Margaret Holt Leads Session on Moderating at the National Archives, Washington, DC

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  • Margaret Holt, far right, and session participants

Veteran National Issues Forums moderator and convener, Margaret Holt led a pre-conference session on moderating forums for members of the Association of Centers for the Study of Congress (ACSC). The session was held on May 8, 2019 at the National Archives in Washington, DC.

The 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. session was titled Convening and Moderating a Deliberative Forum and was described as follows in the conference materials:

This workshop fulfills an ACSC goal to provide its member institutions training and experience in establishing civic engagement programs that foster public deliberation on important issues that come before Congress and the nation. Attendees will use A Discussion Guide for Community Dialogue and A Guide for Forum Conveners and Moderators prepared by ACSC-member congressional centers in partnership with the Kettering Foundation.

The workshop will cover:

  • What is Deliberation and Why it Matters
  • Components of an Issues Forum
  • The Moderator's Role
  • How to Construct Questions for Deliberation
  • Opportunities to Practice Moderating
  • Resources

Instructor: Margaret Holt, Director, National Issues Forums Institute

The workshop also focused on using a discussion guide titled The Divided State of America: How can we get work done even when we disagree? and accompanying moderator guide that were framed and produced by the ACSC with support from the Kettering Foundation. The discussion guide and the moderator guide are available as free downloads. A starter kit that includes the discussion guide, moderator guide, and a DVD is also available upon request.

Session attendees included:

Sara Stefan, Archivist at Indiana University, Modern Political Papers Collection (includes Richard G. Lugar’s Senatorial Papers)

Daniel Reagan, Professor, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Ball State University.  He teaches primarily in the areas of American politics and public policy, and his research interests center on the relations/behavior of national political institutions and, most recently, on the Congress and the media. 

Jody Brumage, processing and reference archivist, Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education, Shepherd, West Virginia.

David Peters, archivist, Oklahoma State University Library, University Archives

John Caldwell, Coordinator Political Papers and Electronic Record, Special Collections and Museums, University of Delaware Library, Museums & Press University of Delaware

Ashton Ellett, Politics and Public Policy Archivist, University of Georgia,Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies

Andrea Myles, Program Assistant at Stennis Center for Public Service, Mississippi State University

Fran Durner, Senator Ted Stevens Archive, Ted Stevens Foundation, Anchorage, Alaska

Sheryl Vogt, Librarian/Archivist IV, Director, the Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia

James J. Wyatt, Director of Programs and Research at the Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education at Shepherd University and President of the Association of Centers for the Study of Congress.

Jolene Kennah, Ted Stevens Foundation Archivist and Outreach Coordinator, Anchorage, Alaska

Lori Schwartz, Hagel Archivist, Archives & Special Collections, Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Library, University of Nebraska, Omaha