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Institute for Civic Discourse and Democracy

Projects

Ongoing

Community Food Security Discussions

On October 15, Junction City held its first FEAST, modeled on the Oregon Food Bank's plan of community engagement for "Food, Education, Agriculture, Solutions Together.” Organized by Live Well Geary County and facilitated by the Institute for Civic Discourse and Democracy (ICDD), the half-day event was attended by 42 residents who agreed to develop community organizing around the theme of locally grown, healthy food for everyone. Participants included public and non-profit working groups such as a food policy council and a food pantry, as well as individuals describing themselves as food insecure who also distribute home-grown produce to others in need. Additional Kansas counties are planning FEAST events in the coming months. If you are interested in participating, email Donna Schenck-Hamlin. Read more here.

Debating the Debates: Research Project Studies Civility in Presidential Election

ICDD Assistant Director Tim Shaffer is offering students an opportunity to weigh in on the conduct of the presidential debates in a survey project with the National Institute for Civil Discourse.  Surveys are being administered at each of the campus Debate Watch events, the final of which occurs this Wednesday, October 18 at 8:00pm in Leadership Studies Building, Room 127. Read more here.

Agreeing to Disagree | A Look at Civility in Political Discussion

ICDD Project Coordinator Donna Schenck-Hamlin was interviewed for a K-State video on civility by Matthew Blomberg, News Specialist at the Division of Communications and Marketing. "Agreeing to Disagree" examines what civility means in the context of political discourse, and offers some tips for successfully talking, even with disagreement, about current issues. Read more here.

University Partnership Leads to Community Conversation

The Cats for Inclusion campaign, supported through the Staley School of Leadership Studies and the Kansas State University Black Student Union have formed a partnership to develop a public discussion and civic leadership training series. The first of three community conversations took place on September 3rd, October 2nd, and 27th. Read more here.

Post-Election Discussion

Post-election dialogue: Civility and Engagement on Nov. 9 and beyond: On Wednesday, Nov. 9, at 7 p.m. in Town Hall of the Leadership Studies Building, a post-election dialogue was hosted to help heal divisions and build future engagement opportunities. ICDD facilitators joined other co-sponsors in offering participants useful ways of expressing their responses to the election process, results, and issues they are dedicated to in the coming year. Read more here.

University Partnership Leads to Community Conversation

The Cats for Inclusion campaign, supported through the Staley School of Leadership Studies and the Kansas State University Black Student Union have formed a partnership to develop a public discussion and civic leadership training series. The first of three community conversations took place on September 3rd, October 2nd, and 27th. Read more here.

Voter Readiness

During this election season, ICDD worked with local campus and community organizations to increase voter registration and public discussion of critical issues. Riley County Young Voters, the League of Women Voters, K-State's Student Governing Organization, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Movies on the Grass, and Alpha Phi Alpha are some of the non-partisan organizations supporting voter education.

Juvenile Justice Forums

Community engagement with juvenile justice reform has taken on special urgency in Kansas with recent passage of Senate Bill 367, written to reduce the placement of low-risk juvenile offenders in detention. ICDD faculty associate Greg Paul and community affiliate Thea Nietfeld have been conducting a series of public forums on this issue throughout the year, in a project supported by the Kettering Foundation.  On May 5 they held the fourth forum, "They're all our kids; cultivating cultures where families can thrive", in Topeka.  Participants generated ideas for community-based alternatives to detention for youth in trouble, and discussed the larger context of families in need of public programs supporting mental wellness, education, and food security.  To obtain a copy of the forthcoming report from this forum contact Greg Paul.

Kansas Reservoir Health  - collaboration with Kansas Association for Conservation & Environmental Education (KACEE)

Development of issue guides following the choice-work protocol of National Issues Forums involves focus groups and interviews with subject experts as well as laypersons. ICDD is assisting members of KACEE as part of a national initiative by the Kettering Foundation to explore value systems fundamental to public discussion on a range of water policy topics.  An issue guide is under development on the topic of Kansas reservoir health.  If you are interested in participating in water focus groups and public forums planned this year, email Donna Schenck-Hamlin.