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Manuals & Guides…

Discussion guides and how-to manuals related to dialogue, deliberation, public engagement and conflict resolution.

Transforming Historical Harms

The 96-page manual, Transforming Historical Harms by David Anderson Hooker and Amy Potter Czajkowski, was uploaded October 2013 on Coming to the Table‘s site. The manual gives a holistic framework to address historical injustices, in a way that engages all participants, and identifies the aftermath and legacies of [generational] trauma. This manual was developed by Coming to the Table and has been a collective effort of Eastern Mennonite University’s (EMU) Center for Justice & Peacebuilding (CJP) and their Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience (STAR) program. From the […] (continue)

Freshwater For The Future (IF Discussion Guide)

The 32-page discussion guide, Freshwater For The Future, was edited by Shannon Wheatley Hartman Ph.D. and Dennis Boyer, and published on Interactivity Foundation’s site in January 2016. This discussion guide explores multiple dimensions around water issues and the future of water needs. You can view the discussion guide in full on IF’s site and it can also be downloaded as a PDF for free here. From Interactivity Foundation… Water, water, not everywhere… and maybe soon not a drop fit to drink. Water issues present a convergence of […] (continue)

Climate Choices: How Should We Meet the Challenges of a Warming Planet? (NIFI Issue Guide)

The 25-page issue guide, Climate Choices: How Should We Meet the Challenges of a Warming Planet?, was published April 2016 from National Issues Forums Institute and Kettering Foundation, in collaboration with, North American Association for Environmental Education. Climate change is undeniable, this issue guide offers participants three options to use during deliberation on how to address our warming world. The issue guide is available to download for free on NIFI’s site here, where you can also find: the moderator’s guide, an options chart, and a post-forum questionnaire. From NIFI… The Environment […] (continue)

Alabama Prisons: Why We Cannot Look Away from Alabama’s Shame (DMC Issue Guide)

The issue guide, Alabama Prisons: Why We Cannot Look Away from Alabama’s Shame, was a collaborative effort between David Mathews Center and AL.com, published 2014. The guide offers three approaches for deliberation to address the serious and widespread issues with the Alabama prison system. In addition to the guide, an eight and a half minute video was also created to summarize the realities of the Alabama prisons. The guide offers three approaches for deliberation and within these approaches are five specific actions and consequences for each option. Below are […] (continue)

Economic Vitality: How can we improve our communities?

The 11-page issue guide (2016), Economic Vitality: How can we improve our communities?, was collaboration effort by the Southern Governors’ Association, Southern Economic Development Council, Consortium of University Public Service Organizations and Danville Regional Foundation. The Issue Guide was found on National Issues Forums Institute‘s blog and offers three options for participants to use for deliberation on the current economic situation in the US. You can find the issue guide, moderator guide, and a post forum questionnaire, available for free download on NIFI’s site here. From NIFI’s […] (continue)

Human Trafficking: How Can Our Community Respond to This Growing Problem? (NIFI Issue Guide)

The 8-page issue guide on National, Human Trafficking: How Can Our Community Respond to This Growing Problem? was posted on National Issues Forums Institute website and it was collective effort of a few groups. The guide was created in 2016 by the Maricopa Community Colleges Center for Civic Participation, Spot 127 Youth Media Center, the Office of Sex Trafficking Intervention Research, Arizona State University School of Social Work. The issue guide can be downloaded for free from NIFI’s site here, and also available is a moderator’s guide and information […] (continue)

Deliberative Publicity

Deliberative Publicity by Chris Karpowitz and Chad Raphael, was published on the Deliberative Democracy Consortium blog in April 2015. The article talks about the evolving role of publicity around deliberative forums, and how deliberative publicity has the power to amplify the public’s voice and create meaningful connections to the larger political structure. Karpowitz and Raphael analyzed a wide variety of deliberative forum practices, and found that many had opportunities for improvement when publicizing a forum around transparency and accurately sharing participant’s viewpoints. They recognized the growing […] (continue)

Guidebooks for Student-Facilitated Discussion in Online Courses

The Guidebooks for Student-Facilitated Discussion in Online Courses, by Shannon Wheatley Hartman, Ph.D. and Jack Byrd Jr., Ph.D. were published January 2016 from Interactivity Foundation (IF). IF offers both a 64-page student guidebook edition and a 60-page instructor guidebook, which describes their discussion process in the 3-parts. Read more about the guidebook  and download the PDFs for free on Interactivity Foundation’s website here. From IF… These guidebooks offer a practical guide for students and instructors in online courses. They offer a step-by-step guide to our 3-part online discussion process: […] (continue)

Separate and Unequal in 1963: How Can We Create A Fair Society? (DMC Issue Guide)

Separate and Unequal in 1963: How Can We Create a Fair Society?, is a 22-page historical issue guide developed in 2014 by the David Mathews Center for Civic Life, Alabama Public Television (APT), and additional partners for use in a classroom setting. Download the Issue Guide PDF here. In Separate and Unequal in 1963, students are asked to place themselves in 1963 Birmingham, Alabama to deliberate together through the difficult choices faced by those working to address segregation and inequality. Additionally, students are encouraged to […] (continue)

Making Ends Meet: How Should We Spread Prosperity and Improve Opportunity? (NIFI Issue Guide)

The issue guide, Making Ends Meet: How Should We Spread Prosperity and Improve Opportunity?, from National Issues Forums Institute and Kettering Foundation, was published December 2015. This guide will provide the framework for deliberation that will happen in 2016 between January and May. The results from the deliberation will be given to U.S. policy makers and elected officials in May 2016. Below is an excerpt from the guide and a short video about the guide. Download a free copy of the PDF on NIFI’s site here. From […] (continue)

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