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New Issue Guide - "Immigration: Who Should We Welcome, What Should We Do?"

This 28-page issue guide (2020) presents updated information and three options for consideration. The issue guide is available as a free pdf download or as a hardcopy order ($2.49). Companion materials that are also available include a starter video that gives an overview of the issue and options; a shorter version as an issue advisory (in English or Spanish); and a post-forum questionnaire (in English or Spanish).

From the issue guide detail and download/order page:

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Read the Report - "Talking about Health Care in a Divided Nation: A Report from the Kettering Foundation and the National Issues Forums Network"

Published in 2020, this 4-page report describes what the Kettering Foundation and the National Issues Forums (NIF) network have learned about "what derails useful communication between leaders and the public and what promotes it."

Perhaps the principal takeaway from the NIF health-care forums over nearly four decades is that when typical Americans deliberate together, they tend to reach judgments that are reasonable, thoughtful, and possibly easier to act on than what emerges from polls and town hall meetings.

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  • Gregg Kaufman
  • Deliberative forum

By Gregg Kaufman - A Letter to the Florida Times-Union, "We have a model way to discuss important events in our lives"

On June 13, 2020, the Florida Times-Union published a letter to the editor written by the Rev. R. Gregg Kaufman. In the letter, titled We have a model way to discuss important events in our lives, Kaufman describes what is different and valuable about people using deliberative dialogue as a way to work on problems and making choices, and about some specific deliberative forums projects in the Jacksonville, Florida area.

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Using Common Ground for Action: Workshop for Middle School and High School Classrooms

Common Ground for Action (CGA) is an online tool to support deliberation among students in a single classroom and among students in different classroom communities.  It can be used to engage students with contemporary public issues, historical decisions or other academic content while teaching the skills of careful listening. perspective-taking and weighing different options. Deliberation, the practice at the heart of CGA, has been used successfully used in K-12 social studies, communication arts and science classrooms across the US and around the world.  

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  • Common Ground for Action
  • Gregg Kaufman

By Maura Casey - "Common Ground for Action (CGA) and Zoom Technologies: Deliberation in the Era of COVID-19"

There is something about deliberative forums that are as old-fashioned and comforting as talking to a neighbor over a backyard fence.  They are blessedly free of Internet trolls and Twitter attacks. No access to Facebook is necessary. Hope may be the biggest intangible asset of these gatherings: The idea, based in the experience and the optimism that forums generate, that most of the problems of the world could be solved if we could just talk and weigh tradeoffs together. 

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