About National Issues Forums (NIF)
National Issues Forums (NIF) is a network of civic, educational, and other organizations, and individuals, whose common interest is to promote public deliberation in America. It has grown to include thousands of civic clubs, religious organizations, libraries, schools, and many other groups that meet to discuss critical public issues. Forum participants range from teenagers to retirees, prison inmates to community leaders, and literacy students to university students.
NIF does not advocate specific solutions or points of view but provides citizens the opportunity to consider a broad range of choices, weigh the pros and cons of those choices, and meet with each other in a public dialogue to identify the concerns they hold in common.
Although all forum activity is locally organized, moderated, and financed, the materials they use in common are produced by the Kettering Foundation of Dayton, Ohio, among others, and promoted by the National Issues Forums Institute. Among the publications developed each year are issue books used in the forums-clearly written nonpartisan booklets that describe the problem and present citizens with the advantages and costs of alternative policy choices. Regular, abridged, and Spanish editions of many of the issue books are available, as are videotapes and, in the case of the most recent books, DVDs. Abridged editions are designed for both adult and young new readers
About the National Issues Forums Institute (NIFI)
The National Issues Forums Institute (NIFI) is a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) organization chartered in 1989 for the purpose of promoting the National Issues Forums (NIF). The primary tasks of the institute include:
- to ensure the ongoing preparation of issue books and other materials that will stimulate serious public deliberation on major issues that Americans face nationally and locally;
- to encourage collaboration in the NIF Network and to provide a legal home for consortia that grow out of this collaboration;
- to collect and share information about current activities throughout the NIF Network;
- to present outcomes from each year's round of forums through congressional briefings and the annual "A Public Voice" program on public television; and
- to solicit and administer grants for the network.
NIFI welcomes inquiries regarding potential partnerships with entities interested in furthering the work of NIFI.