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Frontiers of Democracy conference coming up in Boston

I just got an email from Nancy Thomas — director of The Democracy Imperative — letting me know that this July 21-23 conference in Boston is filling up fast (only 50 of the 130 spots are left). Frontiers of Democracy: Innovations in Civic Practice, Theory, and Education is the Third Annual Conference in Civic Studies at Tufts University.  The event is co-sponsored by the Deliberative Democracy Consortium, The Democracy Imperative, and the Tisch College of Citizenship.

Registration is only $120, and just $30 for full-time students.

The event website describes the event as a “two-day gathering of educators and activists to explore the theory and practice of citizenship.”  Matt Leighninger of the Deliberative Democracy Consortium describes the event on the DDC Facebook page as bringing together practitioners, academics, public officials, and funders for “a dynamic little conference that will explore some of the cutting-edge questions in our field.”

The event concludes the third annual Summer Institute of Civic Studies at Tuft’s Tisch College. This intensive, two-week interdisciplinary seminar brings together advanced graduate students, faculty and practitioners from diverse fields of study for challenging discussions about the role of civics in society.

Event themes include:

  • Engaging—and being engaged by—the online public: How are online technologies being incorporated into democratic governance and education?
  • The “neutrality” challenge: Concerns over neutrality challenge educators and practitioners alike. In public life, the question is how to balance the commitment to a politically neutral process with the desire to achieve more equitable outcomes. In the classroom, the question is how to present all perspectives on an issue yet take a definitive stance in an effort to educate for democracy. What are the politics of neutrality, on campus and in public life?
  • What role is there for innovative theory in civic practice? For example: how might Elinor Ostrom’s Nobel-prize-winning research on “common pool resources” help citizens, public officials, and other leaders share the work of sustaining deliberative democracy?

Learn more about the event at http://activecitizen.tufts.edu/?pid=715.

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Sandy Heierbacher
Sandy Heierbacher co-founded the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) with Andy Fluke in 2002, with the 60 volunteers and 50 organizations who worked together to plan NCDD’s first national conference. She served as NCDD's Executive Director between 2002 and 2018. Click here for a list of articles and resources authored by Sandy.

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