• David Mathews Center for Civic Life

Invitation from the David Mathews Center for Civic Life (Alabama) - Join the 2020 Civic Institute, August 21, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m., CDT

The David Mathews Center for Civic Life, located in Montevallo, Alabama, has announced that it will be holding its annual Civic Institute on August 21, 2020 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m (CST), 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (EST). The event will be held online and all are invited to attend. The theme will be Common Bonds: Collective Purpose and Civic Resilience in Uncertain Times.

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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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