The June 7-10, 2017 Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Meeting featured a pre-conference moderator training meeting, and a subsequent deliberative forum using the National Issues Forums Institute (NIFI) issue guide titled Safety and Justice: How Should Communities Reduce Violence? The conference was an initiative of the American Democracy Project, the Democracy Commitment, and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA). The June 7 moderator training was organized by Kara Lindaman, Professor of Political Science, Winona State University (Minnesota); John Dedrick, Vice President, Kettering Foundation; William Muse, President Emeritus, National Issues Forums Institute; and John J. Theis, Executive Director, Center for Civic Engagement, Lone Star College (Texas).
The conference materials describe the purpose and themes of the conference:
The 2017 Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Meeting (CLDE17) is a conference designed around an emergent theory of change adapted from elements of the 2012 Crucible Moment report. Like this report, the CLDE17 conference invites participants to consider what does a civic-minded campus look like. To this end, several threads within the civic engagement movement will be considered including: how to build campus cultures and contexts that foster:
- civic ethos,
- civic literacy and skill building,
- civic inquiry,
- civic action, and
- civic agency
These threads and others will be revisited in plenary and concurrent sessions that ask participants to deepen their thinking with an eye toward institutional change and action aimed at systematically enhancing civic learning and democratic engagement in higher education. Participants will be engaged throughout the meeting in helping to refine and define our emergent theory of change as we consider together how to move our work forward.