Then make sure you check out the six pre-conference sessions being offered on Thursday, November 1st! We have limited space for available for each of the sessions, so register ASAP to reserve your seat.

Dinner Time!  Saturday night is “on your own” but what we really mean is “with new NCDD friends”. First, meet up at the hotel bar (Mix16 Lounge) and then pick a place to wander to and get into the full conference spirit by connecting over food and drink at any one of Denver’s delicious eateries.

Use the On-Site Networking Board! Those returning will fondly remember our extra-large NCDD bulletin board made to suit all of your conference networking needs. We’ll have those great networking cards that will help you post your interests and propose opportunities to connect with others.

Do not miss the plenaries! Our opening plenary will feature “lightning talks” by civic innovators to spark inspiration and will include a networking activity to assist every attendee with identifying goals for the conference and beyond. On Saturday and Sunday, we will be focusing the plenaries almost exclusively on connecting, by using Open Space and Pro Action Cafe, respectively, for folks to propose the topics and ideas they most want to connect with others about!

Places for YOU! For when you want to meet outside of our scheduled sessions, there are four rooms and a foyer available on a first-come basis. Just look for Plaza Court rooms #2, #3, #4 and #5 for more privacy and swing around to the Plaza Exhibit Foyer for more casual seating space for discussions.

We also thought it might be helpful to create a space to connect before the conference. Please use the comment section below to start finding who you want to connect with in Denver this November! Propose a meet-up over lunch, dinner, or in between, and start finding folks to join you! We’ll keep sharing and pointing people to this post up until the conference kick-off.

We hope you are as revved up as we are about NCDD 2018!

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Democracy Fund Revamps electiononline Website

If you are looking for unbiased news and information on US elections, then check out the newly revamped electionline website! The Democracy Fund – a sponsor of NCDD2018, recently redeveloped the platform, which is a resource for our nation’s elections and offers tools and best practices for improving the voter experience. The site has daily news, an elections calendar, training resources, jobs marketplace – and is a great space for civic organizations, elected officials, or anyone interested in learning more about US elections. You can read the announcement below and find the original version here.


Democracy Fund Relaunches electionline

Today we are pleased to unveil a new and improved electionline — America’s only politics-free source for election administration news and information.

In January 2018, we announced that electionline had become a project of Democracy Fund’s Elections program. We felt then, as we do now, that it is a vital platform for finding trusted news and information about the people and processes that guide our nation’s elections, and for sharing tools, best practices, and innovative ideas for improving the voting experience. Our simple goals for redeveloping the site were to enhance its capabilities and expand content — but our long-term plans are to (more…)

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